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Salad Picture[edit]

To someone who doesn't know what an appetizer is, a picture of a salad is very misleading. Maybe a steak? While the caption explains the salad, the picture is needlessly confusing and out of place in this article (also, most people don't read captions). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I think the whole point of showing a salad is to indicate that outside the US an entrée is more likely to resemble what would be considered an appetiser in the US - a steak is exactly the wrong thing to show, as traditionally an entrée would precede a meat dish. Outside North America "entrée" is rarely used to describe a main course or a substantial meat dish (although the article suggests the American-style use of the word is now accepted in the UK, it is in fact almost never used this way on menus or in coversation, and most British people would still be confused by the use of the term to describe something like a steak unless they were very familiar with American English). Someone glancing at the pictures would probably get the accurate impression that the word entrée can cover quite a wide range of different types of dishes, so I see no need to change it. --missdipsy (talk) 08:24, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Broader Dialect Groupings[edit]

I've changed British and Australian to Commonwealth because I believe this is the use in all non-North American dialects. I've also changed American to North American because the term is also so used in Canada. - Jim 22Apr05

You have introduced a contradiction since Canadian English is included in Commonwealth English. As a side note, the use of entrée for main course is not universal accross North America. In particular in the mostly French speaking province of Quebec, the local English population uses the term entrée in the same way as that the French and non-North American English speakers do. Kilrogg 23:11, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Ambiguity deleted. --JackLumber 22:36, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Whilst I have NOT changed the content of the page this discussion is attached to. I do question the term North American English, surely it should be North American or English. Better still North American or Commonwealth English on the grounds that I am sure no member of the Commonwealth (in recent years) would regard the American language as the same as the English language; they have become totally different.

I also question "In North American English, an entrée is the main course, following now-obsolete French usage". Who said the French usage was now-obsolete, certainly I do not believe it was the French - or the (Commonwealth) English for that matter. Another reason to differentiate between American and English (or Commonwaelth English) perhaps. – Mark (half French, half English), 3rd January 2006.

In restaurants in France today, "entrée" means a first course, served before the "plat principal" and after the "hors d'oeuvre" or "amuse-bouche" if any. I do not believe it ever means the main course nowadays. However, it has meant that in the past (sorry, I don't have my French dictionaries handy here). --Macrakis 16:07, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm a member of the Commonwealth, and I regard the American language as a dialect of English. English language describes 'English' as "a West Germanic language that is spoken in Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries." See also American English, which refers to "the dialect of the English language used mostly in the United States of America".
Describing it as "totally different" to Commonwealth English is hyperbole at best. There are certainly differences (for instance, American English has preserved certain older spellings that Commonwealth English abandoned), but speakers of one dialect have little difficulty making themselves understood by the other. --Calair 01:27, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

To Macrakis: Could you please provide evidence that "entrée" in older french was used for the main course? The etymology suggests that it was meant to mean "starter" or "opening dish" from the beginning. Thanks. --tonis1 06:35, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

usage of entree / urban myth[edit]

is there anything to substantiate that the usage of entree in the US describing the main course has to do with the fact that the portions are so big that after the entree there is no desire for a main course?

Noserider (talk) 14:16, 21 May 2009 (UTC)


It's also an acronym for European Network for Training and Research in Electrical Engineering. How do we do a disambiguation? - Tony

Contradiction (UK usage)[edit]

The first paragraph says this course is called a starter in the UK; the next section says it's called a starter (among other things) in the US and an entrée elsewhere.

I live in the UK and "starter" is the generally accepted term here. "Entrée" isn't widely used in my experience, and would probably be regarded as pretentious in many circumstances (akin to saying "pommes frites" when you really mean chips). This term may be used at more expensive restaurants, but certainly not at the typical curry house, steak house or Chinese restaurant that the average Brit would dine out in. (talk) 19:53, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Sharing an entree -- rude or not?[edit]

In the July 15, 2008 Nintendo Wii Everybody Votes Channel results, 81.4% of Americans believe it isn't rude to share an entrée. Other countries may have different views, but which ones??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Contradiction (US usage)[edit]

The first paragraph correctly says that in North America (at least the English-speaking part), the course that the French call an entrée is called a first course, appetizer, or starter. (In my experience, the most common U.S. usage is "appetizer," though the other two terms are also used. In Britain, "starter" is the most common.) However, in the third paragraph of the "Origins" section, it's repeatedly said (without attribution) that in American usage the course is called the hors d'oeuvre. This is quite wrong; in the U.S., hors d'oeuvres are much the same as they are in France: not the first course of the meal, but small bites preceding a meal, usually passed by waiters or laid out on a buffet, though conceivably but rarely presented at the table itself. Wbkelley (talk) 02:40, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. In the U.S., "appetizer" is the most common term for what is called an "entrée" in French. "Starter" is gaining popularity. "Hors d'oeuvres" is never used for a substantive first course.

Qualification Required[edit]

I added some qualifications to the first paragraph, since this term has become very common in advertising for mass-market restaurants, frozen food, and even pet food, but it is still, I am glad to say, not universal in North America. It is rarely heard in speech, and not even used in many upscale restaurants. Lee1999 (talk) 04:28, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

In Canada?[edit]

It seemed a little bizarre to me that "entree" apparently refers to the meal itself rather than the meal that comes before the main course. I live in Southern Ontario and I've only really heard people use "entree" to refer to the food that comes before the main course. In restaurants, waiters and waitresses will sometimes ask if a person wants an "entree" before their meal. I guess I'm wondering if the description of "English Canada" using the same references for entree as the United States is accurate or merely regional. I find different areas in Canada are far more Americanized than others, e.g. Alberta, British Columbia, and parts of Ontario. Celynn (talk) 06:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Remaining contradiction[edit]

"The term entrée is rarely used for an hors d'oeuvre, also called a first course, appetizer, or starter. In France, however, the term "entrée", a French word which means an entrance or beginning, always describes a first course not the main course."

This seems to take the American perspective, because far from being a 'rare' usage, that is the ordinary usage seemingly everywhere but the USA. Of course I am too lazy to edit this myself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Unnecessary trivia[edit]

Under the section "Use": "In Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, chapter 40, bills of fare for a grand dinner for eighteen, January 1887, follow two kinds of fish and two kinds of soup with four entrées: Ris de Veau, Poulet à la Marengo, Côtelettes de Porc and a Ragoût of Lobster. Guests were not expected to eat of each dish, of course, for the entrées were followed by a Second Course and a Third Course, of game and fruit."

Why is this information included here? It's not very informative or concise for inclusion in this section, and it seems like it should be in "History" instead, for example. (talk) 06:55, 3 August 2014 (UTC)