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Olympics - appetizers from other countries

Like many other people, I am having an Olympics opening ceremony party. Unfortunately, I have no ideas for food. Instead of going Russian, I'd like things from a variety of countries. I'd like to have heavy appetizers, such that there is no main course but people still feel satisfied. And because I work long hours and it's a Friday, I'd like make-ahead foods so that I can get a lot in the freezer this weekend. I know, a lot of asks. I'd welcome any suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. What a fabulous idea!

    Will give this some thought with a real text editor open and post some ideas.

    1. Sweden - Gravlax with Hovmästarsås (a mustard dill sauce)
      France - Gougeres

      1. taco bar/mini tacos? italian sausages with peppers? mini pizzas? mac-and-cheese muffins? wontons? pot stickers?

        1. I can't imagine you would do all of these, but some ideas. If I had been smart enough to consider this idea, I would probably be serving some soups. My criteria was finger foods, most of which you could make ahead, and stuff into the oven the night of your gathering:

          United States:
          tons of options

          tons of options

          taco bar


          chicken livers of some kind


          hand pies

          mini quiche

          dried ham with rolls
          gazpacho [though this is a bad time of year for that]

          kale and sausage sooup

          Norway [will have to represent all those Nordic countries]:
          smoked salmon with a mustard sauce on rye crackers

          arancini rice balls

          sausage over spaetzle
          braised cabbage

          mini pitas with some hummus and yogurt dressing

          marinated vegetables
          kisir in lettuce leaves


          stuffed cabbage

          the -stans:
          oh dear. They love horse meat. No idea!

          or if your budget allows blintzes with caviar

          Slavic/Baltic Countries:
          stuffed vegetables

          scallion pancakes
          noodle soup


          broiled Shishito & beef skewers


          satay with dipping sauce

          grilled shrimp
          vegemite on toasts [ugh!]

          Merguez sausage over bulghar

          the rest of Africa [clearly my knowledge is sparse here]:
          I have nothing!

          1 Reply
          1. re: smtucker

            for Korea: dumplings (mandu), bought or homemade frozen & boil or pan fry right before serving.

            Or make jeon (savory pancakes), either individual ones from veggies or meat, or make a larger one and slice into pieces like a pizza for serving. I've made them a day ahead and while not as good as hot off the skillet, it's still quite good warmed & crisped in the oven.

            Ddeok galbi are little Korean meat patties (like meatballs) that can be cooked ahead & frozen. I like this recipe from Aeri's kitchen:

            For Spain, I've made tortilla a day ahead & reheated in the oven, works quite well.

          2. Love this idea! Might have to borrow it for my hopefully USA hockey party. . .

            Cheeses of the world. The "signature" cheese from each country, so could be English Cheddar, Parm from Italy, Dutch Gouda, Indian Paneer, etc

            Norway, if you are thinking Lefse, just buy it. . .

            1. You could make potato soup (call it Russian potato soup) then have apps from different countries...french breads, cheeses from Italy and Norway, olives from Turkey, Greek salad, etc.

              1. Don't forget Jamaica! Their 2 man bobsleigh team got enough donations to go. Jerk chicken skewers? Not the most make-ahead friendly but could marinate overnight and broil quickly before the party.

                1 Reply
                1. re: charlesbois

                  Those jamaican meat patties are popular around here, spiced meat (beef?) in a yellow-ish pastry square

                2. These are great guys! Keep them coming!

                  1. Great suggestions on here. I don't know if adult beverages will be included, but we went to an Olympic party in '08 that had all different liquors with flags for the country of origin pasted on the front of the bottle. Also there were multiple mixers and a menu of popular drinks in each country to mix.

                    If you're interested, I could check with my friend to see if she still has the list.

                    1. my mom has a Pinterest board called the games with tons of olympic food and cocktails on it..

                      1. For eastern europe pierogies and borscht in mugs(served hot, can make veg for meatless guests)

                        Many countries have their own "dumpling" and those are great apps to either make ahead or buy:
                        Gyoza or potstickers
                        Shu mai
                        Ravioli (breaded and fried for an app?)

                        Spanish tortilla is perfect for apps but not great frozen and defrosted... Maybe a french quiche and then do pan con tomate from spain?

                        Swedish flavored vodkas (aquavit) are easy to make

                        Swedish meatballs would be perfect

                        Rectangular thin pizzas- easy to cut into strips or squares and make lots of varieties

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                          Swedish meatballs! Great addition.

                        2. Just bumping this thread as we are thinking of doing something similar. There's some great ideas in this thread.

                          I have one Russian cookbook on my shelves which I'll be pulling tomorrow for inspiration.

                          After seeing the German team today, I definitely want something German on the menu! Pity most food options aren't as colourful as their outfits!

                          For Canada we're doing back bacon on a bun sliders

                          Meatballs for Italy but w 3 sauce choices in the colours of their flag (Pesto, Parmesan Cream and Marinara)

                          Definitely some mini Jamaican patties to celebrate the return of the bobsled team!

                          For the UK- miniature Yorkshire puddings stuffed with rare roast beef and horseradish cream...a house favourite

                          I'll have to pick a country that will bring some seafood to the table...

                          Still thinking and planning...lots of fun!!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Hmmm.. the Scandinavian countries are all big on fish? Great idea! Just watching the ceremonies now..
                            Perogies would be great for the Ukraine or Russia.. with fried onions and bacon, of course..

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Herring for Sweden. A rye toast with the herring in mustard sauce or a dill sour cream sauce.

                              For germany soft pretzels with spicy mustard to dip, or just some delightful german beers :)

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                For your seafood, you could do gambas al ajillo for Spain or gravlax for Sweden or some sushi for Japan.

                                Although gravlax with mustard-dill sauce is easy and classic for Sweden, my favorite Swedish appetizer is toast skagen (also seafood).

                                1. re: stockholm28

                                  Not sure why you'd leave out Russia 'apps'.
                                  If you change your mind how about buying some super sized 'O'Henry chocolate bars? Serve with reused plastic tumblers full of cheap potato vodka you've added a drop of yellow food coloring to. Call the 'app' "Putin's Feral Dogs".