What’s the Right Spelling: Appetiser or Appetizer?

Spelling mistakes are quite common; they can and do happen to anybody. Thanks to the autocorrect feature on our mobile phone, such mistakes have reduced considerably. Appetizer vs appetiser is one of those spelling that trips people up. In this article, we’ll look at the right way to spell this word. While

How to Spell Appetizer

Now that you’re a bit more informed about appetizers, the next thing becomes how do you spell appetizers? Is it spelled “appetizer,” or “appetiser?”

“Appetiser” is the preferred way of spelling by the British while “appetizer” is the American spelling. What that means is that both spellings are correct as the American spelling has gained large acceptance across the globe.

“Appetiser” and “appetizer” are examples of words that are spelled with an “s” in British English and a “z” in American English. The first use of the spelling appetizer was in 1820.

Some restaurants have run advertisements that call appetizers “appeteasers” since they can sometimes be too small.

What Are Appetizers?

Whether you choose to call it hors d’oeuvres, finger food, or appetizer, it all means the same things. Finger foods are typically served before a meal, or in between meals. They are also called starters or antipasti.

Finger foods can be complex arrangements requiring time and dedication, or they can be something simple. It depends entirely on the occasion. They are usually paired with cocktails and served before the main dish.

Finger foods are commonly seen at banquets, dinners, and weddings. They are especially favored at wedding parties as guests can munch on them while waiting for the party to kick off. Hors d’oeuvres are also served at long parties to keep people going especially if the meal has already been served. It’s also great at brunch and mid-afternoon parties where there’s no plan to serve any main meal so guests have something to snack. Several restaurants also offer appetizers that you can order before starting on your main meal. Before we answer the question how do you spell appetizer, let us take a look at some features and types of appetizers

Appetizers should be full of flavors, small in size, and affordable.

Types of Finger Foods

Finger foods or appetizers are classified into the following

  • Cocktails
  • Canapés
  • Relishes/Crudités
  • Hors d’oeuvres
  • Chips and Dips
  • Salads


Cocktails consist of several finger-sized pieces of shellfish, fish, fruits, and drinks. Whether it’s a fruit cocktail or a shrimp, or a fish cocktail, the ingredients used should be fresh, attractive, and appealing to the eye. Fruit cocktails can be orange, grapefruit, pineapple, or tomato.


Canapés can be single-bite sized or two-bite sized. They consist of three parts, the base, the topping or spread, and the garnish. Canapés are savory food items that can be served either hot or cold. Ideally, canapés should be colorful, fresh, dainty, and petite. As far as food items go, canapés give you a chance to express yourself creatively as there is no fixed recipe. You can combine different colored food items and serve on small fancy cuts of biscuit or bread. You can also serve each colored food item individually.


These are raw, pickled vegetables. They are usually made from crisp vegetable items such as celery sticks or carrot sticks. Relishes/crudités are often served to guest in boat-shaped dishes.

Hors d’oeuvres

Hors d’oeuvres are tiny portions of highly seasoned foods. They can be served hot or cold. The main feature of hors d’oeuvres is that they should be simple. Although hors d’oeuvres are usually served cold, hot ones are also available.

Chips & Dips

Potato chips, raw vegetables, and crackers together with sweet or savory dips make for an excellent starter. The main thing to focus on when making your dip is consistency. It should be thick enough to stick to whatever food item you’ll be eating it with. At the same time, you don’t want it so thick that you’re unable to scoop it up without breaking your chip, cracker, or vegetable.


Some people may not think of salads as starters or finger foods, but they are. Salads served in small portions make excellent finger foods. They are two types of salads.

  • Plain Salads – examples are tomato salad, cucumber salad, and beetroot salad.
  • Compound Salad – this could be a Caesar salad, salad Russe, or salad Waldref. A Caesar salad consists of garlic, croutons, lettuce, and grated parmesan cheese with a sprinkle of vinaigrette dressing. Salad Russe is a mixed vegetable salad with a dollop of mayonnaise. Salad Waldref is a mixed fruit salad that can include apples, walnuts, celery, etc, and some mayonnaise.

History of Appetizers

Appetizers were originally introduced by the Greeks or more precisely, the Athenians in the early 3rd century B.C. They would serve sturgeon, cockles, sea urchins, and garlic as a buffet. However, the idea was largely unpopular because back then, they didn’t think to follow it with the main course. Since appetizers are tiny meals, they left most people hungry and unsatisfied.

Appetizers didn’t catch on until the 19th century. By then, meals had evolved into a more structured ordeal. The Romans were the originators of aperitifs, and they classified them as liquid appetizers that usually contained alcohol.

Aperitifs had two functions, to have you salivating for the main dishes, and to help with the forthcoming digestion process. These drinks were typically shared from a single glass and passed around the table till it reaches all members of the party. Aperitifs are still served today but together with the food appetizers.

The word “appetizer vs appetiser” as it is used in England and America originated in the 1800s. It refers to a more local flavor of foods than hors d’oeuvres. At first, appetizers were served between the main course and dessert as a sort of refresher. But by the turn of the 20th century, it had become a precursor to the main course. Appetizers can include anything from chips, nuts, fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. They are typically served before the main course at large family lunches, dinners, and parties.

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