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Culinary code: Terms a foodie needs to know


A guide to help you polish your gastronomic vocabulary

We love a little bit of theatre, a bit of drama with our food. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Heston Blumenthal kind of a show but a pretty presentation does sway us. With so many Michelin star restaurants opening their outposts in the country, we are in for a treat, literally. Leafing through the fancy do you sometimes wish there was a simple guide that helped simplify it for you? Here it is then, the culinary codes decoded – just for you. 

Amuse Bouche (uh-MYOOZ-boosh)

Fancy that tiny piece of gorgeousness on your plate, which is just enough to titillate your senses at the start of the meal? It is often referred to as Amuse Bouche. Typically, it is a complimentary, bite-sized portion of food served before a meal or between courses in a restaurant.

Hors d'oeuvres (or-DERVES)

Technically it is a type of Amuse Bouche, in a way that it is a bite sized portion served before a meal. However this is not gratis. 

En Croûte (on KROOT)

If you love your pies and quiches, then this is one term you need to remember. Simply put, it is food that has been wrapped in pastry dough and then baked in the oven. 4 words – “In a pastry crust”.

Quenelle (ke-NELL)

Impressed with how the ice cream or the cream cheese is plated in that gorgeous, almost perfect, silky smooth, oval scoop? That is quenelle.


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