An amuse-bouche [a.myz.buʃ] or amuse-gueule [a.myz.gœl] is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouche are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are according to the chef’s selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served as an excitement of taste buds to both prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef’s approach to cooking.
The term is French, literally translated to “mouth amuser”, for bouche means mouth and amuser is “to amuse” or “to please”. The plural form is amuse-bouche or amuse-bouches.
The original French word, more frequently employed, is amuse-gueule (gueule is slang for mouth but in fact means animal’s mouth (one word in French, similar to English maw or craw), although amuse-bouche is more often used on menus in fine dining restaurants.