Canapé bases may be made from several items.The following are suggestions:

Toasted pita wedges

Tortilla chips or cups

Tiny biscuits, split in half if necessary

Polenta cutouts

Miniature pancakes

Bread cutouts Toast cutouts Crackers Melba toasts

Tiny unsweetened pastry shells (short dough, filo dough, or other pastry)

Profiteroles (miniature unsweetened cream puff shells, p. 996)

Many of these items, such as crackers and melba toasts, can be purchased ready-made, but bread and toast cutouts are the most widely used and offer the lowest food cost, though they require more labor.

Untoasted bread for canapés should be firm enough to allow the finished product to be handled easily. It may be cut thick and flattened slightly with a rolling pin to make firmer.Toast is, of course, firmer, and it gives a pleasing texture and crispness to the canapés.


The French expression hors d'oeuvre literally translates as "outside the work," meaning "apart from the main meal or main part of the meal." In French, the term is not spelled or pronounced with an s at the end to make it plural, so you will often see the plural form spelled the same as the singular. The term has been thoroughly adopted into English, however, and in English-language dictionaries, the plural is spelled and pronounced with a final s.

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