Hors dOeuvres

n addition to salads and salad dressings, the pantry or garde manger department is generally responsible for the small food items known as appetizers or hors d'oeuvres. The function of these foods is to enliven the appetite before dinner, often to the accompaniment of drinks, so they are generally small in size and spicy or piquant in flavor.

There is some confusion as to the distinction, if any, between the terms appetizer and hors d'oeuvre. In general, the first course of a multicourse meal is called an appetizer, and the finger foods served at receptions and with cocktails are called hors d'oeuvres. In some regions, however, the terms are used interchangeably.

This chapter deals not with first courses but primarily with special kinds of foods that are usually encountered away from the dinner table—foods that are the special domain of the pantry chef. They include finger foods such as canapés and relishes, indispensable accompaniments to receptions and parties.

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

1. Name and describe the two principal methods of serving hors d'oeuvres at a reception.

2. Prepare canapés.

3. Prepare hors d'oeuvre cocktails and relishes.

4. Prepare dips.

5. Prepare a variety of other hors d'oeuvres, including antipasti, bruschette, and tapas.

6. Name and describe the three types of sturgeon caviar, and name and describe three other kinds of caviar.

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