We know it seems a bit too early to be thinking about Christmas – but a chill in the air means it is on its way and the best Christmas party… is a stress-free Christmas party! To help you get organised early, we’ve come up with our top tips for throwing a festive bash with a difference, and we’re starting with the food!
No good party is complete without food and no fancy party complete without canapés! The trend for serving these tasty, savoury bites at parties began in France in the 18th century. The perfect counterpart to an aperitif, the name comes from the French word for sofa, because the garnish sits on the bread, cracker or pastry as a person sits on a couch!
We Brits picked the trend up towards the end of the 19th century, but have continued to be inspired by that nation of gourmands, hence that 1970s favourite - the vol-au-vent.
So called for its extreme lightness, the vol-au-vent (which means “lifting in the wind” in French) consists of a hollow pastry cup with a savoury filling made from meat, fish or vegetables. The story goes that the vol-au-ventwas created by the Father of French haute cuisine, Antonin Carême in the early 19th century. His signature filling of minced chicken and breadcrumbs with mushrooms in a madeira sauce – called the financière – was the inspiration against our own. One of our new menu additions, the Bel Canto vol-au-vent contains sautéed mushrooms with a rich truffle sauce, perfect for Christmas.
Other French Christmas Canapés to try
Chicken liver pâté
A French party tradition for the ages – what could be better? And for more inspiration on how to throw the perfect Christmas party – stay tuned over the next couple of weeks, for drinks and entertainment tips or why not pop in to Bel Canto and sample our light-as-air vols-au-vent for yourself?