Aussie health coach reveals the most confusing thing about restaurant menus in the US: ‘I have a serious bone to pick with you Americans’
- Aussie health coach Bec Hardgrave is travelling around America
- When dining out she noticed every entrée is ‘massive’ compared to the mains
- Feeling confused, she posted a TikTok video seeking an explanation
- Others said in the US ‘entrées’ are ‘mains’ and ‘mains’ are ‘entrées’ due to history
An Australian health and fitness coach travelling abroad in America has experienced a culture shock when dining out that’s left her feeling ‘confused’.
In Australia, the UK and New Zealand, an entrée is a smaller dish that is served before the larger main meal – but this isn’t the case in America.
Unaware of the difference in portion sizes, Bec jokingly said her clothes ‘no longer fit’ and she has trouble fitting into her jeans.
While travelling around America, Australian health and fitness coach Bec Hardgrave (left) noticed every entrée is ‘massive’ compared to the main course when dining out. On one occasion she ordered a nachos that looked like it could be shared between two (right)
Feeling confused, Bec posted a TikTok video and said: ‘I’ve been told that mains are entrée and entrées are mains – can someone clear that up for me?’
‘I’m an Australian travelling in America and I have a bone to pick with you Americans, so listen up,’ Bec said in the video.
‘Basically every time I’ve gone to a diner or a restaurant the entrées are massive!’
‘And I’ve been told that mains are entrées and entrées are mains – can someone clear that up for me? Because I’m very confused and my clothes no longer fit.’
She continued with a laugh: ‘I can’t do my jeans up anymore so if someone could let me know, that’ll be appreciated.’
On one occasion she ordered a nachos with guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, beans and cheese – but the ‘entrée’ was the size of a huge plate that looked like it could be shared between two.
In the comments other TikTok users explained why entrée are larger than mains in the US. ‘Appetizers are like the “snack” before the meal and then the entrée is the main dish!’ one person wrote
In the comments other TikTok users explained why entrée are larger than mains in the US.
‘Appetizers are like the “snack” before the meal and then the entrée is the main dish!’ one person wrote.
But Bec, still sounding confused, responded with: ‘Then what are the mains?! I swear every menu has appetizers entrée and mains!’
Another person added: ‘Americans call “mains” “entrée” due to dining etiquette in 19th century.
‘In 19th cent, they generally had up to 15 courses, with “entree” defining the start of ‘mains course’.
‘When this etiquette changed after and “mains” only consisted of one course, rather than four or five, “entrée” become the definition’.’
The short video has also since been viewed more than 7000 times.
WHY AMERICANS CALL AN ENTREE A MAIN COURSE:
The word ‘entree’ was imported from France to the United States at the end of the 19th century, by French chefs in chic New York restaurants
At the time, meals were often comprised of up to 15 courses – though this changed in the 20th century when meals became simpler and less courses were served
Prohibition and the Great Depression upended eating habits and beauty standards changed
Despite the entrée being cut from menus (along with many other courses cut), the term ‘entrée’ remained on American menus
So entrée lived on, but not in its original form. In the US, the entrée became the main course, and appetizers or starters became the first course.
In France, the entrée stuck with its translation (‘start,’ ‘beginning,’ ‘entry’) and position of being the course before the roast, thus becoming the first course
In the UK, Australia and New Zealand today, the word entrée refers to a starter course or courses, coming after the appetizers but before the main course