1. Canapés are small open-faced sandwiches decoratively topped with various savoury ingredients. They are usually served as snacks for cocktails, etc.
In picture on left: a tray of Finnish canapés.
The bread base on which canapés are made may be of any type of bread, as long as its flavour matches with the toppings used. Fresh, toasted or lightly fried bread slices from white wheat to black rye bread may be used, as well as crackers and baked puff pastry rounds or squares to make small bite-size canapés.
Fresh bread is mainly used in Scandinavian countries, where serving open-faced sandwiches is an old tradition. Most famous of these are the Danish smørrebrød.
Larger than French canapés, Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches are generously topped and served for a substantial lunch or a light dinner or as part of smörgåsbord buffet.
Many of these sandwiches matching a slice of bread with a certain combination of various toppings have become world-famous classics.
In picture above: Nordic open-faced sandwiches, from left to right: smoked salmon, shrimp and egg canapé, egg and Swedish anchovy canapé, gravlax and dill canapé, Vega (beef tartare) canapé.
A multitude of different ingredients may be used as toppings for open-faced sandwiches: plain or flavoured butters or cream cheeses and various other spreads, cheeses, cooked or raw meat, cold cuts and sausages, poached, smoked or freshly salted fish, salted or pickled herring or anchovies, crab, shrimps, mussels and other seafood, hard-boiled, scrambled or poached eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers and other fresh or pickled vegetables, fresh or preserved fruit and berries, lettuce, fresh herbs, various dressings, etc.
Open-faced sandwiches are also served hot. Topped with various fresh or cooked ingredients, forcemeats, ragouts, sauces and/or cheese they are broiled quickly in hot oven just before serving.
See recipes for the Nordic canapés pictured above here.
2. In Finland, palmiers, the small leaf-shaped puff pastry cookies, are a bit misleadingly called "canapés", or kanapee in Finnish.