As the holidays approach I wanted to wish you all a very happy holiday. The articles that will finish 2014 will help to inspire you to end the year with taste: tasty food and drink, taste for memories, taste for spending good times around a table. This article has been reedited from its original publication date in 2011.
A Typical French Aperitif Choice: smoked salmon canapé
Aperitif Dinatoire: Informal, Classy, Tasty and Convivial
What is an Aperitif Dinatoire?
It is hard to accurately translate apéritif dînatoire but think of it as a big drinks and nibbles party, or a walking buffet, an informal appetizer cocktail dinner. It is a great way to have friends over and not feel that pressure to plan a big gourmet menu with a formal sit down dinner. The cost is usually lower too, which is another reason it is popular.
Why is this informal Aperitif Dinatoire so popular?
An apéritif dînatoire is an increasingly popular way to invite friends over for an affordable evening of drinks and nibbles. A party with sufficient amounts of cocktails and food so that guests leave feeling full, like they have eaten dinner (dînatoire), satiated with the perfume of conversation and food. Sometimes you can have an informal evening with everyone bringing filling appetizer food to share. However, this is less common in France.
Read more how the French ‘do’ an apéritif dînatoire here:
How the French ‘do’ an aperitif dinatoire
Imagine this scene:
Different drinks available: usually beer, wine, fruit juice, soda, maybe one or two stronger alcohols like gin, vodka or whiskey.
Depending on the number of guests we could either be standing up or just sitting around on some chairs.
Finger food is offered either on a large table buffet style or presented on the center cocktail table. The apéritif food could be hot or cold, but it is finger food, able to be picked up easily and enjoyed by the fingers. The appetizer food is filling, enough to leave the party without hunger, like you have eaten a meal.
The dinner can last as long as the host would like and the food is just enjoyed as it is: with rush, no pattern or real courses. An informal moment. The only real change towards another course is that for desserts. All is cleared away and voila! Les desserts appear.
Coffee and herbal tea served after the desserts which is the signal that the evening has come to an end.
Some Ideas To Do Your Own French-Style Appetizer Party
For a French style apéritif dînatoire, the emphasis in on finger food, presentation, filling offerings and freshness.
Here are some ideas on what you would see at a typical apéritif dînatoire to give you inspiration to do one too:
Topped Crostini or Tartines:
Fruit Rolled Up in Charcuterie -Bacon:
Savory Croissants, Quick Bread, or Cheese Puffs:
Elegant Smoked Salmon or Shrimp Open Sandwiches:
Rich Tastes on a Stick:
Trays of Olives, Proscuitto, Charcuterie, Cheese, Sundried Tomatoes, Ham:
Original Filled Crackers:
Your Own Special Touches:
The Main Point: a convivial evening!
An apéritif dînatoire offers an informal and cost effective way to have a gathering between friends sharing good food. Evening rolls to an end and everyone is full, satiated and happy.
Sounds fun! What do you think?
And your finger food ideas for the next cocktail party chez vous (your house)? Share your favorites!
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