The Beginner’s Guide To Fine-Dining Terminology

November 11, 2018 by
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Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to [Blank], our recurring series in which our experts provide everything you need to know about a multitude of endeavors. 

This week we’ll be taking you through:

The Beginner’s Guide To The Terminology Of Fine Dining

The world of fine dining has its own complex language that can turn a romantic date into a confusing embarrassment if you don’t know the lingo. Worry no more, because we’re here to help. This beginner’s guide to the terminology of fine dining is your one-stop shop for culinary verbiage. Let’s get started!

A la Mode: In America, it usually describes a dessert, typically pie, served with a scoop of ice cream on top. The direct French translation means “in fashion” or “up-to-date.” This is the first of many French words on this list, because while the French were busy single-handedly creating modern cuisine, the rest of us uncultured swine were merrily chugging slop from a trough.

Al dente: Half-chubbed pasta.

Aioli: Highfalutin mayonnaise.

Amuse-Bouche: Literally meaning “amuse the mouth” in French, an amuse-bouche is an act of oral sex performed before a meal to loosen-up a restaurant patron so they may enjoy the meal more thoroughly.

Anti-Pasto: The only thing that can defeat pasta.

Aperitif: A classy term for getting drunk on an empty stomach.

Artisan: The word your local baker bestowed upon himself to justify his $22 loaves of rye bread.

Béchamel Sauce: Proof that even a flour-based food sludge can sound delicious if you name it properly.

Our Restaurant's New Insect Menu Has Nothing To Do With The Recent Fumigation

Bouquet Garni: I don’t know.

Carpaccio: Thin slices of raw beef served as an appetizer, usually topped with lemon juice, parmesan, or arugula. Also an Italian slang term for a person who solicits prostitutes from the comfort of their car.

Charcuterie: Adult Lunchables.

Confit: A meat, usually duck, cooked in its own fat to really rub in our dominance over its species.

Consommé: A richly flavored stock traditionally served after a newly married couple consummates their marriage. It is more colloquially known as “Fuck Soup.”

Crème Fraiche: Highfalutin sour cream.

Deconstructed: A meal served by a chef who is utterly unwilling to assemble it into its traditionally recognizable shape, partially as an artistic expression, but mostly out of contempt for the customer.

Digestif: A bookend to an aperitif, a digestif is a post-meal alcoholic beverage that aids digestion by triggering a violent eruption of vomit.

Flambe: When a chef sets your food on fire, then—in a mad scramble to save face—tells you he meant to do it.

Foie Gras: A pate made from the fattened liver of geese. It is achieved by staging a traumatic event in a goose’s early developmental years, which eventually triggers alcoholism and the aforementioned fatty liver.

Frenched: To be spit upon by a French person, typically because you’re not French.

Fusion: A term used by chefs to describe cultural appropriation you can taste.

Gazpacho: Cold soup that costs $14.

Ghee: Don’t listen to all the charlatans and flimflam artists saying that it’s good for your heart. Its clarified butter and clarified butter is just fucking butter.

I’m Totally Okay Being Trapped Under This Weighted Blanket

Hors d’Oeuvres: A small appetizer served before the main meal, like the handful of Cool Ranch Doritos before a Little Caesars Hot-N-Ready.

Kobe: Typically shouted by chefs when they toss food scraps in the garbage.

Omakase: Meaning “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese, a restaurant with an omakase menu is strikingly similar to a prison cafeteria in that diners must eat whatever is served, no questions asked, lest they be shanked in the yard.

Petits Fours: The collective term for the legs of miniature horses.

Prix-Fixe: The French term for a doctor of the penis. I don’t know why it’s on this list.

Roe: This small but elegant word that flows so delicately off the tongue describes the eggs scooped out of a fish’s pussy.

fine dining

Sommelier: Someone who swears all wine doesn’t taste the same.

Sous-vide: A type of food preparation that makes everyone who boils the flavor out of everything feel like they were right all along.

Sweetbreads: Something you order thinking you’re gonna get a cinnamon bun but instead get a cow’s throat gland.

Tapas: A series of small-but-obscenely overpriced dishes that leave you so dissatisfied that you might as well build the cost of the drive-through burger you’re gonna pick up after dinner into the bill.

Tartar: A classic dish that spits in the face of every good-natured person who’s ever told you to avoid eating undercooked meat.

Umami: What your friend who just came back from Japan calls “savory.”

Images: PexelsPixabay, Pixabay

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