Amuse bouche, Amuse-gueule, Appetizer..

June 7, 2007

Amuse bouche, amuse-gueule, appetizer, call it what you want. The question is do we really need to offer these little bite sized morsels of food at the beginning of a meal or is it overrated?

Firstly let us explain what an amuse bouche, amuse-gueule is.

An amuse bouche or amuse-gueule translated from the French word that means amusement for the mouth or gob, to use the slang word. In the restaurant world these beautifully created tiny plates of samplings are presented to the diner before they actually get to order from the menu. It is an offer from the chef and supposed to stimulate the taste buds.

Often found in the very best eateries in the world among many Michelin rated restaurants. It is a chance for the chef to show off a new combination of flavours as it does not need to be anything specific. From the chef’s point of view it is a welcoming gift to the diner appreciating his patronage.

On the other side the customer who really doesn’t expect to receive this gift, especially if they are new to the fine dinning arena, could either be offended or excited. In my experience with the amuse bouche thing it was often the case that it was a pain to serve as it really does become another dish on the menu or two dishes as was the case in Germany in the 2 Michelin star restaurant The wald & Schloss Hotel. First a cold one followed by a hot one, you may think that’s a bit too over the top, that’s your choice. For me it was an opportunity to see many creations.

The disappointing aspect is that some customers really don’t appreciate what it is that they are receiving. Also you regularly would have the waiter return with the amuse bouche saying that the customer doesn’t like your offer and would like something else. Don’t forget that this is only an offer from the chef, it is not for you to choose what you want.

Enjoy some good reading and pictures about this subject with

Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites That Delight Before the Meal Begins
The Appetizer Atlas: A World of Small Bites


One Response to “Amuse bouche, Amuse-gueule, Appetizer..”

  1. Dinner at Michael’s on Matthew Flinders | Top Chef John Mundell on October 23rd, 2007 12:56 pm

    [...] we were presented with an ‘amusegueule’, what’s that you ask, well check out my report for amuse-gueule. This complimentary petite dish was cucumber sorbet with fine tomato and onion with salmon caviar. [...]

Got something to say?