Thursday, May 2, 2019

Etiquette of 11 to 12 Course Dinners

Course 11 is the “Dessert Course” - This is a rich, sweet and decadent course, which is usually accompanied by a glass of dessert wine or coffee.  
Eleven and twelve course dinners were popular in the Gilded Age. One course not shown below is the “Removes” the most confusing of courses,“The Removes” or “Remove” wasn’t originally referring to a food. Its name was merely referencing the time used to remove and switch out side dishes and crumb the table perhaps, in the preparation for the “Second Main Course” or the British “Roast Course.” 
Of the 5th or “Remove Course” of the 11 course meal, offered in Titanic’s First Class on its tragic, final night, the authors of “Last Dinner on the Titanic” write: “In the choreography of an Edwardian meal, a lighter course generally followed a heavier one. With the remove, we reach the solid center of the Titanic’s last dinner. It is the only course that closely resembles a main course served in a restaurant today.” – Quote and image from the book “Last Dinner on the Titanic” 

Suggested Dinner of 12 Courses
  1. Hors d’oeuvres - typically served during cocktails or as guests are arriving, these are usually finger-foods not served at the table.
  2. Amuse-Bouche - a French term, meaning to “amuse the mouth” or in other words, to please guests’ palates with a small flavorful taste, to stimulate the appetite or simply hint at flavors to come in the next course(s).
  3. Soup - it’s smart to avoid soups that are too hearty so guests don’t fill up quickly.
  4. Appetizer - this course is referred to as the “entree” in many parts of Europe, because it introduces the main courses in the meal. Usually served on serving trays or small appetizer plates, featuring small cuts of meat, seasonal vegetables and sauces.
  5. Salad  - in some parts of Europe, salad is served after the main course.
  6. Fish - a flavorful, light protein, before the main courses.
  7. First Main Course - often a white meat, such as chicken, duck, or turkey.
  8. Palate Cleanser - usually a sorbet, the frozen dish not only helps freshen,  but numbs the taste buds (lemon, melon or mint flavor.)
  9. Second Main Course - a red meat like lamb, venison or premium beef
  10. Cheese Course - a selection of different cheeses along with fruits, crackers and other complementary accompaniments.
  11. Dessert - this is a rich, sweet and decadent course, which is usually accompanied by a glass of dessert wine or coffee.
  12. Mignardise - a tiny, bite-sized dessert or pastry, served with tea, coffee, port, brandy, or scotch. 

Sources: KaTom blog, Webstaurant, The RSVP Institute of Etiquette,  
“Last Dinner on the Titanic”

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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