ORIGIN OF MENU
The menu is primarily a selling aid. Originally the bill of fare (English) or menu (French) was not presented at the table. Banquets generally consisted of two courses. Each made up of a variety of dishes, anything from 10-40 in numbers. The first set of dishes were placed on the table before the diners entered – hence the word entrée – and when consumed, these dishes were removed or relieved by another set of dishes – hence the words ‘relieves or removes’.
The word ‘menu’ dates back to the 18th century although the custom of making a list of the courses for a meal is much older. Modern menu first appeared during the early 19th century in the Parsan Restaurant of the Palais – Royas. Although, the actual number of courses on a menu and dishes within each course will depend on the size and class of the establishment which usually follows a classic sequence.
MEANING AND SCOPE OF MENU (BILL OF FARE)
A menu is a list of the foods and drinks that are available in a catering establishment. It is a list of food items that is available to be served, from which each guest makes personal choice in sequence at the most convenient time. Menus are primarily selling aids. In other words, it is a means of communication, informing customers what the caterer has to offer.
Functions of Menu
- It helps to inform catering staff of what is to be prepared.
- It informs customers of what is available.
- Define the word, menu.
- Give a brief history on the origin of menu.
THE CLASSIC SEQUENCE OF MENU
- Hors – d’oeuvres: This course consists of a variety of compound salads but now includes items as pates, mousses, fruits, seafood cocktail and smoked fish. It could be hot or cold.
- Soups (Potages): These include all soups, both hot and cold.
- Egg dishes (Oeufs):There are a great number of egg dishes.
- Pasta and Rice (Farineux): This includes all pasta and rice dishes.
- Fish (Poisson):This course consist of fish dishes, both hot and cold
- Entrée (Main dishes used as a starter): They are generally small, well garnished dishes which come from the kitchen ready for service. They are usually accompanied by a rich sauce or gravy. Examples of this type of dishes are sweet bread, garnished cutlets.
- Sorbet (Granites): Lightly frozen water ice based on unsweetened fruit juice probably served with a spirit, liqueur or champagne. It is served to give a pause within a meal, allowing the palate to be refreshed.
- Releve: This refers to the main roast or other larger joints of meat, which would be served together with potatoes and vegetables.
- Roast (Roti):This term refers to roasted game and poultry dishes.
- Vegetables (legumes): This could be served with releves or roast courses or as a separate course served as starters.
- Salad (Salade): Small plate of green salad and salad dressing taken after main course.
- Cold buffet (buffet froid): It includes a variety of cold meat and fish, cheese and egg dishes with a range of salads and dressings.
- Cheese (fromage): It includes a variety of cheese and various accompaniments.
- Sweet (entremets): It refers to both hot and cold puddings.
- Savoury (savoureux): Sugarless dishes such as welsh, rarebit, pastry or other items on toast.
- Fruits (dessert): Fresh fruits and sometimes candied fruits.
- Beverages: They include tea, standard and de-caffeinated coffee, hot or cold milk drinks, etc.
However,the above menus have been grouped under the following categories in modern day catering establishments:
- Starters made of the first three e. g. Hors d’ouvre, soups, and egg dishes.
- Main courses made up of farinaceous dishes, fish, entrée, releve and cold buffet.
- Desserts which include cheese dishes, fruits and sweet dishes.
The scopes of a menu includes:
- The appetizers which are the starters or first course of the meal.
- The main meal or entrée.
- Desserts or sweet e. g. ice cream, cakes, fruits, etc.
- Beverages e. g. variety of teas, cocoa drinks and coffee.
- Continental and ethnic menus.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- What is Bill of fare?
- List the classic sequences involved in the planning of menus.
- State two main functions of a menu.
- State six scopes of menu
- Mention three categories of kitchen equipment with two examples each.
Basic Catering for SSS1-3 by Omotayo and Olorunda. Pages 222-224
Catering Craft Practice for SSS1-3 by Aminu S. N. Bariki. Pages 180-181
- Creative display of menus on menu card goes along way in ____. A. reducing its selling B. improving its selling chasing customers’ awayD. reducing cost of production
- The word menu is a ____ wordA. British B. French C. EnglishD. Italian
- A list of meals, drinks that are available can best be described as a ____. A. Food B. Dish C. menuD.dinner
- ____ aregenerally small, well garnished dishes which comes from the kitchen ready for service. A. Sweet B.SavouryC.Roast
- ____ is served to give a pause within a meal, allowing the palate to be refreshed. A. Sorbet B.Releve C. Sweet D.Savoury
- What is menu?
- List five items from the classic sequence of menu.
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