Whether they’re served on a side table, on a plate, on a silver platter, or by a white-gloved butler, delicious finger foods (or hors d’oeuvres, if you prefer) can often be the highlight of many a party. Regardless of what kind of a shindig you’re throwing, having some beautifully presented and expertly made finger foods can delight your guests and keep them talking for days.
Click here to see Finger Foods From Around the World (Slideshow)
To qualify as a finger food, the dish needs to be small. How small, you ask? Well, the key is in the name, really, they are meant to be eaten with your fingers, or speared with little cocktail picks and eaten from your hand, or even slurped out of a wee handheld cocktail glasses (like cocktail shrimp). Foods like pancakes and soups don’t count (no matter how small the portions) because they require plates or utensils. The goal of finger food is to allow you to munch on tasty treats while mingling at a party or event… no sit-down meal required.
Depending on where you are in the world, your finger food choices will be a tad different — hors d’oeuvres often favor local tastes and flavors of the region. Snack foods are often regional favorites reflecting culture and local ingredient availability. Delicious finger foods can be anything from deep fried cheesy balls to creamy local dips meant to be scooped up with a piece of bread or pita.
In Latin America, snack foods like alcapurrias (from Puerto Rico) and coxinhas (from Brazil) are local favorites that are often served as finger foods at parties too. If you go across the ocean to Europe, Italy in particular, bruschetta alla Romana is a quick and easy-to-prepare finger food.
Each part of the world has their own preferred favorites when it comes to hors d’oeuvres. Read on to find out more about the different kinds of finger foods enjoyed across the globe.
Baba Ghanoush — Turkey
This iconic eggplant dip is smoky, rich, creamy, and an incredibly popular dish all over the Mediterranean and Middle East. It’s most often eaten with chunks of pita.
Bao — China
These fluffy soft dough buns are usually steamed (though sometimes they come baked too) and are stuffed with a variety of fillings (pork, beef, vegetables). They’re light and buoyant and are often dipped in a soy-based sauce for extra flavor.
Read on for more Finger Foods From Around the World
14 Great Appetizers From All Around The World
Experience new flavors with these great appetizers from all around the world! Different is better, especially when it’s this tasty. All meals should have a great start and that’s where appetizers come in. While you may be well acquainted with the appetizers from your state or country, you’re probably don’t know about what everyone else in the world is enjoying before their meals. Today we’ll be showing you a number of great appetizers from around the world, with both unique and familiar ingredients. Prepare to be amazed by this appetizer list!
Five Easy to Make Appetizers from Around the World
You can even host a Potluck Travel Party. Have your guests bring appetizers of foods they discovered during their travels and share stories while enjoying a taste of this country or a bite of that one.
W henever I travel, my friends and family always ask me the same question, “What did you eat?” Oftentimes, I’ll incorporate the foods I enjoyed during my travels into appetizers so that I may share a little bit of my experience with others. It’s a tactile way of telling “travel tales” as I call it, and I recommend that you try to do the same. It’s also a lot of fun! Just prepare your version of the dishes that you have enjoyed while on holiday. I like to make easy-to-eat appetizers, pour some bubbly, and tell travel tales during a relaxed afternoon or an early evening at home. You can even host a Potluck Travel Party. Have your guests bring appetizers of foods they discovered during their travels and share stories while enjoying a taste of this country or a bite of that one. Here are of some my favorite appetizers influenced by my travels around the world. The best part is that most of these dishes can be prepared with no or little cooking involved.
It’s no secret, my favorite of the Latin foods is traditional Mexican cuisine. Whenever we go (our most frequented place as a couple) we seek out all the mom and pop restaurants and food trucks for authentic Mexican food. I remember this stuffed bell pepper filled with chorizo and Oaxaca cheese floating on a spicy tomato sauce. I knew right away that I could make it into a great appetizer for a party using colorful sweet mini-peppers.
Here’s how I make them. First preheat your oven to 375 degrees, than cut off just the top of 6 mini-red peppers, leaving the stems whole and intact. Carefully take out the seeds. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. In a mixing bowl, add two cups of seasoned panko bread crumbs, cilantro, and diced peppers (use one of the mini’s). Add chopped Mexican chorizo to the mixture along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Stuff the sweet mini-peppers until bursting and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Set those colorful peppers on a long plate and watch them disappear.
Every time we’re in Madrid or Barcelona, we head right for Restaurant Row and drink Sangrias and eat tapas until we burst! The shrimp dishes are a big hit with my partner, and the shrimp shooters I make for cocktail parties are a big hit with guests. I take all those flavors and put them in a shot glass along with a pickfork and watch guests smile from ear to ear. They’re a cinch to make: grab a bag of salad shrimp (the smaller the better). Place your shelled and deveined salad shrimp in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of Spanish olive oil, diced cucumber, and red pepper. Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper, and a splash of an entire lime. Serve in shot glasses with a toothpick or mini-fork. Caution: these go quick so make plenty.
The food in Italy is really out of this world. Many of the dishes are simple to prepare and with no need for fuss. After all, delicious Italian foods are beautiful. One of my favorite appetizers comes straight from Florence. They stuff figs with mascarpone and goat cheese wrapped up with slices of prosciutto and warm fresh bread. I make my own version as an appetizer. I nix the bread, swap out the figs with sweet dates, and then I wrap the whole thing with a slice of prosciutto. It’s as easy as that. These make for great appetizers for any occasion.
Carefully make an incision with a small, sharp knife and stuff the seedless dates with your mascarpone/goat cheese mixture (1 to 1 ratio). Wrap the entire fruit with a slice of prosciutto and skewer with a pretty toothpick. Sweet, savory, salty, and simple!
On one of our romantic trips to Paris, we had a delicious crab salad. It was out of this world and so simple. The peppery, sharp taste of crisp endive, and the tender, succulent crab was a great complement in flavor to our salad. A baguette and a small bottle of white wine rounded out the delicious meal. My wheels were spinning with ideas every time I took a bite.
I paired the salad down to just the crab and endive for my appetizer. In a bowl, place of crab-claw meat, the juice of 1 lime, dill, and red pepper, and mix carefully so as not to break the meat up too much. Add salt and pepper along with some chili flakes. Mix well and place a tablespoon on an endive leaf. Serve with wedges of lime at your next party. Pair these with a French white wine.
There really is no salad fresher than a Greek salad with tons of feta cheese. The flavors of Greek olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta are so refreshing and a summer favorite of mine. I racked my brain thinking how I could get those large salads into an appetizer. Then it hit me: why not serve it on a stick?
Carefully cube your feta cheese into bitesize pieces. Skewer Greek olives, cherry tomato halves, and cucumber rounds (in that order) with your feta cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano.
Small Bite Meals From Around The World
I just love eating a meal with friends that is a collection of small dishes making up one big entree. Whether it’s washing down izakaya with a cold Asahi, nibbling on tapas with some sangria, or enjoying a morning of dim sum and hot tea, I find them all very satisfying. I started thinking about how various cultures in the world have their own way of combining small bites into a meal, so I made up a comprehensive list.
Let me know if I missed any!
China: dim sum – light dishes served with tea
Japan: izakaya – cooked bar snacks, like tapas, served in an izakaya bar with beer and sochu
Korea: banchan – small dishes of food served with cooked rice
The Philippines: pika-pika and pulutan – little bites of meats and seafood eaten with alcoholic beverages
Hawaii: pu-pu platter – A variety of hot bites served alongside a small flame for further cooking, and a tropical drink accompaniment
Argentina: minutas and picadas – small bites served with wine, very much like the tapas of Spain
France: hors d’œuvres
Spain: tapas – hot and cold appetizer dishes
Greece: pikilia – a collection of small dishes and dips served with pita bread and ouzo
Russia: zakuski – a variety of small appetizers served with vodka
Italy: antipasti – a variety of items on one plate, either served as a starter before a main course, or is the main course itself
Venice, Italy: ciccetti – small appetizers served with white wine
The Netherlands: voorgerechten – hors d’œuvres-type plates
Germany: vorspeisen – hors d’œuvres-type plates
Scandinavia: smörgåsbord – a collection of hot and cold plates served with slices of dark bread and drunk with aqavit
The Middle East and North Africa:
Middle East/Arabic countries: meze – a collection of finger foods served hot or cold, with an anise-based liquor like arak, or wine
Morocco: kemia – small finger foods
10 Fabulous Finger Foods from Around the World (a.k.a. Party Food)
I’d rather not eat pancakes if I have to use a knife and fork. I much prefer tearing them into small, irregular pieces before dipping – just barely – into maple syrup and taking a bite. Licking my fingers completes the happy process.
Yes… I love eating with my fingers (don’t you?). And, from what I’ve read, I’m in good company around the world. Here’s ten international, absolutely fabulous ideas to get you through this finger-lickin’ party season.
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Desserts From Around the World
Often the final notes of a meal, desserts are the perfect opportunity to leave your guests in awe of your sweet genius. Discover traditional and new unique pastries and more to try from around the world. Take a trip with your sweet tooth.
Food blogger and avid traveler Bernard Laurance loves a challenge. Whether it is getting his hands on a secret family recipe, find the best cake formula, or taking on the task of documenting desserts from around the world. In his new cookbook, Baklava to Tarte Tatin: A World Tour in 110 Dessert Recipes, Bernard decodes seemingly complicated recipes or ingredients to bring us the best desserts from around the planet and right into our home kitchens. Divided by content, the book is easy to navigate without being overwhelmed and the pictures help you quickly decide what to make.
Here are ten of the more unique recipes hailing from around the globe that can be found in his book.
Portuguese Custard Tarts: Pastéis de Nata
Baked in a flaky crust, these sweet custard bites are a perfect finish to a Portuguese meal. Simple ingredients are combines for a creamy, rich dessert with a hint of cinnamon. See the recipe at the bottom of this post!
Flemish Vanilla Waffles: Stroopwafels
Delicious waffle wafer cookies come from the Low Countries of Northern Europe. They are thin, soft, and filled with a vanilla syrup, but can also hold rum and brown sugar fillings.
Brazilian Cornmeal-Parmesan Cake: Bolo de Fubá
The beauty of Brazilian food is how it combines a multitude of cultures into one dish. This sweet and savory cake was inspired by the Portuguese that once inhabited Brazil. While the Parmesan taste is not detected after baking, it leaves a beautiful, soft texture.
Canadian Sugar Tart
A favorite in Quebec, this sugar tart is also common in northern France and Belgium. Cream and brown sugar make up a rich, sweet, and simple filling that is quite addictive. This is a perfect winter dessert when little produce is available.
Moroccan Doughnuts: Sfenj
Made across northern Africa, these doughnuts are often enjoyed at breakfast or as an afternoon snack with hot tea.
Lebanese Cashew Baklava Rolls
Baklava can be found in many cuisines around the works. The Lebanese version is a bit different as it is filled with cashews and pistachios. Be sure to use ghee for their unique, delicate flavor.
Paco Morales: The Chef of History
Indian Semolina-Carrot Cake
A fragrant and delicious dessert, this cake is often found on Indian restaurant menus. It is very easy to make and is great for winter as it is usually served warm or even hot. Be sure to use quality cardamom and saffron to create its beautiful aromatics.
Found at street markets in Bangkok, these sugar and sesame coated cashews are a perfect sweet party snack. They’re crunchy and fun. Beware, a bowl of these nuts will be gone in moments, but they are easy to make.
Crunchy Caramel Coated Apple Fritters
You may have had a form of Chinese fried dough at a Chinese restaurant, but you can make them even better at home. Dipped in caramel, these fritters have a truly mesmerizing outer shell.
The famous Australian meringue dessert may just be the perfect sweet. It can hold caramels, sauces, creams, fresh fruits, and more. It has the ultimate crispy and chew texture. And it can be as light or heavy flavored as you choose. It really is a masterpiece that requires very little refined skill.
Stephanie from Parisian Abroad
The dish I chose to represent France is my mom’s crepes recipe. It is an easy and quick recipe but oh so delicious! Personally, it reminds me of going to a region in France called Britain (origin of crepes) and trying numerous “creperies” but always thinking that none of those would compare to hers! A sentimental attachment for sure.
Eating crepes will make you feel like you’re in France without even being there because there is a special way the French make them. If you’ve visited France and tried a crepe, you know what I’m talking about! There is a reason crepes are famous around the world and I believe it is because it’s associated with the culinary talent and amazing food variety in France. Crepes also have that great taste and reputation because often, they are associated with happy family moments like “Mardi Gras” where everyone gathers and eats… yep you guessed it… crepes!
The good thing about this dish is that you can have it salty or sweet! For a traditionally salty French crepe put some Emmental cheese, potatoes, and fresh ham. My favorite sweet one is obviously Nutella! So good you won’t be able to stop. While you prepare this gorgeous dish, put on some French music and enjoy the delicious smell of the mix!
Stephanie has her detailed RECIPES FOR CREPES on her Parisian Abroad Blog and you can also follow her for more tips on Paris on her Instagram.
10 Must-Pack Picnic Eats From Around the World
Picnic season is in full swing. Is this the year you&rsquoll eschew supermarket chips and salsa in favor of something homemade and fabulous? Do it! Spin the globe for inspiration.
There they are again—the bag of store-bought tortilla chips and jar of slimy, mediocre salsa𠅊t a picnic. Another bag is sure to arrive shortly, followed by another. Hope you packed water and protein and produce and everything else.
Though there’s no need to go full Liz Lemon and spreadsheet your way to a varied feast (but no judgment if you do!), maybe you could stand to picnic more creatively. To that end, here are inspirations from around the world so your crew thinks you’re all that—and a bag of chips.
Classic Thai ingredients mingle to great effect in this bright, fiery, tart papaya salad. It’s just the thing for early spring or late summer get-togethers, and in the heat of mid-summer those Thai chiles are sure to make you sweat in a good way.
Smashed cucumber salad has enjoyed a popular revival these last few years, as chefs have figured out a way to coax the dish onto their menus. Cold, salted, jagged cucumbers bring the fruit into a satisfying new dimension, especially when they’re spun with sugar, garlic, cilantro, and soy sauce and flecked with sesame seeds.
If you’re a cook in the Southeastern part of the U.S., it’s likely you have a pimiento cheese recipe up your sleeve. Whether you like your mix of cheddar, pimiento peppers, and mayo spicy, creamy, or herbaceous is up to you, but served with crackers and celery, it is tough to beat as part of a spread.
My go-to for picnics this spring is a just-barely-still-warm loaf of bread, ricotta from the local Italian market, plenty of olives, a honey bear, and a pepper grinder. I pass the olives and slice the loaf on a small cutting board right on the premises, slathering small pieces with ricotta, drizzling them with honey, and cracking pepper over them before sending them around.
The ultimate cheap, easy al fresco snack, this popular Spanish dish is tastiest at room temperature. Potatoes and onions are sliced thinly, fried briefly in olive oil, and layered with eggs before being baked in a skillet and inverted onto a plate. It’s like a less messy, crustless version of quiche.
You really should wait until tomatoes, summer squash, and eggplant are in season before making this sweet, savory, kickass jam of a dish. Pack a baguette, throw some of this ratatouille (which takes all day to make, but it’s so worth it) into a jar, and kick back to await the compliments.
Who doesn’t love her own individual snack? British meat pies and Jamaican and Trinidadian 𠇍oubles” are enormously popular for good reason: They’re protein-packed treats you can eat without mess… and then go play football.
If you’re open to getting a little messy, consider India’s chaat. A term that loosely connotes snacks made with a crisp, savory base, a sauce, crunchy veggie toppings and sev (thin crunchy bits), a chaat can take many different forms, but I’m most partial to those with samosa bases. Just put all the toppings in various containers, set them in a row with spoons, and let people make their own chaat.
Sweet and addictive, sort of the sticky toffee pudding of South Africa, this delightful dessert should be served warm, if you don’t mind bringing something slightly high-maintenance to a picnic. (Spoiler alert: It’s worth it.)
I’ve raved about these fluted, rum-and-vanilla scented pastries before. Their gorgeous appearance belies how easy they are to make, they’re absolutely divine, and they can be done many hours in advance (so long as you serve them the day they’re made). No one will believe how little work they involved.
7. Shrimp crackers (Indonesia)
The Indonesian alternative to potato chips are shrimp crackers, called krupuk. You can buy packs of the ready-made crackers in local supermarkets, like you would Lays or Pringles, or make your own from shrimp, tapioca flour, and water. Krupuk has become popular across Asia and at Asian restaurants abroad, but Indonesia gets bragging rights for coming up with the idea first.
Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast For Your Weekend Brunch
Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.
In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.
Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.
The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.
Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)
What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.
How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.
Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.
For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!