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Hors d'oeuvre (/ , /; French: hors d'œuvre [ɔʁ dœvʁ] ( ), literally "apart from the [main] work") or the first course, are food items served before the main courses of a meal, typically smaller than main dishes, and often meant to be eaten by hand (with minimal use of silverware). The French (singular and plural) is hors d’œuvre; in English, the 〈œ〉 ligature is usually replaced by the digraph 〈oe〉 with the plural often written as hors d'oeuvres and pronounced the same or / /.
If there is an extended period between when guests arrive and when the meal is eaten (for example during a cocktail hour), these might also serve the purpose of sustaining guests during the wait, in the same way that apéritifs are served as a drink before meals. Hors d'oeuvre are sometimes served with no meal afterward. This is the case with many reception and cocktail party events.
Hors d'oeuvre may be served at the dinner table as a part of the meal, or they may be served before seating. Hors d'oeuvre prior to a meal are either rotated by waiters or passed. Stationary hors d'oeuvre served at the table may be referred to as "table hors d' oeuvre". Passed hors d'oeuvre may be referred to as "butler-style" or "butlered" hors d'oeuvre.
Though any food served prior to the main course is technically an hors d'oeuvre, the phrase is generally limited to individual items, not crudités, cheese, or fruit. For example, a glazed fig topped with mascarpone and wrapped with prosciutto is considered an "hors d'oeuvre," whereas figs on a platter are not.
Examples of hors d'oeuvre include:
Other languages and cultures
- Antipasto (Italian) or antepasto (Portuguese) are served as hors d'oeuvre in Southern Europe.
- Appetizers are served in the United States.
- Đồ nguội khai vị ("cold plate first course") is Vietnamese for hors d'oeuvre.
- Lěng pán 冷盘 ("cold plate"), or qián cài 前菜 ("before dish") are terms used for hors d'oeuvre in Mandarin.
- Meze, a selection of small dishes served in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Balkan cuisine.
- Zakuski are hors d'oeuvre in cuisines of Russia and other post-Soviet countries.
- 전채 jeonchae (前菜) "before dish" or 에피타이저 appetizer "appetizer" is Korean for hors d'oeuvre.
- Zensai (前菜 lit. before dish?) is Japanese for hors d'oeuvre.
|Look up hors d'oeuvre or appetizer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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((Taylor Foster and Bob Handcoff))