The lost art of the appetizer. When I say lost art is because appetizers are somewhat boring. Your typical appetizers are shrimps, stuffed mushrooms, egg rolls and bruschetta. I am sure you can think of a few more. At home before dinner, a light soup or consume was sometimes served. If we had menus at home the soup would be listed under appetizers.
Appetizers are similar to hors d’oeuvres which are like a high end snack before a meal. Let us pair some great appetizers with our meals. It’s like serving the right wine at dinner.
TOMATO JUICE: A Starter
Sometimes, I have a glass of tomato juice with a wedge of lemon to start before my main meal. I enjoy this tangy refreshing fruit. I first tried tomato juice as a starter at La Scala Restaurant in Italy; the namesake of the world-renowned La Scala opera house (since 1778) in Milan, Italy. The waiter recommended a cool glass of freshly made tomato juice with a wedge of lemon before he served the grilled fish. I have used it ever since at home or dining out. Even if it is not on the menu, simply ask for tomato juice before your meal is served. Sometimes you have to remind them to include the lemon! ( Not at high end restaurants ).
The acidic component of tomato juice improves your digestive system not to mention the lycopene and other protective phytonutrients. Let’s not forget tomato’s vitamin K, anchoring calcium inside our bones.
FOOD TIP: If you have the tomato juice before your meal, you will feel very satiated while you are eating dinner and will not be tempted to stuff yourself with bread. Most likely you will eat slower, enjoying each delectable bite rather than wolfing down your meal like it was your last meal on earth. You know who you are. Tomato juice also helps when you are trying to get rid of some unwanted pounds. Bon Appetite!
Note: Tomato is a nightshade family of the so called ‘vegetables’ [Botanically the tomato is a fruit. Albeit, we tend to place tomatoes in the veggie category]. Those with an allergy to nightshade plants will react to tomato juice with mild indigestion.
ABOUT hors d’oeuvres
When I was very young we served hors d’oeuvres when guests visited our home. Always food and drink were offered before anyone could speak. I remember making little tiny lox [salmon] on dark rye bread squares along with cucumber and dill squares decorating the plate with some dill sprigs. We always had raw salmon and pickled herring in the frig – being of Scandenavian descent . I served the hors d’oeuvres in a checker board style alternating the red salmon with green cucumber . It was lots of fun. My parents let me do anything I wanted in the kitchen. Perhaps, just to see my beaming face when I served my creations. I was 13 yrs. old. I will always remember that joyful day and the happiness around me.
James Beard, the dean of American cookery (according to The New York Times in 1954), referred to them [hors d’oeuvres] as “doots.” They are the things men eat too many of before dinner. by esquire.com
You will be reading about new and exciting appetizers in our blog from the food aficionados at Simply Splendid Food… not found in many places!