Small Bite Meals From Around The World

Small Bite Meals From Around The World

Kathryn Hill
Sep 3, 2009

I just love eating a meal with friends that is a collection of small dishes making up one big entree. Whether it's washing down izakaya with a cold Asahi, nibbling on tapas with some sangria, or enjoying a morning of dim sum and hot tea, I find them all very satisfying. I started thinking about how various cultures in the world have their own way of combining small bites into a meal, so I made up a comprehensive list.

Let me know if I missed any!

China: dim sum - light dishes served with tea
Japan: izakaya - cooked bar snacks, like tapas, served in an izakaya bar with beer and sochu
Korea: banchan - small dishes of food served with cooked rice
The Philippines: pika-pika and pulutan - little bites of meats and seafood eaten with alcoholic beverages

North America:
Hawaii: pu-pu platter - A variety of hot bites served alongside a small flame for further cooking, and a tropical drink accompaniment

South America:
Argentina: minutas and picadas - small bites served with wine, very much like the tapas of Spain

France: hors d'œuvres
Spain: tapas - hot and cold appetizer dishes
Greece: pikilia - a collection of small dishes and dips served with pita bread and ouzo
Russia: zakuski - a variety of small appetizers served with vodka
Italy: antipasti - a variety of items on one plate, either served as a starter before a main course, or is the main course itself
Venice, Italy: ciccetti - small appetizers served with white wine
The Netherlands: voorgerechten - hors d'œuvres-type plates
Germany: vorspeisen - hors d'œuvres-type plates
Scandinavia: smörgåsbord - a collection of hot and cold plates served with slices of dark bread and drunk with aqavit

The Middle East and North Africa:
Middle East/Arabic countries: meze - a collection of finger foods served hot or cold, with an anise-based liquor like arak, or wine
Morocco: kemia - small finger foods

(Images: Demetris Taverna, Create A Cook, La Tombola, Vera Brosgol, Flickr user dane brian, and Flickr user loveu2 - thanks!)

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