The word side dish derives from the French word entremets. It serves, as a result of its definition, to refer to the food products what They are distributed on the table in order to liven up the day while waiting for the main meal. Currently, these varieties are usually served before first course. For example: “I’m going to serve an appetizer while the meat cooks”, “Do not overdo it with the appetizer that there is still a lot of food to serve”, “The hors d’oeuvres were delicious, but the fish lacked flavor”.
Therefore, it is possible to distinguish between two customs or habits related to hors d’oeuvres. In high-end restaurants, it is common to serve hors d’oeuvres between plate and plate as a detail to eliminate the flavor of the menu tasted last. In other gastronomic establishments and in homes, on the other hand, hors d’oeuvres are usually served in advance of the main mealEspecially if the diners are hungry and the dishes aren’t ready yet.
The cold cuts, the pickles and the sausages They are often among the most popular appetizer foods. The olives, the pickles, the pieces of toast and the cheeses they can also be part of the aperitif.
This is a tradition that may have survived to this day from Roman customs. And it is that in the Roman Empire we find the fact that their meals were clearly delimited or divided into four parts and thus they have remained in Italian gastronomy:
The appetizer, also called antipasti, which was carried out mainly at parties and family-type celebrations.
The first dish. Pasta is currently the one that gives rise to this part of the meal, although it is also frequently replaced by rice or soup.
The second plate. Meat and fish are the ones that take center stage in this phase and both are accompanied by their corresponding garnish.
Dessert. Sweets and fruit are the usual desserts.
Another use of the notion of appetizer is associated with a playful dramatic work structured in a single act, which in ancient times were represented between one day and another of the comedy or even in the middle of a day.
The appetizer used to be carried out by characters of the popular classes. Between the end of century XVI and until its prohibition in 1780, hors d’oeuvres were common in Spanish theater. It is possible to associate the hors d’oeuvre with sainete or to farce.
Many have been the Spanish authors who have practiced the genre of hors d’oeuvres with great mastery and among them, writers of the stature of Francisco de Quevedo and Miguel de Cervantes stand out. Not forgetting either Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Luis Vélez de Guevara or Luis Quiñones de Benavente.
An author the latter who was key within this mentioned genre during the period known as the Spanish Golden Age. Among his most significant works in this field are “The Living Dead”, “The Drunkard”, “The Sorceress” or “The View of the Prison”.
Likewise, already in the period between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, we must not forget that the most famous and important hors d’oeuvres were those carried out by the Sevillian brothers Álvarez Quintero, as would be the case of the one entitled “Ganas de reñir ”.