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Jun 24, 2007 07:53 AM

Help me with this term please, 'a muse bushe'

My question is, what is it? I think I know but can not find a single thing on the Internet where it describes the term. Maybe I'm spelling it incorrectly but still google should be able to identify it and pull up pages but no luck.

Is there a place where I can read about it. If so please post, sorry for my stupidity but this is driving me bats.


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  1. Amuse bouche is a French expression loosely translated (like everything else in that language) as an appetiser, or something to "amuse" your "bouche" (mouth).

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cheflambo

      This started me wondering the difference between amuse bouche and amuse geule, both
      French expressions for the same thing. Sort of.

      In French, amuse bouche means literally "it amuses the mouth." The French were using amuse-bouche as a word for appetizers when English speakers embraced the culinary term almost a quarter of a century ago.
      The French are more likely to use their term amuse-geule for those tasty tidbits, however.
      In English amuse-bouche has a special meaning. It's not just any appetizer! Typically, it's a tiny complimentary one...a tiny beet-puree-filled taco; a tiny square of halibut-and-salmon cake; fig molasses on a tiny cube of goat cheese."

      1. re: maria lorraine

        I was taught that "bouche" is the refined word for mouth, and "guele" is a less polite synonym (it's more like "gullet"). But I'm not a native speaker, so take my comment with un peu du sel.

        In any case, it's a tasty little tidbit that usually makes my mouth smile!


        1. re: AnneInMpls

          The difference between polite and not being so is that when the words amuse and geule are *combined* the expression means little appetizer, but for the French this has a special connotation different from the [implied free] amuse bouche.
          More info at:

          Will Owen has more to say below. Scroll down.


      you have to spell it correctly, first (:

      also, exactly what cheflambo said...its something to amuse the mouth and it's usually ONE bite of food

      2 Replies
      1. re: bitsubeats

        Well I think the OP recognizes that the word may have been misspelled, so no need to rub it in. While we're in the mood for corrections, it is not one bite; although it may be that size it is not defined as such. It is, in its' most pure form, a little tease from the chef. The amuse should give the diner a sense of anticipation for what's to come. It should showcase the talent of the chef.

        1. re: monavano

          I wasn't rubbing it in...thats what the smile was for, I was being sarcastic

          see? (:

      2. Don't feel bad. Many years ago, my husband and I ate at a friend's new restaurant, along with some other family members. So we're all presented with this little plate with this one teensy tiny little bite of food on it. None of us knew from an "amuse bouche" at the time and we were all puzzled and, well, amused, at the gesture. I can still hear us all going on about it, with comments like "what the heck is this?", "what's the point?" and "why bother?" It wasn't until quite a long time later that I learned what an amuse bouche is, and I still get a little uncomfortable when I think about that memory.

        4 Replies
        1. re: flourgirl

          And here's some pronunciation help: ahmewse booosh, where the "ah" is short and the "ooo" is long. They're usually complicated and wonderful treats, prepared at the whim of the chef, to get you rolling on the meal to follow.

            1. re: Luwak

              Kinda like "gyull", only subtler and more French. "Gyull" will do if nobody expects you to have a good French accent.

              My wife, who DOES expect me to have a good accent whether I can speak it or not, insists that "amuse bouche" is borderline offensive, as polite French people don't talk about their mouths. Geule refers to the face, which is mentionable. Things have probably loosened up a bit nowadays, though.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I disagree with your pronunciation help. I wouldn't add the 'y' at all. Without being able to hear a perfect pronunciation, it's best to keep it simple and just say 'gull,' or if you want to be perfect, imitate the 'u' in 'put.' This gives you the 'eu' combination, as in 'un peu,' meaning 'a little.'

                My own translation of the French word 'geule' is the slang English word 'mug.' It is sometimes used in French to describe some an anonymous guy loitering on the street or hanging around the bar - just like the word 'mug' in English has both meanings: 'face' as well as a neighborhood toughie. As a term, amuse geule is a bit more clever and whimsical than amuse bouche. I had never heard the latter until restaurants in the US started using it widely.

        2. Chef Rick Tramonto from Chicago, of Tru Restaurant, most notably, has a cookbook available called "Amuse Bouche". He describes it simply and effectively as "a little bite of delight before the meal begins."