Drats! You tried to handle an appetizer and a drink at the same time, and now you’re covered in pâté in front of the ambassador. Been there, amiright?
Okay, maybe not exactly. But whether you prefer beer and tacos or rosé and cavier, you’ve probably found yourself in a socially awkward situation stemming (so to speak) from an attempt to juggle a cocktail and a snack while in conversation. Traditional canapés are meant to be eaten in one bite, but either because portion sizes are increasing or we’re just getting more polite, plates are usually part of the cocktail party equation these days. And no one–no one–should have to suffer the indignity of choosing between a drink and a snack.
It was that awkward dance of plate-versus-drink that spurred Belgian designer Vincent Olm to design a device that could hold both. “I was at a family party,” he remembers. “I felt very uncomfortable dealing with my champagne glass and the canapés at the same time. So this idea came to me.” He went home and made a simple cardboard prototype the same night. “It was easy to handle, very ergonomic, so I decided to develop it further.”
The design is fairly simple. A flat plate, with a curved lip, holds your appetizer. A cone-shaped champagne flute sits nestled to one side of the plastic dish. You can remove the flute when you’re done eating–the stemware is surprisingly elegant. Flip the dish upside down, and it can balance on a table.
Olm calls his device Lilobul, a play on the French phrase L’île aux bulles, meaning bubble island. Slur it just right, and you’re saying the name of Olm’s device–though hopefully, since you’ve eaten something, you won’t be slurring at all.