Chips and dip are the ultimate party food, and we aren’t talking about chocolate fountains and fondue stations. The act of dipping is why thumbs were invented. Like the word deep, dip comes from a Germanic base—d(e)up, meaning ‘deep or hollow.’ In Old English, it meant quite specifically ‘immerse.’ No one has laid claim to the distinction of the dip, but French onion as a flavor is said to have emerged in the 17th century. Sour cream was invented in the US somewhere around 1815-1825, thus creating the dip of all dips somewhere around that time. Many cuisine-related sources claim that hummus is one of the oldest known prepared foods in the Middle East stretching back to antiquity. Here are versions of the classic and dip-tastic combos that are suitable to serve at any size event. You won’t need Wet Ones, guests’ hands will be licked clean.
Chips and Salsa—A chip and dip bar would not be complete without the founding fathers. Set out several different salsas that vary in spiciness so guests can go hot, hot, hot, or a little milder to start off their night. Try this mango salsa recipe for a tropical salsa or for a sweeter treat, try fruit salsa with cinnamon chips.
Make-Your-Own Guacamole Bar—Everyone thinks their version of guacamole is the best. Allow guests to create their take on green stuff with different toppings, herbs, and seasonings for them to mix in. Serve with shots of margaritas.
Fruit and Veggie Bar—Parties don’t mean you have to ditch your diet. This fruit and veggie focused bar is as healthy as it is tasty. Get a few classic dips like bleu cheese, ranch, and a thick balsamic for guests to nosh on prior to the main courses.
French Fry Bar—Jazz up comfort food by serving French fries, sweet potato, or truffle fries with three gourmet dip choices: garlic aioli, truffle mayo, and chipotle ketchup. Let guests pile high. Servings of French fries can get cutesy if you wrap them in paper that use the colors of the wedding or just plain brown paper with a personalized message from the guest of honor. To limit waste, display sauces like this to embody the carnival-like feel of the bar.
Bruschetta Bar—Serve this classic with a twist. This is super easy, can be made in advance, served cold, and is inexpensive….all the right qualities when serving the masses. Have a basket of bread with all kinds of bruschetta surrounding it. Guests will love creating combinations.
Hummus Bar—The humble and healthy chickpea dip just got a whole lot more interesting. Serve the dip in various flavors, colors, and spices accompanied by all the little finger food snacks you can think of to dip into it, like vegetables and chips. Let the hummus add a bit of brightness to your dip station.
Wing Bar with Three Dipping Sauces—Wings are good all year round, not just during football season. Here are three sauces that’ll have guests licking their plates from Aimee Broussad’s blog. With crispy wings served with peanut butter dipping sauce or spicy remoulade, these recipes will be hitting every taste bud.
Pretzel Bar—Pretzels with mustard are sooo yesterday’s news. Serve large, soft pretzels with three different flavor profile sauces to hit every guest’s taste buds. Serve pretzels with dips like this Spinach Dip, a Kicked Up Cheddar Cheese sauce, or this Chocolate Olive Oil Glaze that goes well with everything. After a night of booze, guests will be happy for the carb-o-load.