Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Amuse-Bouche …

 

This phrase does not amuse me!  It immediately draws to mind something I’d rather forget … about how poor we Brits are when speaking other languages … in this instance: French … I have to admit I wish it had an English equivalent … but it doesn’t …


Smoked salmon on
Cucumber in a
Gazpacho sauce


 This was meant to be an interim post about mouthfuls of delicious tasty food … but then curiosity kicked in about the name, and the why, and the when …

 

 

Apparently it appeared about the time of a 20th century reinvention 'Nouvelle Cuisine' – 1970s – 1980s – which characterised a lighter, delicate emphasis on the food presented … but there’s no definitive answer …


 

 

Parmesan Pannacotta
 After my taste buds got a-wondering … I decided I was not going into the grammar of ‘the phrase’ - way too difficult for me.

 

 



Hallucinogenic
Mushrooms
Yet now having investigated and found the episode ‘Amuse-Bouche (Hannibal)’ … I’ve rather gone off food too … also … as is the interesting reference to a blogger, who influences the episode – another something to ponder, or probably not, as the case may be …

 

 


The amuse-bouche I’ve seen on tv have always been (in my opinion) over-done creations and way too large – they preferably should be a tasty morsel … not a few full-bite appetisers … nor tummy filler!  Nor (again!) continually spoken about with appalling gaucheness … but then I’m a …



Breughel the Elder's 1618 -
Senses of Hearing, Touch and Taste

They’re also meant to be whatever you have to hand … by creating a tiny morsel of ‘delectitude’ … to tempt the waters of the mouth … before serving the actual dinner …

 


 

… not appetisers/pre-dinner nibbles … but just a tiny bite of flavour – whatever the restaurant feels like tempting you with – no menu, no choice …

 


Nordic delicacies of Amuse-Bouche

Instead of Amuse-Bouche – “mouth amuser” … you could use Amuse-Gueule … gueule being a snout … rather like a snout in a trough … all manner of images now appear …



Having sauntered into a pot-au-feu of anything a kitchen has available … I think I’ll saunter out to grass with a glass for a while! 

 

1742 cover page
for Menon's treatise on
'the new cuisine'



So Amuse-Bouche yourselves tonight before supper/dinner is served … while trying not to think of the Amuse-Bouche episode in the psychological thriller-horror series Hannibal.  All kinds of new stories could be written … 

 

 



These tasty morsels  à la ‘Amuse-Bouche’ have now bored me … as I’ve dragged this post out – but it needs to see the light of a hot day in the UK … surprisingly there will be some sunburnt bods around … for us ‘tis warm!


A Jacques Lameloise
Nouvelle Cuisine presentation

Enjoy the coming of Autumn or the fulfilling of Spring … take care …

 


Amuse-Bouche ... 


Amuse-Bouche (Hannibal) - detailing the 2nd episode of the first season of the tv thriller


Nouvelle Cuisine ... 


I do have two more food oriented posts to follow at some stage - a film I'm seeing next week ... and another I picked up about helping ourselves eat to suit our world ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

35 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Well, I was entertained but not in the least bit tempted by this post!!! I have actually experienced a chef's interjection of such a morsel. Whilst it was indeed tasty, I also did not see that it added anything to the meal being taken. The amusement is, presumably, all in the preparation! YAM xx

Jacqui Murray said...

I'm thinking of a new course for Thanksgiving dinner, an Amuse Bouche--that will surprise everyone!

H.R. Sinclair said...

...an amusing post... see what I did there. :) I think when done right, amuse-bouche can be amazing. One bite of flavor burst.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam - thank you ... delighted you enjoyed the 'odd' take on that phrase ... yes I've had amuse-bouche - just never knew there was a name for them. They are tasty ... just some seem to be convoluted and as a pre dinner guzzle - I'm not desperately amused!

@ Jacqui - ah well ... there you go - just the tempting idea you need for your Thanksgiving dinner - I always forget about Thanksgiving. They'll surprise your guests ... well I hope they do!

@ Holly - thank you ... yes 'amusing' hits the bill for this post. You're right that one bite of flavour burst - trouble is - then I want more!! I sound like Oliver ... more, more, more!!

Thanks so much for appreciating the 'amusing' post - cheers Hilary

Elephant's Child said...

Sadly the amuse bouche I have had a single mouthful was MORE than enough. I like the concept that the ones I have been presented with were a tribute to chef cleverness and sophistication - which left my naive and stupid self cold.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Not a term I am familiar with in my cave down under

Liz A. said...

If it was on Hannibal, I'm staying far, far away. Way too creepy for my tastes (ick, terrible pun).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Think I'd rather too much food than not enough.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I am very fond of amuse-bouche, Hilary, both the phrase (I speak French) and the food that indeed amuses my bouche! There really is no substitute for amuse-bouche. Any attempt comes across poorly in translation, as it does equally for hors d'oeuvres. "Starter" never seems to do it justice. But take heart, the French have coopted Pouding for a type of dessert. Once, many, many years ago, I had lunch in Paris with a university professor who had been to England to attend a conference, and as we cut into our cutlet, enhanced by an exquisite sauce, he exclaimed to me that the barbarians in England had but two sauces, used for everything. One for the main course, and one for dessert. I can hear even now how vehemently he spat out "gravy" and "custard"! The cutlet, by the way, was delicious.

Hels said...

One-bite entrees look excellent, are easy to make and taste terrific. Smoked salmon on cucumber in gazpacho appeals enormously.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – yes … sometimes the offerings are way too much and put one off the other courses. I know they let the chefs express their enterprise … you’re most definitely not stupid, and I’m sure not naïve!

@ Jo-Anne – thank you …

@ Liz – I know … me too – I’m really not into psychological horrors … they terrify me …

@ Alex – yes I’d rather have too much, but too much can be too much at times?!

@ David – thank goodness you’ve thrown some intelligent thoughts into this post … and I’d love to hear you pronounce amuse-bouche … and speak French – though you’d lose me very soon.

I agree – “starter” is an awful word for a course that so often is delicious.
On looking, rightly or wrongly – another rabbit hole, Pouding seems to be a Quebequoise ‘pudding’ … Pouding Chomeur – Unemployed pudding! But if you tell me Pouding has become ‘accepted’ in France – I’d believe you.

Yes – the barbaric English didn’t have very good food values … but things I understand have changed and many consider our present culinary attributes rather good – probably helped by the number of French who’ve come over to inspire us.

Excellent to hear your cutlet was delicious … I must admit I only like home-made gravy … and custard doesn’t always appeal.

But I am grateful you’ve given this post some upmarket French thoughts … and now I have a new image to remember for ‘amuse-bouche’ …

@ Hels – I agree they can be very tasty tiny bites … equally they can be unnecessarily overfluffed. However I’d share a few of those Smoked Salmon Amuse Bouche with you – they sound delicious.

Thanks to you all – I’m just glad I can put my ‘bete noire’ amuse bouche out of my mind now that I have David’s thoughts to remember …

It is still delightfully warm here – but rain is a-coming in – in the next day or two … but now – out into the sunshine I go … cheers Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

I can't say I was familiar with the term but now you've stirred my curiosity. Enjoyed the post and now I have to find out more about Hannibal the series too. Have a great week and take care.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I should add, Hilary, that when I last visited the UK, five years ago, the food was universally excellent, and often very tastefully presented. It did, however, tax my wallet at times!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Mrs. Google says amuse-bouche means bite sized and free (food) offered by the chef, his choice. I'm in! hahaha

Teresa

Joanne said...

I am amused by your post. I suppose the handful of peanuts Ray might grab before dinner does not count. Not fancy enough. But generally, he's happy with the salty taste. I've seen a cooking show where the amuse bouche was practically whipped air with a hint of lavender. Oh my!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason - thank you ... I'm glad I've sent you off down a rabbit hole - I've found a few more too. Hannibal is too much horror for me! Enjoy it ...

@ David - I realised you weren't being too derogatory! It does tax the wallet - and now ... more so - a lot of fast-food now-a-days ... but don't get me started there ...

@ Teresa - I'm glad Mrs Google has advised you! ... well each restaurant (and thus chef) has its own way of doing things ... and if it's free - yes - but I suspect the bill will be quietly absorbing it ...

More food posts to follow ... cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Oh Joanne - you slipped in ... no peanuts pre meals do not count - glad you realised that!! The concoctions that they come up with are quite extraordinary ... I guess if you're young more flavours will appeal - as I go towards my dotage ... my tastes are becoming simpler.

Cheers to you and Ray - Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

Some tempting things here, although I'm not tempted by Hannibal!

Keith's Ramblings said...

I admit to being a serial amuse-boucher! Whenever I entertain, which is as often as possible, I do tasty little things on white spoons, or blinis. As they say, once a chef, always a chef!

Sandra Cox said...

Amuse-bouche is a new one for me:)
Take special care:)

cleemckenzie said...

Well, they are pretty. In fact, so pretty I have a hard time destroying them. However, I've been known to take down a few and look around for more. I was amused by your post.

bazza said...

The most amazing amuse-bouche I ever had was in France (of course!) We were at a restaurant in Bethune in the far-north. Our simple three-course menu turned out to be seven courses but by far the best were the unexpected amuse-bouches which were EXACTLY as you describe the way the should be. Four of those tiny square Limoges pottery dishes, each one with an exquisite array of tastes and textures of we-knew-not-what!The Champaign sorbet served before the main course also went down well...
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s absentmindedly adroit Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Susan Scott said...

Thank you Hilary, a lovely post which has got my imagination firing ... would I present dinner guests with tiny little morsels of deliciousness before dinner proper? I think it's a lovely idea - a circle of cucumber with an oyster on it, or a small serving of smoked salmon with a tiny dollop of creme fraiche or such small things on a lettuce leaf .. we need to do some serious reciprocating to friends here in Plett - the thought fills me with alarm as I am not the world's best cook, though if I exert myself I can surprise myself .. and thanks for the links, but I think I'll pass on Hannibal ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa – I so agree, I also am not tempted by Hannibal … horrible thought. But little very tasty bites – wonderful …

@ Keith – ah … yes that makes sense – your cheffie skills come out … always a way to offer something tasty.

@ Sandra – it’s a French thing … which has popped up over here …

@ Lee – the do look tasty don’t they … but like you I’d happily guzzle them. Delighted you were amused …

@ Bazza – thanks for prompting me to look at Bethune – an interesting town.
That dinner/lunch sounds so good – especially those unexpected amuse-bouches … and I’m so pleased I got the description correct.
You’ve given me a good idea of what I’d expect … and I love your description … ‘textures, you knew not what’. Your ‘palate cleanser’ sounds so delicious too - no wonder it went down rather well.

@ Susan – your thought processes … sound just right for a variety of amuse-bouches. Your friends are in for some treats … and you might surprise yourself at what you can do. Have fun … dreaming up ideas, then creating them and then serving them to your lucky friends. I know Hannibal is definitely not for me …

I’m so glad this post has tempted many of you … it’s funny – I wrote this and thought oh dear who’s going to appreciate it – yet here some of you have gone off to learn, or create a thing or two – thank you so much. Cheers Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

You enjoy the upcoming autumn too:)
Cheers,

D.G. Kaye said...

Love the term Amuse- Bouche. Amusing the mouth with something tasty, not to big, not to small, just right. Hugs xo

retirementreflections said...

Thank you for this very amusing post, Hilary. Your timing was perfect. I am just about to prepare dinner (sadly, sans amuse bouche)! :D

Pradeep Nair said...

Quite interesting, even though I am not a foodie.
Interesting word with a very unique meaning.
I don't know if there is anything similar here in India. Probably there are, in some high-end restaurants.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra – thanks … I’ll be happy if it’s gentle!

@ Debby – exactly mouth-wateringly tasty – just a great mouth-filling titbit to start the meal off …

@ Donna – that’s great … I’m sure dinner was delicious – even without any amuse-bouches to tempt hubby …

@ Pradeep – in some ways you’re lucky … I’m always interested the various foods and recipes abounding, as too the history of them – just not very knowledgeable about Asian food.

Yes – it is an interesting and unique phrase or word. I’m sure the influence will have come over – we’ve probably borrowed from you – as you from us … food travels!

Cheers to you four – great to see you – thank you … Hilary

Azka Kamil said...

I'm thinking of a new course for Thanksgiving dinner, an Amuse Bouche--that will surprise everyone!

Sandra Cox said...

The Breughel the Elder's 1618 - Senses of Hearing, Touch and Taste is an amazing painting. You always find great pictures to illustrate your topic.
Have a wondrous weekend.
Cheers,

Chrys Fey said...

I only now how to say it because I've heard people say it on TV. lol

“mouth amuser”...I like that.

Lenny Lee said...

Hi Grandblogmom,

What an interesting post. I always learn something new from your blog.

One time, on a dare, I ate a fisheye. It was crunchy. Does that count as an Amuse-Bouche? I have to say it wasn’t amusing or tasty. Lol. But, as Hannibal Lecter said before eating a small piece of sautéed PFC, “It’s important to always try new things.”

Bon appetit!

Amour et calins,

Lenny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Azka - well that's great you're able to think more easily about Thanksgiving dinners ... I'm sure your family and guests will enjoy their time ...

@ Sandra - yes thank you ... I enjoy the illustrations I find for my posts ... and the Breughels made outstanding art ...

@ Chrys - thanks ... yes it's not an easy phrase to say ... but am glad you've heard about it on the tv. "Mouth Amuser" ... fun isn't it ...

@ Lenny - great to see you ... and I'm so pleased you enjoyed the read. Oooh! that must have been an interesting dare ... yet they're considered a delicacy in Arabia. I eat prawn heads ... not the sharp bone part ... but eyes and brains are good ...
I couldn't ever watch Hannibal Lecter ... though know of some major horrors back centuries ago ...

I guess your 'eyes' would match some people eating oysters ... gosh I love those things!! Being brave - I love food and am not finickity ... so I try most things ...

Thanks so much to you all for being here and commenting ... stay safe - cheers Hilary

AJEYA RAO said...

Interesting. I am sure the quantity of Amuse-bouche would not be sufficient for me. :-) But i think that is the point.