I consider appetizers to be the foreplay of a great meal. Their job, first and foremost, is to be delicious. Appetizers are little bites to savor in anticipation of an upcoming feast. They should be easy to eat, with or without utensils. The toothpick has become a universal instrument used to spear passed appetizers as well as apps sitting on the counter during a gathering. I use the term “toothpick” lightly as skewers (fancy or not) or even pretzels do double duty as an edible version of the tool. If it’s a festive occasion, decked-out, frilly and flag-topped picks are also very popular.

24 Appetizers on Toothpicks24 Appetizers on Toothpicks

In all cases, toothpicks make bite-sized foods easier to grab and consume, with very little effort or mess. That’s probably why they remain so popular. Here are 24 appetizers on toothpicks you can serve at your next event. Click the Launch Gallery button above or below to check them all out.

Cathy Pollak founded the popular recipe blog NoblePig.com in 2008 while waiting for her first vintage wine to be ready for sale. Her Oregon winery, Noble Pig and blog under the same name keep her busy throughout the year. If she’s not in the vineyard you can guarantee she’s in the kitchen creating her next recipe.