- Hors d’ oeuvre is a French term that means “apart from the main work.” Aptly named because your hors d’ oeuvre is served apart from your main dish. It is usually served during cocktail hour, while your guests are waiting for dinner to start. They would surely be hungry during the wait, as they are expecting ahealthy meals, thus a great appetizer will sustain them until then.
If you go back and look into it, it was not the French who started the practice of serving easy appetizers. In fact, they took this practice from the Greeks and the Romans. The Romans would usually have huge banquettes and there you would find various appetizers on display, like olives, eggs, sausages, herbs, and pickled vegetables. Nowadays, appetizers are more complicated than that. Appetizer recipes are a dime a dozen, and you could choose from the very basic to the more complicated.
The practise of using appetizer recipes in the Western Hemisphere greatly increased in popularity during the 1930s where cocktail parties abound. Back then, alcohol was crudely made and whiskeys were illegally distilled. Though the liquor may be crude, finesse was maintained with the serving of dainty, bite-sized morsels. It started with stuffed vegetables, the most popular being celery stuffed with sardines. You could easily circulate the room with a drink in one hand and a celery in another. What’s more, you could easily pop it into your mouth.