The Origins of Canapés

Canapé was originally used as a term for sofa in 18th century France. These hors d’oeuvres are decorative and are usually eaten within one bite. They received their name by the variation of toppings that “sit” on top of the base (bread, bouche etc), like people sitting on sofas.

In the 1920’s the National Prohibition Act came into play in the States. This law prohibited the selling of alcoholic beverages. While police were shutting down bars and saloons all over town, secret underground taverns called “speak easies” were opening for business.

Since management could not have people leaving the speak easy impaired, they started to offer canapés in order to soak up the alcohol and also boost up sales. Canapés were the perfect solution to have a finger food in one hand, a cocktail in another while guests socialize with one another.

During this time, private cocktail parties were also on the rise. Canapés were a popular choice for these home gatherings. Hosts would pass around and boast about their culinary delights such as lobster canapés, caviar rolls, smoked salmon pinwheels, crab meat patties, and savory cheese balls.

Even after the Prohibition was over, trendy canapés and finger food made their mark in social gatherings, cocktail parties and restaurants. Care for “speakeasy” inspired appetizers for your next event? You can order them from BIG CHEF at 954-965-2480 or by clicking here



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