||A meal may also begin with an amuse-bouche, also called an amuse-gueule, a tiny bite-sized morsel served before the hors d'œuvre or first course of a meal. Often accompanied by a complementary wine, these are served to excite the taste buds, to prepare the guest for the meal, and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking.
||Most Western-world multicourse meals follow a standard sequence, influenced by traditional French haute cuisine. Each course is supposed to be designed with a particular size and genre that befits its place in the sequence. There are variations depending on location and custom. The following is a common sequence for multicourse meals:
1.The meal begins with an entrée, a small serving that usually does not include red meat. It is sometimes referred to as a soup course, as soups, bisques, and consommés are popular entreés. In Italian custom, antipasto is served, usually finger food that does not contain pasta or any starch. In the United States the term appetizer is usually used in place of entrée, as entrée refers to the main course.
2.This may be followed by a variety of dishes, including a possible fish course or other relevés (lighter courses), each with some kind of vegetable. The number and size of these intermittent courses is entirely dependent on local custom.
3.Following these is the main course or central part of the meal. This is the most important course and is usually the largest. The main course is called an entrée in the United States.