Culinary experts predict that in 2014 the newest trends in appetizers can best be described in one word: ethnic. From taquitos to tabbouleh, from tempura to tzatziki, our mouth-watering appetite teasers promise to be representative of a total global dining experience. One of the most exciting is the introduction to America of the amuse-bouche.
An amuse-bouche is a single bite hors d'oeuvres. The name is a French term which literally means “mouth amuser.” Sometimes simply referred to as an amuse, they are often served in finer restaurants as a complimentary bite to set the stage for your dining experience.
But don’t let the name fool you … even though the concept is inarguably French, an amuse-bouche can be composed of any cuisine. Often times the depth of flavor and sophistication of that single bite can be as complex and refined as a main course.
One specific type of amuse-bouche gaining popularity is the soup shooter. They are generally served in a demitasse or shot glass and can be either hot or cold. Chances are if you’ve been to a formal wedding or reception of any type in the last 12 months, you’ve had firsthand experience with this trendy taste treat.
Creamed soup makes a particularly good amuse-bouche soup shooter. Some of the ethnic versions you’re likely to see are:
Borscht – A Ukrainian soup composed mainly from beetroots, often garnished with sour cream and dill.
Red Lentil – A spicy Egyptian soup made primarily of red lentils and tomatoes, seasoned with cumin, coriander and chili powder.
Kartoffelsuppe – A creamy potato soup from Germany with just a hint of nutmeg for a unique festive flavor.