Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The concept of canapes originated as small open-faced sandwiches. Today, of course, we pay little attention to classic definitions for the most part. Canape production can be as varied as your imagination will allow.

For the more traditional canape a "base" is created {small piece of bread, cut to size and shape then toasted} spread with some sort of flavorful butter or spreadable cheese or maybe a flavored mayonnaise. This spread prevents the bread from drying out, acting as a moisture barrier, while simultaneously adding flavor and textural contrast. On top of this we add the "main ingredient", the "Star of the Show", and a garnish. The garnish works to allow a fresh, appealing presentation.

Canapes fall under the more general category of "Composed hors d'oeuvres", a category which also include such other preparations as barquettes, tartlets, spoon presentations, and profiteroles (savory pate a choux puffs)

More modern versions of canapes do not restrict themselves to bread as a base. Other choices? Sliced vegetables, fruits, wontons, hollowed out tomatoes, endive or other leaves, polenta, vegetable crisps, and on and on.

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