Have fine dining menus become too complicated for any of us to understand without explanation?
Here at DR Towers, menus are continually flying around the office as we look at fabulous new restaurants to bring you. While we pride ourselves on having a pretty good foodie knowledge bank within the team, we still come across terminology that sometimes baffles us. Is it any wonder that people sometimes find fine dining so intimidating? Or would help if we were all multi-lingual?
We have the wonderful resource of often being able to go straight to the creator of said menu and have the term or item explained and so have collected together some of the more recent ones we have come across to share with you incase you are as bewildered as us! The list is by no means exhaustive – we have plenty more to share with you another time (and forgive us if we are teaching you to suck eggs – although that’s not something we recommend).
Design Restaurants Glossary of Menu Terms that may need further explanation:
Duxelles – Chopped mushrooms, shallots and cream
En Rognonnade – veal loin with kidneys attached
Tropea – Sweet red Italian onion
Espuma – Spanish for foam, mousse or ice cream made commonly with a thermo whip
Etouffee – The term literally means, “smothered.” It is a method of cooking something smothered in a blanket of chopped vegetables over a low flame in a tightly covered pan
Pain ‘perdu’ – French toast
Brillat truffé – Creamy cheese flavoured with truffles
Gariguette Strawberries – An old and much-loved French variety that produces sweet and aromatic fruits
Recap Manis – Sweet soy glaze
Chuletillas – Grilled Baby Lamb Chops
Bois boudrin – Marinade sauce made with tomatoes, shallots, worcester sauce, ketchup, lemon, vinegar & tarragon
Feuilles de brick – fine sheets of ready-made pastry with their origins in Tunisia. Often used to make a ‘cigar’ which is then filled with either sweet or savoury
Chiffonade – A culinary arts knife technique for cutting herbs like basil into fine strips
Duck “Croisé” – Good alternative to gamey wild duck as the cross breeding with domesticated duck tames this gamey-ness
Burrata – Fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream
Purslane – Also known as Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed, or Pursley, and Moss rose – considered a weed in the States but may be eaten as a leaf vegetable and contains more omega3 fatty acids than any other leafy veg (allegedly)
Girolles – Mushrooms that we Brits call Chanterelles, orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped
Ratte potatoes – a small potato with a unique nutty flavour and smooth, buttery texture
Now that you know what they mean – can you pronounce them correctly?
Anything new you come across (or anything we have printed that you may dispute) – please let us know with a comment below!
For more information about our restaurant guide and membership club please go to www.designrestaurants.com