Canapés – a feast for the eyes



I love canapés. Not only are they delicious, but usually they are gorgeous and an absolute treat to look at as well as to enjoy.

I am surprised at how often people hate putting out canapés as they get bored of the usual chips and biltong (in our case in South Africa at least). It is boring yes, so why not add some new treats, use beautiful plates or display boards and make it, well, an artwork? As I have said numerous times, we not only eat with our mouth, but with our eyes as well. If something is beautiful your guests will immediately notice it, it can add to your décor or just plainly be beautifully perfect.

Some new ingredients to try:

– Cheeses – we all love cheese, but please do try something other that Gouda or Cheddar. Like Camembert, Brie, goats cheese rolled in herbs or pepper add a cream cheese with a delicious flavour like rosmary and olives or spring onion or maybe roasted jalapenos.

– Add biscuits or fresh bread to eat with the cheese – instead of the usual plain crackers try something a bit different like a cracker with pepper or herbs added or wheatsworth biscuits, malba toast is a great treat. Try crostinis with olive and rosemary pieces. Try fresh sliced ciabata bread with real butter. A sliced up French loaf can look beautiful in the right bowl as well.

– Add some flavour – here you can dig out those pestos and jams you have and never use. Add a preserve or two like fig jam or gooseberry jam. Add pestos to go with the cheese, like basil pesto, sundried tomato pesto. Try olive tapenade for a change. We all know sweet chilli sauce by now, but it stays a hit so you can add that if the other options are not available.

– Add some bold colours like blue or red. Fresh cherries or berries like blueberries or strawberries.

– Add something other than just carbs, like olives, smoked mussels. Try fresh baby veg that can be dipped in a cream cheese instead of having to dip crackers. Add a fruit like sliced pear or apple.

MOST IMPORTANTLY use beautiful plates to serve your snacks in, it makes the world of a difference. Use pretty knives and small spoons, not your usual cutlery you eat with and no plastic utensils unless there are children involved or you are on a picnic. If you serve butter or sauce, put a little bit in a small bowl, no-one will be finishing a big tub of butter and no-one wants to see the plastic tub with its branding, no large plastic bottles to go next to the delicate canapés.

Also please do note, I gave a lot of examples now, but less is more. Choose 1 or 2 cheeses, add one or maybe two pestos. Do not over do it by adding everything. Think about the tastes you want and stick to it.

Then finally, remember, you know your guests, what they eat and what not, how much they like to experiment and when not. So use that as your guideline and maybe put out a piece of Gouda or Cheddar if necessary.

Hope you enjoyed this!