Summer finger foods are a lot of fun and there are plenty of options out there, from fancy foods like bacon wrapped scallops to more basic foods like chips and dips. So, how do you choose your summer finger foods?
In order to choose your summer finger foods, consider the following three questions:
What is the event?
The event type will help you to determine some of the better options for summer finger foods. For example, a summer tea will be a great event for cucumber sandwiches, macaroons and other delicate pastries. A outdoor summer family party or bar-b-q calls for heartier summer finger foods like smoked mini dogs, deviled eggs and fruit or vegetable trays.
The event you need finger foods for should help you decide what to use. How formal is the event? How many people are attending? If you have an event with a hundred or more people, you will want to find summer finger foods that are simple to prepare, as it will take a lot of work. For example, a crab and cream cheese roll up is a great finger food and something most everyone will like, but it takes time to prepare, cut and serve, so it is probably a poor choice for a large crowd.
Who’s eating? Adults or Kids?
Your next factor should be who is eating your summer finger foods? While kids love stuff like meatballs, the red sauce they are cooked in can turn into a disaster without close supervision. Adults may really enjoy an artichoke or spinach dip for toasted bread but kids would prefer something far simpler like a tortilla chip and cheese dip. So, consider your audience and what their taste preferences may be.
Kids love things like pizza rolls, mini cheesecakes and bites of chicken While adults usually have a more refined palette and enjoy foods such as shrimp with dips, spring rolls and oysters. When planning your menu of summer finger foods, keep in mind who will be at your event. If you will have a mix, make a mix of items to serve.
Will you have heating and cooling?
If you do not have coolers or ice trays to keep cold things chilled down or something to keep hot foods heated, it can be difficult to serve certain items. For example, Swedish meatballs require a crockpot so they stay hot while a fruit tray would require ice packs to keep it cool and fresh. Where is your event being held? If you’re having a summer shindig in the southern Florida sun, foods that are wont to melt easily or that need to stay cool might not be great choices. Will you have an oven to warm up the foods before serving? If so, mini sausages probably will work well. Will you have a cooling system of some kind to keep cheeses, fruits, etc. cold? If not, opt for items that require neither, such as sweet breads, chips and salsa, chips without dips, various vegetables and cookies.
Keeping your audience, event type and heating and cooling facilities will narrow down the hundreds of possible finger foods to a feasible list of maybe 15. Once you’ve got a head count, you can then narrow it down even further so that you will have the perfect summer finger foods for your event.