Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cooking term--Amuse Bouche

I've learned more about food from Iron Chef, than from anything else. I keep a notebook next to me and write down words I don't know, to research later. That gave me an idea to blog about certain culinary words, that I've researched. Here is the first installment of the cooking term posts.

An amuse-bouche (\'ä-müz-'büsh, -muez-\) also called an amuse-gueule, is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouche are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served as an excitement of taste buds to both prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking.
The term is French, literally translated to "mouth amuser" [for bouche = mouth; amuser = to amuse, to please]. The plural form is amuse-bouche or amuse-bouches.
The original French word, more frequently employed, is amuse-gueule (gueule is slang for mouth but in fact means animal's mouth (one word in French), although amuse-bouche is more often used on menus in fine dining restaurants.