Despite being the World’s Unlikeliest Political Spouse thanks to owning no cardigan twinsets and having neon-colored hair I dye in my bathtub, I am now living the life of the literally politically engaged. I am here today to say that there is one chief skill that all SOs must master in order to succeed at the gig, and it is NOT “remembering people’s names” or “being able to tell the same story several times in a row without screwing up the details.” It is eating hors d’oeuvres.
Except, and pardon my French, hors d’oeuvres are A MASSIVE SCAM. First of all, they are impossible to spell. I am writing this on my phone, and autocorrect is hellbent on hours dovers becoming a thing. The first time I wrote about hors d’oeuvres I spelled it “ordurv,” which I think is PERFECTLY REASONABLE especially given that I was only in first grade. (Yes, my “what happened this weekend” assignment contained both the phrases “hors d’oeuvre” and “au pair.” Feel free to hate me; I definitely hate myself.)
Second of all, hors d’oeuvres are either served by waitstaff and therefore require awkward hovering and desperate attempts for eye contact, or served on a communal platter on wilty kale leaves with a handful of walnuts sprinkled jauntily over everything, POISONING the otherwise moderately-tempting squares of Manchego.
And before you’re like “oh, but I love snacks,” I am going to stop you right there, because hors d’oeuvres are not snacks. Snacks come in bags and leave MSG-flavored dust on your fingers. Hors d’oeuvres come on plates or possibly small napkins and have multiple layers, like an archaeological dig with chutney. A snack can become an hors d’oeuvre if it is gussied up with additional ingredients, to wit: a triscuit gobbled straight from the box by the handful at your keyboard? SNACK. A triscuit with a single slice of apple and a drizzle of balsamic reduction like they show on the back of the box, lolol? HORS D’OEUVRE.
Neither are hors d’oeuvres appetizers. Appetizers are what you get at TGI Friday’s before you gorge on your microwaved steak and watered-down LIIT. Anything with the word “tender,” “finger,” or “popper” in it is not an hors d’oeuvre; it is something actually delicious that you can even pass off as a legit meal if you’re broke but trying to hide it and JUST ATE SUCH A BIG LUNCH, GUYS [puts hand to stomach].
In the interest of public service I am presenting here some well-thought-out and rational reviews/warnings of and about the hors d’oeuvres of the world. READ OR REGRET IT AT YOUR NEXT SOCIAL GATHERING.
Besides being deadly for those of us with peanut allergies, skewers are a decidedly TWO HANDED food unless you’re willing to risk losing a chunk of halfheartedly-grilled chicken to the unforgiving wastes of the floor. 0/10 would not recommend.
A mouthful of vegetable toothpicks swaddled in a wrapper with all the flavor of a stretchy piece of dead skin? NO THANK YOU.
Little Spoons with Ten Milliliters of Soup in Them
Soup is not a finger food. It is barely even a meal, and even then you have to consume a portion approximating the size of a can of paint to achieve any significant amount of nutrition. Two sips of “bisque” (not a real word) will leave your mouth tasting like a V8-flavored cough drop and your hands holding the weird elongated spoon it was served in until you eventually “forget” it in a potted plant on the way to the bathroom.
Cheese and Crackers
Cheese and crackers are God’s most perfect food. I haven’t read the Bible lately but I’m pretty sure there was a deleted scene where Jesus stuck a hunk of extra sharp cheddar on that viaticum and was like “take, eat, this is off the chain.” But while it makes an ideal mealsnack to wolf down in front of last season’s juiciest eps of Catfish, the ol’ C+C is FLAWED as an hors d’oeuvre because it LITERALLY CRUMBLES. Whoever invented water crackers should go straight to hell and I know Jesus would back me up on this. Biting into a water cracker is like stepping on a rake with cheese on one end of it; it is practically spring loaded to hit you in the nose with your smoked Gouda. This necessitates either a quick scramble to catch the fractured cracker half and stuff in into your mouth, or the foresight to pinion the cheese to the cracker with your fingers before taking a bite such that you achieve a clean break with an ideal cheese-to-cracker ratio (note: no human being had ever succeeded at this, not even Jesus). I know what you’re thinking, and NO, you cannot mitigate this with fig jam gluing the cheese in place, you utter dingdong; you are just adding to the artillery and upping the potential for unremovable stains. Even worse is when the cheese is in cubes. A cube shape improves both the density and the aerodynamics of the cheese such that a cube-loaded cracker is essentially a cheese trebuchet headed straight for your nostril. DO NOT ATTEMPT.
Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Edible fungus cups, mm-mm! No. If literally any other vegetable came in a naturally-stuffable, bite-sized shape that could be crammed with cheese and breading, there would be no need for these to exist. It’s like chewing on an ear.
Shrimp of Any Kind
Barfffffffff. If you want to eat the pillbugs of the sea, go ahead. No amount of cocktail sauce will make that chitinous bolus go down on MY watch.
I mean, I guess. I could make this at home but with better mayonnaise and more salt. I want something that takes EFFORT and possibly TWEEZERS to assemble. I paid $65 for this ticket and I intend to eat it all back!!!
NOW we’re getting somewhere. For that White Castle feeling anywhere! Pros: delicious, often involve cheese, brioche, and/or some kind of savory jam. Cons: huge lack of structural integrity, you have to eat about a half dozen to hit the RDA of burger.
DEFINITIVE yes. Each one of these puppies works out to approximately two tablespoons of butter, one teaspoon of egg, and five spinach flecks, therefore making it Good For You. They are also the size of an actual bite, unlike other pretenders to that single-mouthful throne.
Pigs in a Blanket
At last: the perfect hors d’oeuvre. Contains all three food groups: bread, Lil Smokie, mustard. Can be eaten with one hand. Sticks together after a bite is taken; can also be scarfed down whole.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a box of triscuits to finish at my desk.