A canapé is defined by The Free Dictionary as “an appetizer consisting usually of a thin slice of bread or toast spread with caviar or cheese or other savoury food”.
In environments in which alcohol is being dispensed it is often the case that a canapé will be salty or spicy in order to encourage partakers to drink more. It is frequently referred to as a finger food, but although all canapés are finger foods not all finger foods can be called canapés.
The bread used is usually deep fried, sautéed or toasted in order to ensure that it becomes rigid in texture, and toppings can include meat, fish, caviar, cheese, prawns, foie gras, vegetables or indeed almost anything one can think of. The topping in effect forms a “canopy”, hence the name.
There are many derivatives of the canapé with which diners will be familiar. One is the vol-au-vent, a small, circular canapé with a pastry rather than toasted base and delicately filled as opposed to topped with any of the ingredients mentioned. Also of French origin is the amuse-gueule, which translates literally as “gob amuser” but is usually more sensitively referred to as a “palate pleaser”.
The Swedish smorgasbord and the Russian zakuski are said to have been responsible for the addition of many of the less traditional toppings to the array of available canapé options.
A popular form of canapé, though often slightly larger, is the crostini. Crostinis are, literally, “little toasts”, usually slices of French-style bread again topped with vegetables, meats, fish or other such offerings.
It is the crostini in which Eco Restaurant, described by many as the best restaurant in Clapham, specialises. Eco produces a huge range of crostinis including humous and mint, babaganoug (blended aubergine with Tahini and spices), guacamole, spicy red pesto, tuna tartare, beef carpaccio and blue cheese, as well as a disarming selection of wraps and picks. All these are available for collection or delivery.
Eco is more than just a Clapham pizza restaurant. It is truly an entire culinary experience all of its own.