Good Food Blog
Why big isn't always bestPosted at 1:02PM, 04 December 2008 by Andrea McGinniss - Editor, bbcgoodfood.com
'Tis the season to eat canapés, and plenty of them. We're lucky enough to get invited to the odd launch party, and though we're always very happy to meet the man/woman/team behind the latest restaurant/bar/book/computer game, I have to admit the enjoyment of the event is often relative to the quality of the canapés.
So what makes a good canapé? As a seasoned grazer I can say it's not just about good ingredient combinations and creativity. There's practical factors to take into consideration too. For all those planning on doing some Christmas entertaining, or working in PR, here are some tips to consider.
1. Size. Forget what they say. Size DOES matter and this is one instance where bigger is definitely not better. You want your canapé to be small enough to eat in one bite, not so that it'll dribble down your dress, or worse still, into the eye of the painfully polite PR person opposite you. Warning: beware the canapé bearing the whole cherry tomato - if you can't pop the whole thing into your mouth, just say no! Whole burgers and hot dogs seem to be pretty popular right now but aren't the most elegant thing to eat so are often waved away.
2. The octopus complex. Unfortunately most of us were only born with two hands. One for holding the flute of fizz, one for picking up the canapés with. If there's no table to teeter your drink on it's virtually impossible to hold that cute but cumbersome mini box of fish and chips. And where do you put your used toothpicks, porcelain spoons, and skewers? Check the closest plants pots, you might be surprised. Lesson learnt: the less packaging the better.
Forget what they say. Size DOES matter and this is one instance where bigger is definitely not better.
3. Feeling saucy. Do we really want to dip our sausage/scotch egg/spring roll into someone else's sauce pot? Despite what mum taught us double dipping still goes on out there. And there's always a few relics from the last person's dunk still floating around in there. Note: The less interaction with the dish the better.
4. Quantity. Make many! If they're not planted right next to the kitchen, chances are the less pushy guests won't get their hands on the good stuff. Anything seafood related usually gets scoffed very quickly. The answer is: make more of them, or else circulate the trays from a different direction. Unless it's me standing next to the kitchen of course!
What's your favourite canapé? And which do you try to avoid?