"An Enchanted Christmas" with snails — two dozen of them for 10 euros, with a 3€ rebate in store credit. It's tempting. Walt and I ate snails, actually, as the appetizer course for his birthday dinner yesterday, just because we like them. The frozen ones above can be had à la bourguignonne (that's what we had: snails in garlic-parsley butter, like the ones in the picture above), or au Chablis (the famous white wine of Burgundy), or aux morilles (morel mushrooms). If you can't decide, there's an assortment package available as well.
Besides snails, there are other choices. How about some canapés? Or a few petits fours? They'd go well with a glass of champagne.
Because of this ad, I learned the difference between these two classic French treats. Canapés are little pieces of bread, sometimes toasted or fried, garnished with things like foie gras, pâté, cheese, mushrooms, or anything tasty you want. Chicken liver paste, anchovies, or smoked eel , for example. The ones on offer here include Christmas specialties (canapés de Noël), regional treats (canapés régions de France), or fish and seafood flavors (canapés marins). You pays your money...
Petits fours, meanwhile, are (according to the Grand Larousse Gastronomique encyclopedia) little bite-size pieces of baked pastry with a garnish. They can be savory or sweet. Their history goes back to the 18th century, when such delicacies were cooked in masonry or stone ovens at low temperature — « à petit four » was the expression meaning "in a slow oven", which was cooling down after the big roasts or loaves of bread had already been cooked. Described in the ad are petits-fours to serve with cocktails or wine, and others to serve at a reception or party. The difference is not obvious to me. But I really like knowing that some are called « saucisses costumées » — "costumed" or "disguised" sausages — in other words, "pigs in a blanket".