Friendly Foods


Have you ever gone to a networking event and suddenly are cornered by that one guy who sloshes his drink around, chews with his mouth open and does not understand personal boundaries? It happens. And sometimes we can’t control those encounters. But, one thing you (or whoever plans your soirees) can rectify: stank food.

Yes, stank food. Food that possesses that pungent and lingering aroma, and makes those ‘trapped’ moments all the much worse. Why is it that in those panicked moments, there’s blue cheese, raw onion, possibly garlic or fish that’s wafting in that bubble? Here are some hors d’oeuvres to offer at your next event that won’t have you running away from your guest’s halitosis.

Fruits and Cheeses. Fruits are a wonderful palette cleanser, and offer a healthy option for guests. Fruits are gluten free, dairy free, and vegan/vegetarian friendly, and pair well with cheese. When selecting cheeses, you do want to find a variety of cheese that will complement your fruit well, but be sure to avoid abrasive choices. Maybe pass on the Limburger and opt for Mahon. In our case, we played with our food: we compressed watermelon squares and topped with a bit of goat cheese and black pepper.

Skewers. Simply preparing a skewer with a few items as garnish or marinades will not only look appealing, it will smell and taste appealing, without residual aftermath. Instead of a pesto chicken skewer try out lemon and rosemary chicken skewer wrapped with prosciutto. You’ve got flavor profiles pairing well, and it’s still a hearty bite to fill your guests.

Hot Hors d’Oeuvres. A very easy way to avoid some stank foods is to serve hot and prepared foods. Some of our biggest bad breath culprits are only bad news when they are raw or fresh. Garlic, onions and olives, for example. However, if you cook those off and serve an item like a beef empanada, you’ve got a delightful array of hot veggies and meat packed tightly in a crispy crust. They smell great, they taste great, and they don’t offend your senses or your guest’s nostrils.

Herbs & Bubbles. Garnishes on dishes do sometimes serve a purpose. The fresh parsley on my pasta dish makes it photograph beautifully for Instagram, but save that parsley til the end and you’ll notice is acts as a great breath neutralizer. Same goes for basil and mint, the latter being a terrific digestif. And, let’s not forget beverages. A great way to knock out coffee breath is carbonated water. You can also try green tea and ginger, all of which are great for digestion, to boot.

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