What is the Difference Between Hors d’oeuvres and Canapes

The main difference between hors d’oeuvres and canapes is that hors doeuvres are small and savoury finger food usually served with cocktails, while canapes are hors d’oeuvres having a base of a small piece of pastry or bread with a variety of toppings

There are different types hors d’oeuvres, including meat kebabs, crudites, pastries, antipasto, canapes, and bruschetta. Canapes are a type of hors d’oeuvres, but not all hors d’oeuvres are canapes.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Hors d’oeuvres
     – Definition, Features, Examples
2. What are Canapes
     – Definition, Features 
3. Relationship Between Hors d’oeuvres and Canapes
     – Outline of Common Features 
4. Difference Between Hors d’oeuvres and Canapes
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Hors d’oeuvres, Canapes, Finger Food

Difference Between Hors d’oeuvres and Canapes - Comparison Summary

What are Hors d’oeuvres

Hors d’oeuvres are small savoury dishes we serve before dinner, usually accompanied by cocktails. We usually eat them standing up. Sometimes, people use the words appetizers and hors d’oeuvres interchangeably. But this can create confusion because appetizers also refer to the first course of a meal while hors d’oeuvres are not. Although there are no strict rules defining these words, hors d’oeuvres are usually served before a meal.

Difference Between Hors d’oeuvres and Canapes

They can be served at a cocktail party when a full dinner is not served. A server may carry it around a try among guests, or they can be presented on a buffet table. Hors d’oeuvres are finger food – this means you eat them with your fingers. You can hold it in one hand so that you hold your glass in the other hand. You can even finish it in one or two-bite. Small fried food like samosas, egg rolls, empanadas; small items served on a stick or skewer, like grilled shrimp, chicken skewers, and cheese kebabs; caviar; creme fraiche tarts, mini-quiches, crudité platters, and deviled eggs are some examples of hors d’oeuvres.

What are Canapes

Canapes are also a form of hors d’oeuvre. They are small, savoury, easy to eat food, having a base of a small piece of pastry or bread with a variety of toppings. Like other hors d’oeuvres. Like all hors d’oeuvres, they are served before dinner, usually with cocktails. 

Main Difference - Hors d’oeuvres vs Canapes

Canapes usually have four main parts. Their base is a small piece of a pastry shell, cracker, or bread. There is a flavourful spread like butter, mayonnaise or flavoured cream cheese on top of the base. This spread adds moisture and flavour and makes sure the base won’t get soggy. It also acts as a glue to make sure that toppings won’t slide off the base. We place toppings like seafood, meat, vegetables on top of the spread. This is, in fact, the main ingredient of the canape. Then there’s a garnish on top of the topping; for example, herbs or caviar. You can even use more than one topping for canapes. But sometimes, it’s best to make simple canapes because they won’t topple over and make a mess while eating.

Relationship Between Hors d’oeuvres and Canapes

  • Both are small, savoury food you can eat with one or two-bite.
  • Canapes are a type of hors d’oeuvres, but not all hors d’oeuvres are canapes.

Difference Between Hors d’oeuvres and Canapes

Definition

Hors d’oeuvres are small savoury dishes we serve before dinner, usually accompanied by cocktails, while canapes are small, savoury, easy to eat food, having a base of a small piece of pastry or bread with a variety of toppings.

Nature

There are different types of hors d’oeuvres like crudites, pastries, antipasto, canapes, mini-quiches, and bruschetta. Canapes usually have four main parts: base, spread, topping and garnish.

Conclusion

Hors d’oeuvres are small and savoury finger food usually served with cocktails, while canapes are hors d’oeuvres having a base of a small piece of pastry or bread with a variety of toppings. Thus, this is the main difference between hors d’oeuvres and canapes.

Reference:

1. Alfaro, Danilo. “What Is A Canapé? The Perfect Happy Hour Food.” The Spruce Eats, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “5030086” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “2802” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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