1920s Ham Canapes

Seeing as we are ringing in the twenties again this New Years, I thought a quick canape from that decade was in order. This comes from the prolific cookbook author Ida Bailey Allen and is featured in The Modern Method of Preparing Delightful Foods (1926). Don’t you just love the titles of some of these old cookbooks.


Like many appetizers of that time period, it is super easy to put together and easy to customize to what you already have on hand. You can use cooked leftover chicken, turkey or steak instead of the ham. You can use any cheese, I just happened to have sharp cheddar in my fridge. Don’t have or like mayonnaise, use Greek yogurt or try sour cream. You can even do a vegetarian version by finely chopping a roasted portobello mushroom instead of the meat.


Chow chow is used in this recipe. It is just a pickle relished in case you haven’t heard of it. Depending on where it is made it can b a variety of ingredients but most commercial versions usually contained cabbage. In Florida, I can find it quite easily in most grocery stores by the pickles. If it can not be found, you can just substitute relish or finely chop some Italian giardiniera. The world is your oyster with this recipe!


1920s Ham Canapes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy to put together appetizer straight from the 1920s.


  • 1/2 cup of ham, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chow chow
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 6 to 10 small shapes such as rounds or diamonds cut out of toasted slices of bread.
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • Slices of pickle to garnish


  1. Mix together the ham with the chow chow and mayo.
  2. Spread on the toasted bread pieces and top with a little bit of the shredded cheese and place on a sheet pan.
  3. Put in the oven to broil till the cheese has melted.
  4. Garnish with a slice of pickle and place on a serving tray.
  5. Serve with some bootleg bubbly and dance the night away to some jazz.

Notes: You can cut shapes out of the bread with small cookie cutters. If you do not want any waste than with a knife just cute the toast into fours.


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