Marc had a question that I think other Rectors might be interested in:
What’s the name and the spelling of the first thing you’re served at a fancy restaurant, complements of the chef?
I sent the first response based on a conversation our family had around the table of the Royal Palm restaurant in Montpelier:
Depending on whether you ask Brian or Valerie you will either be told it’s an “amuse bouche” (mouth pleaser) or and “amuse guelle” (snout pleaser) (my spelling and translations are not precise).
I’ve heard both in the US, but “amuse bouche” seems to be the predominant term.
But Brian eventually added a more informed response:
F y’all’s I, “amuse bouche” is only used here in extremely fancy (or pretentious) restaurants. “Amuse guele” is the predominant term here. The word “guele” (which does mean ‘snout”) can be a derogatory term, as in “ferme ta guele!” (or simply “ta guele!” = ‘shut your snout!”) but it’s also used familiarly to mean “face” or “mouth,” normally when referring to one’s own face or mouth. There’s a famous Johnny Halladay song (well, famous in France, as I suppose they all are) where Johnny laments “Qu’est-ce qu’elle a, ma guele?” (“What’s up with my face?” i.e. “Why am I wearing such a long face all the time?”) I understand that in America they call it an “amuse bouche,” which is not surprising since American restaurants that use the term prolly would rather associate themselves with fancier places rather than “home-style” cooking. Maybe Valérie has something to add to the discussion…