Canapés are a type of hors d’œuvre, a small, prepared and usually decorative food. They often consist of a small piece of bread (sometimes toasted), pastry or a cracker topped with some savoury food. Conveniently they are small enough to be held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite.
A canapé may also be referred to as finger food, although not all finger foods are canapés. Crackers or small slices of bread or toast or puff pastry, cut into various shapes, serve as the base for savoury butters or pastes, often topped with a “canopy” of savoury foods as meat, cheese, fish, caviar, foie-gras, purées or relish.
Traditionally, canapés are built on stale bread (although other foods may be used as a base), cut in thin slices and then shaped with a cutter or knife. Shapes might include circles, rings, squares, strips or triangles. These pieces of bread are then prepared by deep frying, sautéing, or toasting. . The The technical composition of a canapé consists of a base (e.g., the bread or pancake), a spread, a main item, and a garnish. The spread is traditionally either a compound butter or a flavoured cream cheese. Common garnishes can range from finely chopped vegetables, scallions, and herbs to caviar or truffle oil.