The art of fine snacking
Food n' Wine
The Art of Snacking

You’re having your pals over; or the girls, or a mix of genders. In short, you’re having company and the plan is inebriation. Inebriation to a point where everything stays pleasant of course. Ah, this is nice. Everyone is having a drink and a laugh. But, oh no, there aren’t any munchables. Quick! Open a bag of chips and put it out for your guests.

As you have dealt with this problem it occurs to you that a bag of chips is just a bag of chips. It’s bland, greasy, in the shiny, torn receptacle with void promises of whole foods and all natural plant oil. There is a better way. Here we present you with a list of drinking snacks that are a tiny bit of work but will be received much better by your guests. They’ll go “oooh” or “yummy” before they pick one up instead of absentmindedly grasping those ever crumbly chips.

Here goes:

Chili and lime nutsmixed nuts

Pea- or any other kind of nuts are great drinking snacks. Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s simple, easy and savory. Nuts are good. They are even better when dressed up with chili and lime. You could call them tom yam nuts.

Get a pan, put in some oil and wait till it’s moderately hot. Put in the nuts and sprinkle them with salt (only if they’re unsalted nuts!) and chili flakes and toast them for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in a squeeze of lime juice and chopped cilantro and voila. You can use almost any type of nuts for this recipe.

Veggie chipsveggie chips

This one requires a bit more work but it’s definitely doable. You can use a lot of different vegetables. The general principle is to slice your vegetables thinly. Many recipes will say you need a mandolin but you can easily use a simple vegetable peeler. Scrape the vegetable peeler along the vegetables to create the thinnest slices, season them and pop them in the oven. This link has some delicious recipes and you can find many more online.

Cream cheese and radish toastcheese radish toast

Toast might seem a bit weird at first to offer your guests but if you think about it it makes complete sense. A crunchy piece of bread with a flavorful topping is easy to put together and delicious. This particular is a favorite of mine, it’s light sharp, tangy and savory. Slice radishes and chives thinly. Mix them with equal parts sour cream and goat cheese. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and put it on a piece of toast. Your guests will think the world of you.

Dipssun dried tomato and cheese dip

Dips are great, especially with something crunchy. Crackers, toasted rye, chips or whatever you like. They don’t require a lot of work either. This recipe is a classic and will be loved by everyone. It takes only a couple of minutes. Take equal amounts of ricotta (mascarpone works too) and sun dried tomatoes and blend till smooth. The best part about this that you can tell everyone it’s your secret recipe that takes hours to put together.

Savory popcornsavory popcorn

Popcorn can be dressed in a range of flavors beyond the traditional ones. Cover your popcorn in a little bit of butter, a squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro for a fresh feast. If you’re looking for something more umami rich try wasabi and soy sauce. Another way of taking popcorn to a new height is using a touch of fresh rosemary, black pepper and parmesan. Last but not least is a coconut curry version. Use coconut oil and toasted coconut flakes together with a dash of ginger and curry powder.

Set forth good friends and make your guests or yourself happy with these delicious drinking snacks. And if it seems a bit snobbish, it’s not. Everyone else is just too lazy to make an effort. Cheers!

[Article by Alexander Eeckhout]