Don't EVER double dip, never nibble and no napkins: The golden rules of how to eat canapés are revealed

  • Country Life has offered a helping hand to hosts and guests everywhere
  • Its experts say one should never ‘nibble’ a canapé and or provide napkins
  • Advice coincides with the results of its Canapé Of The Year competition

They?are the tasty little treats served up at parties but which can be notoriously difficult to eat gracefully.

Now, Country Life has offered a helping hand to hosts and guests everywhere with advice on the dos and don’ts of canapés.

With the party season just around the corner, the magazine has published some timely tips for anyone preparing, serving or eating canapés this Christmas.

Country Life has offered a helping hand to hosts and guests everywhere with advice on the dos and don’ts of canapés

Country Life has offered a helping hand to hosts and guests everywhere with advice on the dos and don’ts of canapés

Its valuable morsels include offering a cocktail-stick disposal service while warning against the ‘heinous’ crime of double dipping.

Its experts say one should never ‘nibble’ a canapé and, rather controversially, states hosts should not provide napkins.

‘Any canapé so messy that it requires a clear up shouldn’t be on a plate. Whatever next? A Wet Wipe?,’ the publication states.

Country Life’s advice coincides with the results of its Canapé Of The Year competition.

Society caterer Rocket won first prize with its Smoked Trout Royale that, according to judges, ‘ticked every box’ with its combination of radish, dill and fashionable kombu - an edible kelp.

Runners up included Blue Strawberry’s Seared scallop, avocado and yuzu with shiitake ketchup and Quail London’s Pea purée.

With the party season just around the corner, the magazine has published some timely tips for anyone preparing, serving or eating canapés this Christmas

With the party season just around the corner, the magazine has published some timely tips for anyone preparing, serving or eating canapés this Christmas

The competition was judged by Sally Clarke, author and founder of Clarke’s restaurant and bakery in Kensington; restaurateur Claude Compton; Martyn Nail of Claridge’s; Plain English’s co-founder Tony Niblock and food writer Tom Parker Bowles. The chair was Country Life’s Editor-in-Chief, Mark Hedges.

Canapés date back to 18th century. The word is French for ‘sofa’ - a nod to the toppings which ‘sit’ on top of a piece of bread.

Country Life's golden rules of canapes

Never serve canapés on spoons

Never, ever double dip

Never consider vol-au-vents as canapés

Canapés must look as good as they taste

Never nibble a canapé

A canapé is not a meal

Offer cocktail-stick disposal

Don’t offer napkins

Build canapés to last

They were typically served on stale bread but have evolved into a broader term for any small-sized finger foods served at parties.

All the mayor supermarkets now offer a selection of canapés for Christmas.

But Country Life advises against the trend for making miniature versions of main meals stating ‘fish and chips and burgers (however diminutive) are not party food.’?

Other advice offered includes never serving serve canapés on spoons adding that ‘eating from a large spoon is a private pleasure not a spectator sport; you can never look elegant engaging in this sort of caper’.

It says vol-au-vents are not to be considered canapés while it would be ‘wise to remember they are not a meal’.

And finally, they should be built to last, must never fall to pieces and have enough texture not to get a soggy bottom.

The full article appears in the latest issue of Country Life magazine, on sale now.??

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