des hors d'œuvres vs des amuse-bouches vs canapés vs petits fours?!

AdrienneC1Kwiziq community member

des hors d'œuvres vs des amuse-bouches vs canapés vs petits fours?!

In the US, one of the few French words that most of us Americans think we know is  "hors d'œuvres"-- to us, it means appetizers. Yet, "hors d'œuvres" isn't an option in the context of a NY Eve party in France?  I think of an "amuse-bouche" being something that is served between courses in an elaborate meal, a "canapé" is something on a cracker (savory biscuit), and a "petits fours" is a tiny cube of cake, frosted with a ganache and decorated daintily.  Can someone please clarify?

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Adrienne,

The word 'hors d'œuvres' is not accepted for 'appetizers' as in France it means a starter or a first course and is more substantial than a petit fourcanapé or amuse-bouche which are mouthful size-titbits ( of varying shapes ) served before the first course in a special meal.

Another word for hors d'œuvre is entrée in France. This is used differently in English too I believe.

It sometimes happens that an imported foreign word is used slightly differently in situ and these are such examples.

Hope this helps!

AdrienneC1Kwiziq community member

And now, after completing another exercise on NY Eve I see that "amuse-gueles" is yet another word for appetizers!

CécileKwiziq team member

Ah! Adrienne, I didn't mention 'amuse-gueules' but it was accepted in both exercises. The reason is that nowadays it seems more polite to say 'amuse-bouches'.  

The word 'gueule' whose prime meaning is the mouth of certain animals is used for countless expressions deemed 'populaires' ( think 'common' ) and is considered vulgar nowadays.

https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/gueule/38539 

When I was growing up in France amuse-bouches didn't exist and 'amuse-gueule' or 'canapé' would have been the word for an appetizer.

des hors d'œuvres vs des amuse-bouches vs canapés vs petits fours?!

In the US, one of the few French words that most of us Americans think we know is  "hors d'œuvres"-- to us, it means appetizers. Yet, "hors d'œuvres" isn't an option in the context of a NY Eve party in France?  I think of an "amuse-bouche" being something that is served between courses in an elaborate meal, a "canapé" is something on a cracker (savory biscuit), and a "petits fours" is a tiny cube of cake, frosted with a ganache and decorated daintily.  Can someone please clarify?

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