Five appetizers I hate seeing -- and eating -- at parties

Categories: Lists

I love parties -- of the cocktail, holiday, birthday, anniversary or wine and cheese varieties -- and one of the things I look forward to at these parties is the spread of appetizers. The hors d'oeuvres, starters, nibbles, noshes and crudité are what often determine how good a party really is -- that, and the beverage selections. But occasionally I get tricked into attending group gatherings with awful eats, a problem that usually results in me pretending to chew things, smiling and then leaving early to eat some good food -- at my house.

Here are five appetizers I hate seeing -- and eating -- at parties. Don't be the host or hostess everyone remembers for serving lousy entertainment grub.

See also:
- Appetizer sizes are small, but prices are creeping up
- Top five onion appetizer recipes (if you don't want to get lucky)
- Spinach dip for a vegan appetizer on Meatless Monday

And they get worse when wrapped...
5. Dates crammed full of cream cheese
I'm sure at some point, probably sometime in the mid-'90s, these appetizers were cool, but they aren't anymore: They are the social diseases of parties. Taking plump, sugary dates and pumping them full of rich, smoodgy cream cheese isn't the worst hors d'oeuvres idea -- keep reading this list and you'll see that one -- but it's far from the best because no matter how hard you try to avoid it, the sticky, wrinkly brown bits get stuck on and in-between your pearly whites, and you get little cream cheese dabs everywhere -- and if the dates they are prosciutto-wrapped and grilled, it gets worse. There is absolutely no classy, un-messy way to eat the ones bound with charred, salty ham, because upon being heated, prosciutto binds like bailing twine. Trying to loosen it with your teeth in front of other people is an unsightly tug-of-war that you are destined to lose -- badly.

Peek inside if you dare...
4. Hot Velveeta dip
I see a crockpot at a party, I stare at it in dread because I can feel the near-fatal levels of sodium from across the room. The ceramic bucket is inevitably full of half-watery, half-congealed, cracked-top tepid guck with enough salt in it to numb your gums, with the bonus of cheap, generic brand salsa in lieu of Ro-tel. Being chintzy with the cheese dip ingredients is the significant difference between getting bits of spicy tomato and green chiles, and getting those tough little rolls of boiled tomato skins that rub against your tongue. And then there's the transport problem: Has anyone in the history of modern civilization managed to carry a paper plate of cheese dip and chips across a crowded room and not dabbed themselves or someone else with sticky doobers?

Ew. Just ew.
3. Pigs in a blanket
Whoever created pigs in a blanket should be dug up from their cold, dark grave and their bones dumped in a Piggly Wiggly parking lot. These biscuit-wrapped wieners have the ignominious honor of being just as revolting store-bought or homemade. It doesn't matter what sort of wieners are used -- whether they are Vienna sausages (weird, salty and drippy) cut-up hot dogs (all-beef ones produce copious amount of stinky grease), turkey hot dogs (foul, drippy processed meat sweat), little smokies (double-cooked fake smoke tastes like cigarette butts) or grocery-store kielbasa links. These pemmican-like tubes contain more fat than meat, and leak into the biscuit blanket, adding an extra-special layer of clear grease to blend with the yellowy butter grease, so that it's nearly impossible to hold one in your fingers without non-consensually softening your cuticles. Don't believe me? Next time you see one on a tray at a gathering, wring it and watch the drip...drip...drip...

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Jenn Wohletz sounds like the kind of party guest who expects the host to prepare filet mignon and homemade beignets for a keg party - and then she would STILL find something to bitch about.


Why do people freak out about oil or grease?  Dear lord the oil or the grease in meat is what makes it good.  No one wants a burger that is all dry and nasty.  Then on the flip side people want to whine when meat is too greasy.  Really this whole thing sounds just about complaining to complain.  Enjoy the fat of the land and get over your mental hangups or stick to your tofu and or salad with no far or something.  I bet the author is the type that actually buys non fat yogurt.  lol


Oh now, come on! You have to include the Costco 7 layer dip! Or the Taquito's!  Costco is the reason this country has an obesity epidemic.


Well, since you only work a half job, I guess you have a ton of time on your hands.  When you are getting ready for a party, prepping  vegetables is very time consuming.  

Since you have so much free time, you should volunteer to bring the vegetable platter to every party you attend.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

Well, I have my undies in a bundle because I am widely known to throw a wicked cocktail party and 2 of the dishes that always vanish first are on this list.  Admittedly, I doctor the hell out of both my queso (Jimmy Dean Hot helps a lot) and my cheese ball (Hidden Valley Ranch and toasted pecans help a lot).  I am perfectly capable of trotting out my fabulous caviar pie and salmon profiteroles but my philosophy is to feed the people what they want.  And, they want my queso and cheese ball with Ritz crackers.  Who am I to overrule the majority?


I recently threw a party (with RoTel queso in a crock pot I admit) and someone brought Cool Ranch Doritos.  I probably made a snotty mental footnote about that, but (after much alcohol, it goes without saying) I'll be damned if at 1:00 a.m. we weren't all huddled around the table, telling stories and laughing while eating queso skin WITH the CRDs.  Sure, they're the prettiest girl at the bowling alley, they need love too.


I recently had delicious warm stuffed dates at a tapas restaurant - stuffed with almonds, wrapped in bacon, with a red wine reduction and sprinkled with blue cheese.  However, these were not finger food for parties.  I don't understand why people think that stuffing perfectly good food with cream cheese is an improvement.

You also omitted the perennial Colorado favorite, bean dip with Velveeta and Rotel.  Adding canned refried beans to a miserable concoction only ups the ante.  Crusty bean dip is even less attractive than crusty cheese dip.  Add those stupid scooper tortilla chips for the full effect.

davebarnes topcommenter

I love Chile con Queso.
Velveeta, Rotel (drained), some shredded cheddar, jalapeños.
You get to eat 5000 kcal before the main course.
And, did I mention beer?


@Julie293  Costco simply offers food to feed the masses.  It's not their fault that people choose to eat what they eat!  I buy from Costco and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.  Obesity isn't a prob with me.


Really?  Did you do any research before making such a ridiculous blanket statement? 

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