What’s one of the most common elements of a holiday event that guests remember months after the fact? No, it’s not the IT guy’s hand-stitched Frosty the Snowman sweater (hopefully).

It’s the food, duh…

Appetizers and light bites are all the rage at events these days. They’re simple to make and convenient to hold when engaged in conversation.

Hornblower has identified five appetizer trends for this year’s holiday party. Check them out!

Street Food – Tacos
Thanks in part to the taco-truck craze, humble snacks sold by street vendors in cities around the world suddenly have an honored place indoors. The brightest street-food star is the street taco — a smaller, spicier version of the familiar Mexican snack. Typical versions include: mini tacos filled with carnitas, chicken or steak topped with guacamole and cilantro or tacos filled with seared beef tenderloin, diced cucumbers, avocado, Cotija cheese and a drizzle of chipotle cream sauce.

A hearty spaghetti topping for previous generations, the venerable meatball is rolling onto a surprising number of appetizer menus this year.

Although sliders have been around for a while, they’re now diversifying, with petite ground-beef burgers joined by other types of mini sandwiches, even wraps. Sliders may appear as trios (sometimes with three different fillings) or paired with other bite-size appetizers, offering consumers the appeal of variety.

Asian Appetizers
Wontons, pot stickers, lettuce wraps and other Asian appetizers beyond egg rolls are showing up in greater variety, even in non-ethnic restaurants.

As the most obvious expression of a more general trend toward Mediterranean-style appetizers and dips, hummus is often seen by consumers as more healthful.

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