Canapes are a favorite party food, providing delicious bites of flavor and sustenance for guests and hosts alike. They’re almost the perfect food for wedding receptions, where they’re easy to serve and consume amid all the festivities. They combine well with champagne and cocktails and can be chosen to match the theme and decor of the event. One of the major trends in wedding catering has been towards healthy and organic foods. These can be easily incorporated into the appetizers as well.
Traditionally, canapes have been savory toppings on a base of toast, crackers or puff pastry. This basic format allows for endless variations and includes hot and cold choices, sweet as well as savory, and vegetarian options as well. The best way to plan for a wedding is to include both classic and contemporary choices so that there is something for all guests to enjoy.
What Are Canapes?
Canapes are attractively decorated bite-sized snacks served at weddings and other kinds of parties as appetizers. They are meant to be picked up and eaten by hand. Traditionally, they are comprised of a base which is a small piece of bread, puff pastry or a cracker with a savory topping. Sweets and fresh fruit can also be used as canapes, and wedding planners actually recommend a mixture of styles.
There is almost no limit to the kind and style of foods that can be served as canapes, and the trend is toward innovation and new flavors. With a whole world of tastes to choose from, foods and seasonings from places like Mexico, Morocco, India, and Japan can be used to wow the guests. It’s always a good idea to have some classic canapes as well, for those with more traditional tastes.
Why Are Canapes a Great Choice for Weddings?
Canapes are a popular catering choice at weddings for a number of reasons. They’re small, pretty to look at, delicious and popular with guests. But beyond that, they can be used to emphasize the themes and even the decor of the wedding party. They help to keep guests as well as the bridal couple and their families well fed when they may not have had time to eat properly. They are also a good match for drinks like champagne and cocktails that are typically served at weddings.
Serving healthy, organic and locally grown foods is a major trend in wedding catering. This speaks to the values that the couple want to share with their friends and family. It’s easy to use these ingredients for various kinds of appetizers. There are also plenty of other reasons that serving canapes is a popular choice at wedding parties.
Match the Decor and Season
Canapes can be chosen to match the theme and decor of the event. This may be cultural, seasonal or highly personal. Circulated on trays by serving staff, they add to the decoration and ambiance. For a winter wedding, you can focus on hot appetizers. You can even plan to serve shots of hot soup in small cups.
In the summer, celebrate the bounty of the season with fruit and vegetables. Classics like grape, strawberry and cheese sticks or fresh fruit tarts never go out of style. Mousses are likewise a good choice for hot summer days. Traditional bites of mozzarella, tomato, and basil will freshen and awaken taste buds, and small early season potatoes baked and served with chives and a dollop of sour cream will provide a hearty base.
Cater to Different Tastes
If the reception does not include a sit-down meal, canapes help ensure that guests will not leave hungry. This brings us to another reason they are such a popular choice at weddings. While there are some tried and tested varieties, there is also an almost limitless choice when it comes to ideas for canapes. These can include the tastes of different generations, cultural backgrounds, and dietary restrictions.
Wedding guests typically include people from different generations, with different cultural backgrounds and tastes. Having a variety of appetizers means that there will be something that appeals to the tastes of all the guests.
What Are the Top 10 Canapes to Prepare for a Wedding?
When choosing canapes for a wedding reception, it’s a good idea to opt for a mixture of conventional and contemporary ideas. Depending on their age and tastes, guests may love adaptions from world cuisines, with sushi, miniature spring rolls, tacos, and samosas. Kids and traditionalists may prefer classic choices like miniature burgers and pigs-in-a-blanket, meatballs, and cheese straws.
How to Choose Canapes for a Wedding
Whatever varieties you choose, experts recommend having a number of different colors, bases, and flavors. While canapes have traditionally been savory, miniature desserts of fruit-filled pastry cups or bite-sized brownies will add a sweet and seasonal touch. You can have fun creating combinations of comfort foods and sophisticated world cuisines.
Many international cuisines have their own snack foods which are easily adapted for weddings. Bite-sized Chinese or Japanese fried dumplings, sushi, kebabs, tacos, Indian samosas and crepes with varied toppings can all add flair and substance to a party. Some suggestions are given below, but you can create your own combinations of color and flavor. These may also reflect the cultural backgrounds of the couple.
The variety of appetizers also means you can tap into a major trend in wedding catering, which is for healthy, organic and locally grown foods. It’s easy to incorporate these into your recipes, and it speaks of your concern and care for the guests.
On the practical side, you want to make sure that there are enough of these delicious treats for everyone. Experienced wedding planners allow for 12 to 14 pieces for each guest. They also try to balance different styles, with hot and cold canapes, as well as meat, fish and vegetarian options. Traditionally canapes have been savory, but sweets make for a welcome surprise.
1. Salmon Mousse Is a Classic Favorite
A refreshing and sophisticated party food, the salmon mousse canape is highly decorative as well. The base is usually a crisp slice of cucumber, but you can vary this by using different types of toast and artisanal bread. Finish with a small piece of fresh dill. These are a good choice for hot summer days. They go fast, so make sure there’s enough for all guests.
2. A New Twist on Cheese Straws
These are a party favorite, but you can add a contemporary twist by using a different variety of cheese such as soft cream cheese or blue cheese instead of cheddar. Bake in a touch of pesto for a pleasant taste surprise.
3. Japanese or Chinese-Style Fried Dumplings
Another savory treat that is already the perfect size for party foods. Try Japanese-style shrimp gyoza or pan-fried dumplings with a ponzu dipping sauce. Serve on toothpicks and make sure the guests have a place to discard used ones. Fried dumplings can easily accommodate a vegetarian option as well.
4. Miniature Hamburgers
These will appeal to the kids, traditionalists and the pickiest eaters. Fresh vegetables balance out the mini-meals and help ensure that everyone is well nourished and ready for the dancing.
5. Meatballs With Variations
Another favorite you can adapt to appetizer size. Perk them up with different flavors, inspired by everything from Mexican to Indian spices. Or add a small piece of mozzarella inside each beef meatball for an unexpected taste combination.
6. Flavorful Tacos
Small tacos that can be eaten in one bite will give guests a burst of flavor and cheerfulness. Either beef or pork can be used for the filling.
7. Miniature Crab Cakes
Nourishing and delicious, miniature crab cakes are the perfect food for partygoers. Combining the qualities of both sophistication and comfort foods, the only concern when choosing to serve crab cakes is to make sure that there are enough to go around.
Sushi is almost the ideal food for the occasion. It’s just the right size, and it offers an entire world of marine delicacies to choose from. Adding avocado and cucumbers to the sushi rolls gives them color and variety.
9. Brownies with Crystalline Ginger and Sugar Dusting
No one can resist these. Period.
10. Bite-Sized Fresh Fruit Tarts
This is a good way to bring the fruits of the season to your wedding. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries go perfectly with puff pastry and a swirl of whipped cream on top.
Canapes are the perfect food to serve at wedding receptions for a number of reasons. They complement the decor and mood of the event and go well with champagne and cocktails. They can be varied to match the tastes of all the guests. A combination of traditional and contemporary styles helps ensure that there will be something for everyone to eat. It’s also easy to use organic and locally sourced ingredients, which your guests will appreciate. You can have fun planning your own variations on the styles discussed here, or you can create your own new varieties.