Restaurant Menus

In a restaurant, a menu is the list of options for a diner to select. A menu may be a la carte or table d'hôte. The items that are available for the diner to choose from are broken down into various categorizes, depending on the time of day or the event. A breakfast menu in the Western World has eggs, toast or fruits to help the diner have energy to start the day. Grain and protein are considerations as well. The lunch and dinner items are larger portions of food because one becomes hungrier later on in the day after consuming energy. A degustation menu however may combine elements from breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In Mary Douglas' article, "Deciphering A Meal" she asserts the menu is very important because it is the basis of all society. Through picking items off of a menu, one can learn a lot about a person. If they choose meats or high-protein food, it demonstrates their activity and need to replenish their energy supply. On the other hand, if the items chosen are vegetables or dessert, one could conclude that the person is a vegetarian or they like large amounts of sugar. While this does not apply absolutely, it may give insight into the lives or people by what they order.

It is also possible to conclude social class, by what is ordered or what the menu is like. If the menu is fancier than one would assume that the people dinning there are of a higher class or wealthy.

What a menu consists of
Most menus have various choices of food, from appetizers to the main course to dessert. These are usually found on booklets that restaurants give their customers. A menu can also have food that can be eaten without silverware that may be called called finger food, hors d'oeuvre or canapés. This being said, courses are usually consumed in a set order: apéritif - an alcoholic drink taken as an appetizer before a meal; soup; entrée; main course; dessert; cheese; coffee. Sorbets such as ginger, beetroot or mint may be served between courses as palate cleansers.

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