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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Méli-Mélo (meli melo) on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Apples and honey

 Never a mixture, a hodgepodge or an assortment
Méli-mélo in French can mean a mixture, a hodgepodge or an assortment. However, in the French kitchen a dish with méli-mélo in its name should never be any of those.  Méli-mélo comes from ancient Greek where meli was honey and melo (melon) was an apple; both were already highly valued for their taste and texture and their importance is seen in Greek mythology. Méli-mélo in French cuisine will be part of a name given to dishes that offer contrasting, but well-matched tastes, textures, and colors in foods that are served together.  
Méli-mélo on French menus:
Méli mélo de Framboise et Meringue -  Meli- melo of raspberries and meringue. That will be  the matching and contrasting tastes, textures, and colors between the raspberries and the meringue.

Méli-mélo de Legumes Croquants, Magret de Canard Fumé, Vinaigrette à l'Orange – The matching and contrasting tastes and textures of crunchy fresh vegetables and smoked duck breast served with an orange flavored sauce vinaigrette.
Salmon and beef filet, tenderloin.
Méli-mélo de Noix de Saint-Jacques et Queues d'Écrevisses – The matching and contrasting tastes and textures of King Scallop meat and crayfish tails.

Méli-mélo de Salades au Magret de Canard Fumé et Foie Gras – A salad with the contrasting tastes and textures of smoked duck breast and fattened duck liver.
Vegetable meli-melo.
What could look more méli-mélo?
 Méli-mélo de Sandre et de Truite, Sauce au Savagnin de Pupillin -A contrast in tastes and textures with zander (pike-perch) and trout prepared with the Savagnin sweet wine from the community of Pupillin in the département of Jura in the région of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Méli-mélo de Saumon Fumé et Saumon Gravelax, Crème Légère au Piment d'Espelette - Highlighted contrasts between smoked salmon and salmon gravlax served with a light, fresh cream flavored with Espelette peppers.
Grapes and cheese.
Some chefs just seem to like the words méli-mélo and the dishes they produce may stray far from the original meaning and be more like a jumble of ingredients. If it is not clear from the menu how the tastes and textures and colors on the dish offered are supposed to contrast and to complement each other, ask or choose something else.
The Greeks not only influenced French cuisine with the contrasting tastes and textures of apple and honey.  At the beginning of the Jewish New Year apple and honey are served together and blessed, expressing hopes for a " good and sweet" New Year.
Apples and honey.
Connected posts:
Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2016.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman

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