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Best and Worst Appetizers: How Do You Pick?


I pick spicy whenever I can, of course. These days, everybody’s into the low-calorie, high-fiber, hardly-any-taste-at-all sort of things that aren’t really designed to pump up my appetite. And isn’t that what an appetizer is supposed to do? Okay, I agree, maybe they shouldn’t be so filling that they displace the meal; although sometimes wifey and I go out and eat a dinner of appetizers and desserts. Pick’em right and you won’t miss the entrée, I guarantee!

Real Simple is a site (and a magazine) I enjoy. They recently published a list, featured on foxnews.com, of the best and worst appetizer choices. Here’s the list, in order from “best” to “worst” in their opinion:

  • Hummus
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Smoked Salmon
  • UOWB (Unidentified Object Wrapped in Bacon)
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Meatballs
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Miniature Tarts or Quiches
  • Pigs in Blankets
  • Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Unfortunately, their bias comes through clear here. For instance, it’s not about the bland taste of hummus; it’s an “obvious choice” because it can be served with vegetables, and it fills you up. Say what? Most hummus I’ve had wasn’t even good enough for school paste. If the objective is to deaden the appetite so you don’t eat, then maybe hummus is “best.”

I do like their UOWB entry. Whatever it is, the bacon’s making it better. That piggy pemmican is hard at work for you, making even chicken livers taste, well, better than without.

The issue with mixed nuts? Portion control. Well, if it’s an appetizer, serve it in little cups and don’t let seconds happen. Serve the next course before the diners raid the pantry for more! It’s that simple.

Pigs in Blankets aren’t that bad either. Easy to fix, tasty, and there are lower-fat versions if you must. If you let them graduate to Hogs in Sleeping Bags, though, then you’re no longer talking appetizers.

Spinach-ArsenicArtichoke Dip isn’t anywhere on my list, cheese or no.

What happened to guacamole? Salsa with chips? Deviled eggs? Chicken wings, tapas, pepper jelly over cream cheese with crackers? Cheese balls, or ham ones? Curry puffs, caviar, egg rolls, candied bacon, crab rangoon, Chinese dumplings, Armadillo Eggs, edamame, fried wontons, kippers, pot stickers, fried cheese, calamari? Not to mention Dim Sum as appetizers.

I guess none of those are worthy of mention, or something. So: How do you pick which appetizers to enjoy? At home? Eating out? For a party? Drop us a line here and let us know…

Enjoy the (Many, Many Finger Foods) Heat!


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