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Verrines ... show over substance?


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Is this presentation all for show? Is it possibly for substance?

When I read this article, it made me stop to consider what elements make it so "trendy" and why now?

LA Times

But what are they? They're called verrines. You haven't heard of them? Well, most American chefs haven't, either. A verrine is an appetizer or dessert that consists of a number of components layered artfully in a small glass. (The word verrine refers to the glass itself; literally it means "protective glass.")

Intriguingly composed, they're a study in textures, flavors, colors and temperatures. A beautiful glass might be filled with a layer of mushroom flan, sautéed wild mushrooms, a julienne of prosciutto, parsley gelée, wild mushroom emulsion and topped with a potato and prosciutto galette. Another will have clementine and mint syrup, fresh clementines and a gingerbread "crumble."

Which, if any, verrine have you tasted recently?

What was it about that particular verrine that made it most appealing to you?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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A few restaurants in my area we're using this technique as of a couple of years ago, using small old fashion mason jars. One chef was using this mostly for desserts, he had a chocolate fleur pot de creme with a chocolate streusel like layer and a maldon sea salt caramel foam atop it. The other chef was doing mostly savoury dishes, a poached salmon with a bunch of different garnishes in it. Honestly it's nothing too crazy, I know a lot of french chefs we're using this technique, it's mostly striking in the presentation like any technique, as long as all the elements taste good it works if not it's all flash and no substance.

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Pshaw.  Where I come from, the call those parfaits.  Kentucky Fried Chicken sells them.

So does Dairy Queen.

Andrew,

I was so totally resisting saying:

Pshaw - where I come from they are called trifles!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Well, you know I just can't restrain myself... anyway, fools are more or less the same thing, too.

Still, to give the verrine its due, while I've seen many preparations of sweet layered foods served in a glass, I haven't seen very many savory foods. (In a crockery dish or a cup, sure. But nothing that's as visually compelling as the dishes in the article.)

And I suppose "verrine" is something of a play on "terrine": a preparation that also often comes in layers.

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I like all the responses here that refer to the obvious legacy of the verrine.

Also worth noting are the past three decades of architectonic platings of foods. With verrines you merely have a convenient means for piling up foods more inclined to ooze or spread than tower.

However, there is something to be said for the intersection of food as art and our associations of glass casings.

It's as if you've got a mini-museum to contemplate, complete with display case.

Or, if the ingredients are marine, perhaps an aquarium.

Terrarium? I guess the next step would be to make little scenes out of the contents in the diner's glass. A little island with granular surface to one side with frondy bits above a flaky chocolate trunk...

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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