As we sometimes make so many canapés (sometimes in the thousands), we end up dreaming about them or making them in our sleep - we do get a little obsessed! So what is a canapé and what, in our opinion, makes them perfect?
A canapé is a small, mouth-sized appetiser, usually served before dinner or as the main food event at a cocktail party or soirée (we are so French in this blog). They are served on trays or from the table as delicate, tasty bites that are easy to eat with one hand whilst you have a glass in the other. The idea is that a variety of canapés are circulated regularly so you have a selection of tastes throughout the evening. For a guest it can be a good way to try new things as it's just one taste!
A canapé is considered quite elegant and sophisticated - a far cry from the vol au vonts of the 70s (although there is nothing wrong with a good vol au vont!). Sometime called hors d'oeuvres (more French), appetisers or crostini (small slices of baguette with a variety of toppings), canapés are a fun, colourful, lively way to entertain.
So canapés, with their associations with elegance, carry a certain amount of etiquette (we are virtually fluent now) which we'd like to share...
As host, make sure you have plenty of choice and cover all bases with vegans, vegetarians, meat-eaters, fish eaters and those with a sweet tooth all catered for. Ensure also that you have made provision for any remaining sticks, spoons, prawn tails or bones. Also it's good to not provide messy canapés - anything that oozes, dribbles or spills! Napkins are important too.
As a guest, make sure you never leave any remains on a clean table and always dispose of your remaining bits appropriately. Only ever take one at a time!
Lovely choices for canapés are mini versions of anything you enjoy at 'normal size' - tiny quiches, pies, toasted bases with delicious toppings, mousses, samosas, tarts and skewers.
And above all, every range must look the same - same size, flavours, colours, everything. You'll see rulers in a Michelin starred restaurant, measuring each one to the millimetre!
Enjoy mes amis!