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Pirate Themed Appetizers

by Hannah Wahlig

Pirate-themed parties invite guests to embrace their inner swashbuckler, and pirate-approved appetizers set the stage for a festive day of walking the party plank. Whether you're hosting a soiree for grown-ups or your child's tenth birthday party, provide the buccaneers with a treasure trove of tempting treats to whet their appetites for party adventure. Simple adaptations, playful food displays and clever ingredients ensure that your appetizers are as easy to make as they are fun to eat.

Sandwich Creations

Simple finger sandwiches get the pirate treatment through artistic displays and pirate-themed ingredients. Among the more traditional turkey and cheese or cream cheese and cucumber combos, offer ocean-worthy fillings like tuna salad seasoned with a bit of curry powder, or crab salad made with creamy ranch dressing. Cookie cutters shaped like ships, skulls and waves trim the soft bread into pirate-appealing shapes. For a more dramatic offering, turn a submarine sandwich into a pirate ship with sails made from bib lettuce, and a bowsprit carved from a block of cheese. Use toothpicks to secure black olive cannon balls along the edge of the sub, and pre-slice pieces for easy access.

Pirate Party Mixes

Grab-and-go party mixes are playful enough for a kid's party but tasty enough for grown-ups. Put a pirate twist on a classic savory party mix with the addition of fish-shaped cheese crackers. If you're opting for a sweeter mix that includes dried fruit and cinnamon sugar, select the graham-flavored version of the cracker to keep with the sweetness. Highlight the pirate theme by serving up the party mix in a plastic treasure chest with a label that reads, "Pirate Booty." Offer guests sand shovels to scoop the mix into plastic pails for portability.

Inspired by the Sea

A more subtle take on the pirate theme is to opt for seafood-based appetizers suitable for an adult gathering. Fried shrimp toast cut into ocean-themed shapes with cookie cutters can be fried ahead of time, frozen, and then baked on party day to save time. Change up your favorite pasta salad recipe by substituting shell-shaped pasta and adding a can of tuna fish or crab meat to the mix. For a creative serving option, portion that pasta salad out onto clam shell halves. Seafood dips and spreads like crab dip, smoked salmon spread or clam dip are tasty additions for a pirate-themed cracker platter.

Tropical Treats

Marooned pirates spend ample time on deserted islands hiding their treasure, so tropical appetizers fit the bill for pirate-themed festivities. Plantain chips resemble gold doubloons, and a savory mango salsa for dipping is a tropical treat. Treat your shrimp cocktail to a coating of coconut and bake the shrimp until crispy for a sweet starter. For extra pirate goodness, serve shrimp on sword-shaped plastic toothpicks with a pineapple salsa for dipping. Use a paring knife to slice pieces of melon into skull and cross bone shapes for a pirate fruit salad. Serve the salad in a hollowed-out pineapple or watermelon and offer toothpicks with adorned with pirate flags for serving.

About the Author

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

Photo Credits

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