Canapés, generally savoury, are one of the most common types of hors d’oeuvre served at formal gatherings. They are eaten standing up and their small size makes them perfect as bite-sized finger food. Seafood, sobrassada, tuna, ham… The toppings vary widely, from the more traditional (like ham or cheese canapés) to more original, sophisticated versions (like caviar or ham and pineapple). Nowadays, canapés are common in the catering world and restaurants in general, and there are options for toppings and bases to suit the tastes of any guest. But, how did it all start?
The origin of artisan canapés
There are many, many theories about how this savoury snack got its start. Most say they were invented by King Alfonso X, the Wise. Legend has it that, in the 13th century, the king ordered all tavern owners in Castile to serve a bit of food with their wine. At that time, this requirement was met with a simple piece of cheese or slice of ham. This way of serving a bit of food is reminiscent of tapas, which experts say have the same origin as canapés.
All in a name, the big difference between tapas and canapés
Although they share a common origin, there are some differences between tapas and canapés. The main, or most obvious, difference is what we call them. And where the name comes from. Canapé is from the French work meaning sofa or bed. Any small culinary presentation on a piece of bread, puff pastry, short crust or similar (which is the bed) can be called a ‘canapé’. These bread bases can be prepared in three simple ways: toasted, with butter or fried in oil. At Pastry Factory, we serve them with butter or, with sobrassada for example, just the topping.
An endless variety of tasty bites
Today, there are many different styles of this much-celebrated snack, which differ greatly from the traditional options. Nevertheless, they are always bite sized. Artisan canapés are another specialty at Pastry Factory. We make assortments of classic canapés with 10 varieties. They are all our own recipes, handmade on a base of one or two slices of bread.