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Amuse-Bouche - Find Out About This Hot Trend in Entertaining

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/25/2006 | Food & Drink
Amuse-bouche is becoming the hottest trend in foods and entertaining. If you enjoy offering your guests interesting fare that always gets raves you should consider learning about the seduction of amuse-bouche.

WHAT IS AMUSE-BOUCHE?

The word amuse-bouche is a french expression, literally translated "mouth-amuser". And no wonder - amuse-bouche are snappy, single bite creations which combine intense taste sensations in an artistic form.

Amuse-bouche is different from your typical hors d'oeuvres. It is most often offered when guests are seated at the table. Amuse-bouche not only offers guests something to taste while waiting for the dinner, but also sets the 'flavor' of the evening. The amuse-bouche should compliment the dinner as well as give guests a sample of the quality of the meal to come.

WHAT CAN I MAKE FOR AMUSE-BOUCHE?

Amuse-bouche concentrates on flavor; often combining simple, intense flavors alongside rich, multi-faceted ones. The focus is on savoring and appreciating the full flavor of a single bite; much as you savor the intensity of a shot rather than having a full cup.

The amuse-bouche can be a combination of bite size, single ingredient bites arranged artfully on a plate or a combination of flavors offered as one serving on a Chinese spoon. You may also choose a rich, flavorful soup (such as vichyssoise) presented in a shot glass along with a spoon.

The key to a good amuse-bouche is quality ingredients. Whether you're offering simple mandarin slices alongside a savory salmon mousse or a skewered shrimp with a complex marinade, you will want to use the highest quality and most decadent ingredients you can obtain.

PRESENTATION

Second only to quality ingredients and full flavor is presentation. Amuse-bouche follows the French tradition of artistic presentation. Find amuse-bouche ideas online and take note of the visual presentation. While not complex, the resulting impression is one of style and attention to details. Garnish sparingly and preferably use a simple white plate for optimum presence.

If you are so inclined you may wish to entertain your guests with a variety of amuse-bouche at an evening gathering rather than simply a prelude to a sit down dinner.

You may also choose to compliment your amuse-bouche with a well chosen wine. Some recipes will indicate a suitable wine or you can base your selection on the dominating flavor of the amuse-bouche.

There are several fine recipe books to guide you as you begin exploring the pleasures of amuse-bouche, but let your creative spirit shine as you take inspiration from the simple pleasures of flavor and entertaining and create your own unique 'mouth-amusers' for your guests.
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