I’d like to point out the increase of party fare served on or with crackers around this time of year. Why? Because I’m a contrarian. The more cracker-based cuisine I encounter, the less excited I get. Rather than get all Martha and make my own, whether or not they feature Maytag blue cheese and caraway seeds, I’ve hammered out a far easier and more logical route to appetizer glory: pig.

Placing your starter of choice on a meaty shard of oven-crisped prosciutto will delight everyone from glutard to body-builder (and irritate every vegetarian and vegan to boot). Using dense, ashy smoked mozzarella rather than its fresh counterpart ensures a nice, crispy chip. And using our fool-proof homemade pesto recipe and how-to guide on roasting perfect red peppers ensures that you know how to make pesto and roast red peppers.