Finger food party ideas

Finger food party ideas

Whether it’s a cocktail party, New Year’s Eve or a garden party:  finger food  is practical and popular. It’s not just the guests who enjoy the small, lovingly prepared finger food bites that can be eaten in passing without having to juggle plates and cutlery. The hosts also save themselves a lot of work with finger food. Instead of stacks of dirty dishes, only a few serviettes and wooden sticks remain at a  finger food party  . But what exactly does finger food mean? Find out here what small snacks are all about and discover new  recipes for finger food.

Finger food: ideas for a cold buffet

What actually is finger food? Basically, there is nothing new about eating food with your bare hands. In Arabia or India, it has always been part of the culture to bring the food directly to the mouth with the right hand. In Germany, too, bread and butter, salami sandwiches or portions of fries are not exactly the latest trends in food culture. Although these are also usually eaten with the fingers, they are not necessarily considered finger food.

Rather, finger food means small, lovingly prepared  bites  that would usually be too expensive, too hearty or too time-consuming as a whole meal. Finger food should be able to be eaten in one bite if possible, so that you don’t get your fingers or your fingers dirty. Difficult, multi-ingredient bites can be held together with plastic or wooden chopsticks. Depending on the number of guests, different types of cold dishes are offered.

Finger food offers variety

Finger food often makes celebrations and parties more relaxed, because instead of concentrating the evening purely on the food and the menu sequence and tying the guests to a table for the entire celebration, a cold buffet with finger food offers the opportunity to move freely  in the  room , to chat, to drink and to taste some tasty bites along the way. 

Due to the diverse selection, there is usually something for everyone and it is easier for the hosts   to take vegetarians or allergy sufferers into consideration than with a menu. However, finger food does not necessarily have to replace the “right” food. The appetizers are also usually well received as a snack during a break at an all-day event or as a starter.

Finger food: snacks with bread

The most well-known form of finger food is small sandwiches. Salmon, salami,  cheese  and some  vegetables  skewered on a piece of baguette are still popular classics at parties. Such  canapés  are delicious, but not exactly innovative. It doesn’t always have to be the typical  white bread  with a slice of beer ham, a little  lettuce  and a pickle:

  • Why not try brown bread and spread it with goat’s cream cheese, Spundekäs or shrimp salad.
  • Or use  toast , cut it into four small squares, spread each with a different spread and then stack them like a little tower.

The eye eats with you

When it comes to finger food, looks are very important. If the little bites don’t look appetizing, the guests won’t touch them either. With a few little tricks, however, even simple bread appetizers can be spiced up:

  • Cookie cutters, for example, can be used to shape slices of bread into pretty shapes.
  • A few fresh herbs, which are sprinkled over the bread just before serving, are also very decorative with finger food.

Mediterranean finger food

In addition to the German classics,  Italian dishes  also  taste  great as finger food:

  • Apart from pizza and spaghetti, the Italians also love tramezzini, ciabatta and bruscetta, which make a wonderful addition to any cold buffet.
  • Mini mozzarella balls, which   are skewered between two cherry tomatoes with a leaf of basil , also fit into your mouth with a bite and taste like a holiday.
  • In addition, small pizza pieces or crispy grissini spice up the selection of dishes.

The Spaniards are already masters of finger food with their  tapas  : small salty peppers, spicy salami, tortilla cubes, Serrano ham, dates wrapped in bacon,  potatoes  in a salt crust with a spicy dip or stuffed  olives  make you want more finger food.

Exotic finger food

Although the Japanese eat it with chopsticks,  sushi is also a  good finger food. Especially small rolls, which are wrapped with  seaweed  or fried, are easy to bring to your mouth with your fingers. Spring rolls, small satay skewers, fried  bananas , prawns with chilli dip, diced tofu or exotic fruit skewers give a cold buffet a very special touch.

In addition, many other countries offer great food that is great to eat with your hands. How about fried couscous balls from Morocco, Norwegian salmon rolls, Turkish cigar böreks, filled Greek grape leaves, Mexican mini burritos or Swedish kotbullar as finger food?

Sweet finger food for dessert

Since finger food often replaces a complete menu,  desserts  should not be missing from the buffet either. Here, too, all dishes should be able to be eaten by hand without a plate. Baked goods are therefore particularly suitable. Whether muffins, cookies, donuts or brownies – there is no risk of spills. Colorful fruit skewers, mini cream puffs, petits fours, chocolate-covered fruit or ice cream canapés can also sweeten the celebration.

Finger food: Simple, fast, unusual

As finger food is becoming more and more popular, the finger food recipes and variations are also becoming more and more unusual. As a result, more and more chefs are throwing out the basic idea of ​​finger food, namely small snacks that you can eat with your hands. While with classic finger food the morsels are held together with a chopstick, small  glasses, bowls or spoons  with a curved style are now used to store the small dishes. Of course, this also enables a much larger range of dishes that are suitable for finger food.

From small soups, which are served in tiny bowls, to salads in special finger food spoons and dessert creams in jars – there are hardly any limits to the miniature dishes for the chefs. If you want to surprise your guests at home with such variations, you don’t have to buy special spoons or bowls. Larger shot glasses, espresso cups or glass tealight holders usually do the trick.

Seasonal finger food: New Year’s Eve or summer party?

Depending on the time of year, people have different tastes – regardless of whether it’s a real meal or finger food. While light snacks with lots of vegetables,  fruit , cream cheese and herbs are popular in summer, something heartier and spicier is welcome in winter.

For example, tomato and mozzarella skewers, canapés, sushi, cheese and grape cubes, Mexican tacos, grilled vegetables or small salads are suitable for garden party  . Fruity cocktails, punch or cool white wine taste great as drinks.

In  winter  , finger food is particularly popular on festive days. At Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the light snacks are increasingly replacing the obligatory raclette or fondue. Here the finger food can also be lukewarm, for example as a small soup, onion cake or mini casserole.

At  Christmas  or  New Year’s Eve  , spicy cheese such as Roquefort or Gorgonzola goes well with the canapés, along with pickled fruit, meatballs and filled puff pastry. Such hearty dishes are best served with dry red wine or a freshly tapped beer to round off the consumption of finger food.

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