The 10 canapes you should never serve at a party

Beware of pigs in blankets made with flaky pastry.
Beware of pigs in blankets made with flaky pastry.  Photo: Shuttershock

The sausage roll is the greatest party food of all time and I will not be argued on this. Party-sized sausage rolls are the best because they can be eaten in two bites, but the bigger boys can also be held with confidence in one hand while the other nurses a drink. Very important at a party. God, I love sausage rolls, especially the homemade variety heavy on pork and fennel.

These 10 canapes aren't sausage rolls. They are very much the opposite and should be retired from all stand-up parties effective immediately.  

The takeaway noodle box is better suited for couches than parties.

The takeaway noodle box is better suited to couches than parties. Photo: Shuttershock

Noodles in those little Chinese takeaway boxes. I'm not against those little boxes per se but hoovering chow mein into your gob while trying to hold a respectable conversation takes black-belt level chopstick skills. Pasta from the little boxes can be even worse given red sauce is just a liquid missile seeking the nearest white blouse.  

Risotto. Unless you're going to be standing over the pan stirring all evening and serving it immediately, risotto will turn into a gluggy glug within minutes of hitting the table.

Poorly constructed party pies. Not all pies are created equal and you'll need to make sure the pastry can hold its own without splodging meat on your thongs. Ever had hot mince stream through the space between your toes? It's not good.

Garlic prawns. For obvious reasons regarding garlic breath. Best check the allium levels on any snags you plan to serve, too.

Buffalo wings: not always worth the effort.

Buffalo wings: not always worth the effort. Photo: Shuttershock


Buffalo wings. The effort to reward ratio for buffalo wings is ordinary at the best of times and even worse at a party, when there's a high chance of having to pocket a serviette-wrapped chook bone because you can't find a bin. Cloying sauce that sticks to your lips, chin and fingers isn't ideal either. Chicken wings served whole so the drumette, flat and tip remain attached are a much better option – if you're going to get sticky, you might as well get really sticky. White bread to soak up the sauce is key.

Cold devon wrapped around cold mashed potato. The Australian name of this oddball canape is a source of mystery. In England they're sometimes referred to as ladybirds (a winsome name compared to devils on horseback, say) but domestically they seem to drift along under the label of devon rolls. Please get in touch if you have better suggestions. (They're not pigs in blankets, by the way, which is a sausage wrapped in bread.) Whatever you want to call it, there's a reason this abuse of the senses has been an endangered species since 1994.

Anything wrapped with flaky puff pastry. No one wants a chest covered in pastry dandruff.

A spoon best left for pho.

A spoon is best left for pho. Photo: Shuttershock

Anything served on an amuse bouche spoon. You know the spoons – the ones designed for slurping pho that are too wide to get your mouth around. And where do you put the spoon once you've had your fill of ceviche? Ergh. A Belgian endive leaf is the superior hors d'oeuvres vessel, unless you're serving soup. But then, what are you doing serving soup at a party, you maniac?

Tiny chorizos on toothpicks. Or anything else likely to Vesuvius with fat on the first bite and cover you and your nearest neighbour with molten grease.

Blue cheese. Ever notice how anything with a blue mould is the last cheese left on a platter? That's because a lot of people really bloody hate blue cheese. It'll also be the only thing on the table you'll smell after an hour at room temperature so double down on double brie instead.