Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Ariana. Ariana Wonders, “How do I make the best snack for a party?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Ariana!

Do you like to go out to eat or enjoy a big family meal at home? If you’re like most kids, you probably look forward to what comes after the main course. That’s right! Dessert can often be the sweetest part of any meal.

Of course, many people also look forward to what comes before the main course. What are we talking about? Hors d’oeuvres, of course!

Isn’t that a funny looking word? It doesn’t really sound anything like it looks. Although it might look strange, we bet you’ve heard it before. It’s usually pronounced “or-derves.” And no matter how you say it, they taste great!

Some people call hors d’oeuvres either starters or appetizers. They’re the smaller, snack-sized foods that are served before the main course of a meal. They can come in any shape, size or flavor.

Some hors d’oeuvres are sweet, while others are savory. They can be fruits, vegetables, meats or any combination of those items. Sometimes they’re really fancy. Other times they’re as simple as can be.

The name hors d’oeuvre, in case you hadn’t already guessed, is French. The word hors means “beside” or “outside of,” while oeuvre means “work” and refers to the main dishes of a meal. Therefore, hors d’oeuvres are those snacks served before (outside of) the main courses.

The French didn’t invent hors d’oeuvres, though. Historians believe the French borrowed the idea of hors d’oeuvres from the ancient Greeks and Romans, who served a variety of small dishes prior to the main courses of their feasts.

Of course, hors d’oeuvres can also be served by themselves as a light meal at a reception or party at which no main course will be served. Most often, though, they’re served when there’s a period of time between when guests arrive and the main meal is served. Hors d’oeuvres give hungry guests something to snack on while they’re waiting.

Some common hors d’oeuvres include buffalo wings, caviar, deviled eggs, nachos, sausages, bruschetta, and pigs in a blanket. Of course, these are just a few examples. Chefs around the world have created thousands of different hors d’oeuvres over the years.

Do you have any favorite hors d’oeuvres? Everyone’s tastes are different! Whether you’re eating out or staying home with family, hors d’oeuvres are a great way to begin a meal.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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