Spicy Hors d’oeuvres & Appetizers

Chillies as Chillies . Starter or Hors de hors de oeuvre,

What is the difference?

In a nutshell, nothing. Both are one and the same.  Both are small plates served at the beginning of a meal to whet the appetite for what is to follow. The term Hors d'oeuvre is French for before the work or the masterpiece. It is meant to portray that this is a course that comes before the chef's excellent main meal cooking. The term appetizer apparently appeared in both England and the USA in about 1860.  It was introduced for the only reason of having an English word for a term that had its origin in France.

Other terms with the same connotation are starters, amuse bouches and, amuse-gueules. A starter is simply a synonym for an hors de oeuvre or appetizer. Amuse bouche and Amuse gueles differ from these in that they are usually only one or two bite plates and are meant to delight or tantalize the palette. They are typically not ordered from a menu, but given for free as part of a bigger meal in fine dining restaurants. The idea behind this is to showcase the chefs style of cooking and what can be expected in the dishes that will follow.

International choices

Most countries have their own versions of these small plates. Some of the better-know appetizers with Chillies are:

  • Batata vada (India) – Spicy potato mash patty coated in chickpea flour and fried
  • Buffalo wings (Australia) – Breaded chicken wings that are fried and served with a hot sauce
  • Chicken Lollipops ( Goa, India). Chicken thighs coated in a spicy batter and fried
  • Jalapeno poppers- (USA) Jalapeno Chillies stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and baked
  • Murtabak ( Singapore) – A spicy meat stuffed roti wrap
  • Cheese stuffed Chillies  ( Greece) Pickled Chillies stuffed with Feta cheese
  • Kinilaw (Philippines)- Raw seafood like ceviche, but marinated in vinegar
  • Matbucha ( Middle East) – A spicy tomato and chilli salad
  • Ceviche – ( Peru) Seafood marinated in citrus and chillies
  • Queso flameado (Mexico)  Melted cheese with chillies
  • Samosas (India) – Fold over pastries filled with spicy meat or vegetables
  • Chaat (India) – Fried dough, puffed or bread fritters with other spicy ingredients
  • Kimchi  - Korean spicy fermented cabbage

And the list continues. There are literally thousands of small plates with Chillies as appetizers from all around the world.  Great fun can be had by turning a selection of these into a meal that will not only entertain your friends, but also feed them very well indeed.

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