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A verrine is originally a small thick-glass container with no base, which purpose is to contain a solid or liquid dish (starter, course or dessert), rather than a drink. This French word is usually left untranslated in English.
By way of metonymy, a “verrine” therefore designates in the cooking world a dish served in a verrine, in a vertical manner, which allows a different aesthetic and gustatory experience from a dish served in a traditional plate.
Indeed, the sheer verticality and transparency of the verrine allows :
- Immediate visual reading and construction of taste ;
- Completion of the gustatory balance in the mouth rather than in the verrine ; sensations, specifically those of intensity and finish, are therefore strengthened and better controlled by the diners.
According to the original concept, verrines are composed of three superimposed layers, each conveying specific characteristics in terms of taste:
- The lower, thin layer is made of acidulous preparations to trigger salivation and prepare the taste buds to receive other tastes ;
- The intermediate, thicker layer consists of a preparation bringing the main taste structure ;
- And the upper layer consists of a third, smooth and silky preparation aimed at coating the taste buds and providing a full-bodied, pleasant finish.
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- Larousse Gastronomique, p. 887 left column, article“verrine” (French)
- Larousse Gastronomique, p. 887 left column, article“verrine”(French)