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The perfect nibble, the ideal bite, creating a truly great appetizer is an art. All the texture and flavor you expect from a full dish in one beautiful, bite-sized portion. When you think about it, the creation of a really good starter is a tall order, but at Gourmet Food Store, we have you covered. Below our selection of recipes and articles will have you making one delicious canapé after the next. Browse through our complete assortment here to find your favorite.
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While nutrition and sustenance are arguably the most important purposes of food, there is more to a meal than the fulfillment of these basic needs; and to many, the creation of food is also considered an art form. For those in this category, the appetizer may show off the artistic elements of food better than any other course. In one beautifully integrated bite: the appetizer offers more visual appeal than an entire pot of stew; and more texture and flavor than many full meals. The perfect avenue for expressing culinary creativity, appetizers have been served and loved for centuries.

Dating back to the days of ancient Rome and Greece, people would socialize over pieces of fruit, olives, cured meats, and cheeses. The first appetizers, the popular appeal of these same foods, lives on in our modern-day cheese trays and charcuterie boards. By the 17th century, food-loving French had picked up the idea, calling their variation hors d’oeuvre, whose literal translation means “outside the masterpiece.” Breathtaking little morsels were served, while their guests waited for the culinary revelation that would be the main course. To the wealthy Frenchman, the appetizer was a mode of reflecting their wealth and affluence among their guests rather than a stimulant to the appetite.

While the usage of starters has changed over the centuries they have remained popular. In fact, every region has developed its favorites, from the European canapés to the Mediterranean meze, there’s no end of culinary inspiration from every corner of the globe, and you'll find all of them featured right here on our site.