We love appetizers for all the right reasons: They are pretty, they are flavorful, they can be so easy to make, and most importantly they remind your guests that they are special. Our biggest reason might be that its an excuse to have a glass of wine and chat before the meal is served.
Our go to appetizer is predominantly cured meats (charcuterie) and cheese. Sometimes we get fancy and add nuts, honey, seasonal fruit slices, or dried fruit. The reason this is our go to appetizer is because we enjoy it, but it’s also easy to keep stocked. If your genetic heritage or predisposition to lactose doesn’t jive with cheese, no worries, add pickles, olives, dark chocolate, popcorn, fresh bread and butter or crackers.
What is the right ratio? Formal planning guides indicate that you should provide 2 ounces of cheese per guest. We aren’t that formal, do what feels right and serve what you love. This means that if you don’t like Blue cheese or olives you never have to serve it. Slice the meat as thin as you can and serve the cheese with knives, so people can cut their own hunks. We try for a minimum of 3 separate items, but the sky is the limit if you want to add more go for it!
How to make it look pretty – we find that there are two types of instruction that help with this. If you need directions use your smartphone and go, look at pictures, then make a variation of one you thought was pretty. If you are strong and independent, imagine you are with the avant-garde chef’s to a Duke in a castle and just riff with it as these appetizer pairings are as old as the castles walls.