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December 12, 2019
It’s Canapé Season

In the introduction to his 1940 book James Beard’s Hors D’oeuvre & Canapés, Beard wrote, “The cocktail party no longer means a bottle of gin, a can of sardines, and a package of potato chips from the corner grocery.” Beard made the case that, with a little bit of planning and a little bit of attention to detail, you could offer guests the types of food and cocktails they had only dreamed of being served in luxurious hotels or expensive restaurants.

In 2019, home entertaining has swung back a little bit in the direction of casual cans of sardines and bags of potato chips, but making a few thoughtful, composed snacks for guests still holds the same novelty. It shows that you care enough about your guests to have gone through the trouble of cutting cucumber slices into little cups, or to have personally added a pinch of chives to each individual bite. And since most canapés can be eaten in one bite, they keep the conversation going and the drinks flowing.

In the TASTE Canapé Story Pop-Up, styled by Pearl Jones and photographed by Rachel Cabitt, we’re celebrating a few of our favorite phyllo-encased, toothpick-skewered, dill-topped party snacks. We take a look at some of the most copied canapé formats through history, and how the French use a vital shortcut for hosting their own fêtes. There’s a Sicilian appetizer that you can make with pantry scraps, a genius savory cream puff from Los Angeles restaurant Bon Temps, and a pleasingly spicy anchovy toast from Larrys in Montréal. If nothing else, we hope this inspires you to buy a ritzy new set of cocktail skewers for your next batch of pigs in a blanket. —Anna Hezel, Senior Editor