FRENCH CLASSICAL MENU
Being of a highly seasoned and piquant in nature, this course
is used to manipulate the appetite for the dishes that are to follow. In
recent years, hors d’oeuvres have gained in popularity, and now
appear even on simple menus in modest eating places. Although the
actual term “hors d’oeuvres” applies to the service of various cold
salads and morsels of anchovy, sardines, olives, prawns, etc., it also
covers whatever items are served before the soup.
Examples of such hors d’oeuvres:
· Melon Melon Frappe
· Oysters Huitres Nature
· Smoked Salmon Saumon Fumee
· Caviar Caviar
· Grapefruit Pamplemousse
· Potted Shrimps Petites Pots de Crevettes
· Shrimp, Prawn or Lobster Cocktail
· Fruit Cocktail Coupe Florida
· Souses Herrings Hareng Dieppoise
· Pate of Goose Liver Pate de Foie Gras
There are also quite a number of items that may be served
hot, such as Bouchees, Croquettes, Fritters, etc., and these are
known as ors d’oeuvres chaud.
The French have three separate words for soup. Consommé
is a clear, thin broth. Soupe refers to a thick, hearty mélange with
chunks of food. Potage falls somewhere between the two in texture,
content and thickness. A potage is usually puréed and is often thick,
well-seasoned meat or vegetable soup, usually containing barley or
other cereal or a pulse (e.g. lentils). Today, the words soupe and
potage are often used interchangeably. On good-class à la carte
menus, a fish soup is also usually offered for selection, the two most
common being “Bisque d’Homard” or “Bouillabaisse.”
Oeufs are the dishes made from egg. The omelette is the
most popular item, but there are other styles of cooking and
preparation of eggs such as boiled, en cocotte, poached or
scrambled. This course is not included in the dinner menu. Some
examples are omelette, Espagnole, Oeuf en Cocotte a la crime,
Oeuf poche florentine.
This is Italy's contribution to the courses of the menu. It
includes different kinds of rice and pasta. Pasta dishs are spaghetti,
lasagne and gnocchi. Pasta is made from durum wheat semolina or
milled durum wheat to which water is added to form a dough. It can
be coloured and flavoured in various ways. There are more than 200
varieties of pasta. The ingredients, size, shape and colour determine
the type of pasta. Some examples include Spaghetti Bolognaise,
Lasagne Napolitaine and Macaroni au gratin.
Poisson are the dishs made from fish. Fish, being soft-fibred,
prepares the palate for the heavier meats that follow. Deep-fried or
grilled fish dishes do not generally occupy a place on the “classical
dinner menu,” but are freely offered on the shorter-coursed luncheon
menu. This also applies to the coarser members of the fish family,
and the dinner menu is usually comprised of the finer fish prepared
and cooked in the more classical manners. Ideal fish for dinner menu
compilation are: Sole, Salmon, Halibut, Escallops, etc. Rarely seen
on a menu for the evening meal are: Cod, Bass, Haddock, Brill,
Hake, and Plaice. One deep-fried fish dish, which normally finds
itself on the dinner menu, however, is “Blanchaille”, and this only
because Whitebait are so light and in no way too filling for the
comfort of the guest.
This is the first of the meat courses on a menu. It is always a
complete dish in itself. It is despatched from the kitchen garnished
and sauced in the manner in which it is intended to be served. The
“entrée” is always cooked and garnished in an artistic manner and
usually served with a rich sauce. The “entrée” can be devised of
almost anything light. This course consists of all the small cuts of
butcher’s meats, usually sautéed, but never grilled. Grilled steaks,
cutlets and chops invariably replace the joints as the roast (roti)
The following items, with their appropriate garnishes and
sauces, can be successfully served as entrées.
· Brains (Cervelles)
· Liver (Foie)
· Oxtail (Queue de Boeuf)
· Kidneys (Rognons)
· Calves Head (Tete de Veau)
· Trips (Tripes)
· Rump, Entrecote and Tournedo Beefsteaks
· Lamb Chops and cutlets - Noisettes and Filet Mignons
· Pork Chops and cutlets
· Escallops, Granadins, Medallions, and Cotes of Veal
· Sweetbreads - (Ris de Veau / Agneau)
· Hot Souffles or Mousses
· Pilaws and Rizottos
· Small cuts or portions of poultry, individually cooked, are
also served as entrées
In first-class hotels and restaurants, all entrées are cooked,
garnished and presented for service by the sauce cook (saucier).
This is the main meat course on the menu, and is commonly
known as the “piece de resistance.” It may consist of joint of any of
Lamb (Agneau) Chicken (Poulet)
Beef (Boeuf) Duckling (Caneton)
Veal (Veau) Fowl (Poulard)
Ham (Jambon) Tongue (Langue)
These joints would be cooked by the sauce cook in a firstclass
hotel or restaurant, by any method except roasting. They are
usually cooked on casserole, braise or poêle. Generally cooked in a
sauce and served with it.
This course is a rest between courses. It counteracts the
previous dishes, and rejuvenates the appetite for those that are to
follow. Normally served between the releve/remove and the roti, it is
a water and crushed ice slush flavored as a rule with champagne
and served in a glass. A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice,
sugar, and water, and also containing milk, egg white, or gelatin.
Some examples are Sorbet Italian and Sorbet creme de menthe.
Russian or Egyptian cigarettes are often passed around during this
9) Roti - Roast
This course normally consists of game or poultry and is often
included in the entree. Each dish is accompanied with its own
particular sauce and salad. Some examples are Roast chicken,
Braised duck and Roast quail.
These are vegetable dishes that can be served separately as
an individual course or may be included along - with the entrée,
relevé or roast courses. Some examples are Cauliflower mornay,
Baked potato and Grilled tomatoes.
Entremets on a menu refers to desserts. This could include
hot or cold sweets, gateaux, soufflés or ice-cream. Some examples
are Apple pie, Chocolate souffle and Cassata ice-cream.
A dish of pungent taste, such as anchovies on toast or
pickled fruit. They are seved hot on toast or as savoury soufflé.
Welsh rarebit, Scotch woodcock, Canape diane are some of the
examples. Fromage (Cheese) is an alternative to the outdated
savoury course, and may be served before or after the sweet course.
It is usually served with butter, crackers and occasionally celery.
Gouda, Camembert and Cheddar are some examples of cheese.
Dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal.
The French word desservir mean "to clear the table." This is the fruit
course usually presented in a basket and placed on the table, as part
of the table decor, and served at the end of the meal. All forms of
fresh fruit and nuts may be served in this course. Common desserts
include cakes, cookies, fruits, pastries and candies.