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Usually reserved for the cocktail hour, canapés are also popular at informal gatherings. Give vent to your imagination and you can be sure to come up with unique canapé recipes.

Canapé can be best described as a versatile food, a blend of cosmopolitan tastes in sync with health conscious lifestyles. A Canapé is a classic delicacy uniquely reserved the cocktail hour. However, you can include Canapés for an informal meal with friends and family, brunch parties or an impromptu gathering.

You can get creative and imaginative when it comes to covering or stuffing Canapés with spreads, sauces and filling. In fact, chief chefs at restaurants evaluate the culinary expertise of trainee chefs by finding the most awesome, inspiring Canapé preparation with unusual permutation and combination of toppings. Such is the versatility of Canapé that with a base of bread, toast or crackers and varied assortments, you can make the most enchanting, delicious snack.


The French word for 'couch', Canapé is also a type of hors d'oeuvres. It is best not to get distracted by the literal meaning of the word hors d'oeuvres i.e out of work. The French word actually means snack foods served before or outside the main dishes of meal. The base is typically made of bread, toast or crackers. Canapes can have spreads made with flavored butters, cream cheese or a combination of both.

Other possible spreads and garnishes include cooked meat, seafood, confits or purees, fresh vegetables or herbs. You keep the spread as the principal ingredient of the Canapé or apply the spread sparingly and affix a garnish to the base. Its flavor can be hot, sweet, spicy or savory. Canapes preferably should be thin, tiny to be eaten in one bite. Canapes can be made in attractive shapes, circle, square, strips or a rectangle.

Simple Canapé preparation

  • Select the Canapé base.

  • Choose to deep fry in fat, saute or toast the base

  • Decide on simple or elaborate topping

  • Select toppings - cheese, anchovies or other appetizing food

  • Mix toppings selected and keep refrigerated before hand.

  • Decide on whether it should be hot or cold Canapé.

  • Keep a sharp knife for perfect trimming/cutting Canapés

  • Give a thin coating of softened butter on the base

  • Arrange the toppings in the most appealing manner

Points to remember

  • Canapés can be refrigerated until serving time

  • If refrigerated, remember to cover with a damp cloth.

  • Arrange artistically on a serving tray with darker colors on the outside

  • Do not fill the tray all at once, replenish as and when required

  • Never mix and serve both hot and cold Canapés.

Simple Cheese Canapé recipe

Keep ready bread, grated cheese, salt and cayenne.

  • Toast bread

  • Cut toasted bread into circular pieces

  • Spread thick layer of grated cheese (season with salt and cayenne)

  • Keep these pieces on a tin sheet

  • Bake till cheese is melted

  • Serve hot.

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