Appetizers: too often overlooked

What is the one course that gets people talking more than any others? In which course does the lion stability to nicely surprise dinner guests lye? The answer is a course that some people fail to think of, and its ability to surprise and please in equal measure is central to this fact. An appetizer is too often overlooked. But this provides a great opportunity for one planning to treat some guests to a meal. Serving an appetizer, and especially a great appetizer, shows the guest that one has covered every angle and thought of the little things in order to make their evening a memorable one. An appetizer, therefore, is the chance meeting of two friends who only realised they wanted to see each other when they bumped into each other. An appetizer (forretter is the term in Danish) trains the taste buds in preparation for the three course main event; it starts the evening on a high and pleases the guests even before they have tried the starter.

There are a number of different approaches when considering which type of appetizer to serve. Guests will not turn their nose up at an appetizer that was easy to prepare. Remember, they probably weren’t expecting an appetizer to begin with, so they certainly won’t have expected a lot of effort to have gone into making them. One shouldn’t put too much effort into an appetizer anyway, because it would look as though one was trying to impress a little too hard. Good easy appetizers could be something like guacamole and sour cream with tortillas, or something like peanut butter spread or smoked salmon and cheese on crackers.

Cold appetizers are a good idea when faced with the prospect of having to entertain a large number of guests, particularly when the other three courses are a little complicated. A cold homemade soup or a salmon mousse would be good examples of cold appetizers. One could prepare them in advance and serve them without having to concentrate or put in a lot of work. The host needs to socialise too.

But for people who want to impress their guests tenfold then hear are some examples of appetizers that they can use, either for inspiration to develop it into their own signature dish or to use straight up. Grilled shrimp in an apricot sauce is one of the finest appetizers imaginable. It does everything that a good appetizer should do. It pleasurably surprises the guests and invites them to try something a little different. Small portions are a perfect opportunity to try something new. It starts the evening with a high quality and brilliantly tasting treat. Look at every great novel ever written and read the first line. It’s so important to get things started in a good way. It helps create an atmosphere from which good things follow. But remember, the evening is more about the food. A host needs time to enjoy the evening and if they can’t do this if they’re worrying about an intricate appetizer then they should try a simpler one. The affect can be almost the same. It is always a nice surprise. A greeting is all the finer if one is offered an appetizer in the same breath as welcome.