Finger food

Finger food
Afternoon tea finger foods
Finger food being served

Finger food is food meant to be eaten directly using the hands, in contrast to food eaten with a knife and fork, chopsticks, or other utensils.[1] In some cultures, food is almost always eaten with the hands; for example, Ethiopian cuisine is eaten by rolling various dishes up in injera bread.[2] In the South Asian subcontinent, food is traditionally always eaten with hands. Foods considered street foods are frequently, though not exclusively, finger foods.



In the Western world, finger foods are often either appetizers (hors d'oeuvres) or entree/main course items. In the Western world, examples of generally accepted finger food are miniature beef pies, sausage rolls, sausages on sticks, cheese and olives on sticks, chicken drumsticks or wings, spring rolls, miniature quiches, samosas, sandwiches or other such based foods, such as pitas or items in buns, onion bhajis, potato wedges, vol au vents, several other such small items and risotto balls (arancini). Other well-known foods that are generally eaten with the hands include pizza, hot dogs, fruit and bread.[3] Dessert items such as cookies, pastries, ice cream in cones, or ice pops are often eaten with the hands but are not, in common parlance, considered finger foods. In East Asia, foods like pancakes or flatbreads (bing 饼) and street foods such as kebabs (chuan 串) are often eaten with the hands.


In many Western countries there are catering businesses that supply finger-foods for events such as weddings, engagements, birthdays and other milestone celebrations. For weddings, in particular, finger foods are becoming more popular because they are less expensive and offer more flexibility with menu choices.[citation needed] Gourmet hors d'oeuvres such as quiches, pâté, caviar, and tea sandwiches are suitable for a formal event, whereas more familiar food such as sliced fruits, deli trays, crackers, and cookies are preferred at more casual celebrations.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Kay Halsey (1999). Finger Food. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9625934448. 
  2. ^ J.H. Arrowsmith-Brown (trans.), Prutky's Travels in Ethiopia and other Countries with notes by Richard Pankhurst (London: Hakluyt Society, 1991)
  3. ^ "Finger Food",, 11 January 2002
  4. ^ Wedding Finger Food Reception, Melissa Mayntz at, 6 November 2007

Further reading

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • finger food — n. a food or foods intended to be eaten with the fingers, as hors d oeuvres served at a cocktail party or fried chicken at a picnic …   English World dictionary

  • Finger-Food — Fin|ger|food, Fin|ger Food [ fɪŋgɐfu:d ], das; [s] [engl. finger food, zu finger = Finger u. food = Essen, Nahrung]: Gesamtheit der Speisen, die so zubereitet sind, dass sie [auf Partys od. Empfängen] ohne Besteck [mit den Fingern] zum Mund… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • finger food — noun food to be eaten with the fingers • Hypernyms: ↑nutriment, ↑nourishment, ↑nutrition, ↑sustenance, ↑aliment, ↑alimentation, ↑victuals * * * noun, pl ⋯ foods [count, noncount] US …   Useful english dictionary

  • finger food — noun Food that can be eaten with ones hands, as opposed to requiring utensils; often appetizers and snacks. He didnt serve a full lunch or dinner at the party, but there was plenty of finger food to munch …   Wiktionary

  • finger food — food intended to be picked up with the fingers and eaten. * * * …   Universalium

  • finger food — fin′ger food n. coo food intended to be eaten with the fingers …   From formal English to slang

  • finger food — /ˈfɪŋgə fud/ (say fingguh foohd) noun 1. food suitable for eating without utensils, such as savouries, dips, canapés, etc. 2. pieces of food which have been cut to a size and shape suitable for a young child to pick up with their fingers …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Finger-Food — D✓Fịn|ger|food, Fịn|ger Food, das; ] (ohne Besteck zu essende Speisen) …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

  • finger food — noun Date: 1928 a food that is to be held with the fingers for eating …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • finger food — noun food served in a form that can conveniently be eaten with the fingers …   English new terms dictionary

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