Decoding Menu Buzzwords

Today, a sensory experience is essential to every meeting. With the help of our restaurant supplier-partners, we work together to create an environment that is just right for you and your attendees. Oftentimes, when planners create a menu, they are searching for the essence of the event’s theme. In contrast to this, menu buzzwords can either complicate or misrepresent what your guests eat. With our years of experience in food and beverage, PRA has come up with a handy list of menu buzzwords to get you started on the right foot to menu planning for your next corporate event!

A Glossary of Menu Buzzwords

  • Aioli (n. AYE-oh-li) – Classically, this is an emulsion of garlic, egg, and oil. Today, it’s becoming more common to see the word as a substitute for mayonnaise. It isn’t.
  • Amuse bouche (n. uh-MOOZ boosh) – Unless you’re a Francophile or fan of Top Chef, this word may be new to you. It’s any small, one-bite portion to excite your taste buds, oftentimes interchangeable with hors d’oeuvre or even canape.
  • Au jus (adj. ouh ghjoo) – The juices of the meat, reserved and reapplied after cooking. Today, you’ll find most restaurants call any gravy an au jus (and will use it as a noun).
  • Cappuccino (n. cah-poo-CHI-no) – Frothy and delicious, this Italian espresso drink is a lot smaller than what you’ll find at Starbucks.
  • Crudité (n. crew-DI-tay) – A vegetable dish, usually strips of vegetables with an accompanying sauce. Restaurants even list their salads as crudité, so make sure to ask how they prepare theirs.
  • Gelato (n. gj-eh-LAH-toh) – Ice cream’s Italian cousin. Though ice cream, gelato, and even sorbet may look the same – they’re all very different. Gelato has a higher concentration of fat and a low (or no) amount of eggs, resulting in a creamier dish that’s best served with an espresso.
  • Galette (n. gAL-et) – A French free-formed pie, molded by hand rather than in a pie tin. Small, easy to make, and completely customization, we are seeing this as a food trend popping up in 2018.
  • Lardon (n. lar-DOHN) – Anymore, restaurants are substituting lardon (a fatty pork strip) with bacon. But it’s bacon–so no one minds!
  • Macaron (n. mah-CRON) – The iconic French sandwich cookie that come in a rainbow of pastel colors all over your Instagram feed. Often mispronounced and misidentified as a macaroon, which is a coconut cookie (definitely not the same, but still delicious).
  • Raw (adj. rAh) – With the influence of coastal metropolises, raw diets are becoming a hot trend. A raw menu option means no part of the meal is cooked or processed.
  • Tapas (n. tah-pahs) – Small, shareable plates as the appetizer or main course of a menu. While becoming more popular, be weary of your guests’ appetites if serving exclusively tapas-style
  • Tempura (adj. tem-PUR-uh) – A popular way to prepare a dish these days, it’s a Japanese-style of deep frying a batter-dipped meat, vegetable, or even dessert!

And there you have it! Menu planning is stressful enough, but hopefully, by understanding today’s trends and their accompanying buzzwords, you and your guests will delight in the menu selections. Whether it’s enjoying a macaron with your espresso after noshing on some tapas, or enjoying one last bite of crudité before the server takes the tray way, we know your guests will be savoring every moment of the evening.

And with PRA, we don’t only touch on the flavors of the evening, we can incorporate these elements into the other four senses: sight, smell, sound, and feel. Contact us today to learn more!

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