Small plates is the informal name for a manner of dining that became popular in Western food service after 2000. It may either refer to small dishes resembling appetizers which are ordered à la carte and often shared (such as tapas), or to the small courses served as part of a more formal meal.
Some types of small plates which have influenced the modern Western concept are:
- Tapas, a wide variety of appetizers in Spanish cuisine
- Mezze, a wide variety of appetizers in Turkish cuisine, and sometimes in Greek cuisine
- Antipasti, a wide variety of appetizers in Italian cuisine
- The small and usually shared dishes served at an izakaya, a Japanese pub
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