How about an “Amuse”ing Halloween?

Amuse, intermezzo, intercourse, what is this term? I’m fondest of the later term…lol. Technically it’s a course in a menu, could fall at the beginning, the middle or the end. It’s pretty much unclassified as it can be anything, appetizer, miniature salad, soup or even a complex mini entree or dessert. WOW, right?

An amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons but are served free and according to the chef’s selection alone. These are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse of the chef’s style.

The term is French and literally means “mouth amuser”. The plural form may be amuse-bouche or amuse-bouches.In France, amuse-gueule is traditionally used in conversation and literary writing, while amuse-bouche is not even listed in most dictionaries, being a euphemistic hypercorrection that appeared in the 1980s on restaurant menus and used almost only there. (In French, bouche refers to the human mouth, while gueule may mean the mouth or snout of an animal, though commonly used for mouth and derogatory only in certain expressions.

Personally whilst writing this thread I’m reminded of time past before the Halloween party was the thing.

The origins of fancy dress parties in the United Kingdom can in some respects be traced to masked balls of the 18th century period. In the period to 1850, fancy dress balls were a typical part of the social life of music festivals.

Common costumes of the period were specific historical characters, generic historical or regional clothing, abstract concepts (such as “winter”, “starlight” or “night”), and objects (such as “champagne bottle” or “aquarium”). Popular characters included, for women, Marie Antoinette and Elizabeth I, and for men, Napoleon and Robin Hood. You remember in the movies, right?

Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to discuss the place of the AMUSE in a cocktail reception style house party. let’s face it your not going to host a sit down party on Halloween. In the case of an adult oriented party with people wearing disguises, mixing and matching is the purpose….food just helps with the fun. I’ll break this down into three sections, the amuse, intermezzo and a term I left out at the beginning “Mignardises” or petit fors.


Before charging in here, you should note that you can have as many selections in each category as you like. Just serve them one at a time, and in an order of savory to sweet, and interchange warm with cold items…that’s enough rules for now! Your amuse are going to be your savory choices, so you should have at least three. Serve them as handheld, on a spoon or toothpick, or even in a Demi tasse cup(soup). Remember anything that is served as a full appetizer portion can be served as an amuse…..just scale this size down to a bite or two at most.

Intercourse (intermezzo)

Mmmm, intercourse. No really, intermezzo is actually a term referencing opera and musical situations. In music, an intermezzo plural form: intermezzi), in the most general sense, is a composition which fits between other musical or dramatic entities, such as acts of a play or movements of a larger musical work. In music history, the term has had several different usages, which fit into two general categories: the opera intermezzo and the instrumental intermezzo. In our case it’s kind of like an ice breaker, so to speak. Something to clear the palate, before the sweet things. It can be as simple as a sorbet, granite or chilled fruit soup. Again, small is the key. In this case one option is enough.

Mignardises or Petit Fors

The grand finale, the sweet stuff. Maybe do two or three here as well, being Halloween and all. Once again bite size, warm or cold, your choice of delivery method. I would recommend a chocolate option at the end for sure….truffles, yummy! The other options again can be any type of dessert scaled down to a single bite or two.


What I’m trying to get across here is to create a theme and to have your food choices reflect that. A little creativity goes a long way to having a successful party. You can even make it pot luck, and invite your guests to each bring an item. And of course you could hire Dinner Thyme to do it for you! Oddly enough I’m not booked that day, I’ll even give a friends discount. Anyway, happy Friday! Cheers!