Key Difference – Starter vs Entree
Starter and entree are two words that are often used in formal full course dinner. A full course dinner consists of several dishes or courses such as appetizers, fish course, starters, entree, main course and dessert. However, the meaning of the two words starter and entree can sometimes be very confusing because they may have different meanings in British and American English. In British English, a starter is the first course of a meal whereas an entree is a dish served before the main dish. However, in American English, a starter is an appetizer and an entree is a main course or dish. This is the key difference between starter and entree.
What is a Starter?
The term starter is typically used in British English. This refers to a small dish served before the meal. It can also be served between two principal courses. It is typically the first course in a meal and can be served hot or cold. In American English, this is known as an appetizer.
Starters are usually served on small appetizer plates and feature small cuts of meat, starches, seasonal vegetables, and sauces. Food items like soups, salads and soufflés are usually served as starters. Some examples include smoked mackerel pate, Greek salads, watercress soup, crab cakes, steamed oysters, and chicken Caesar salad. Sometimes the word starter is also used to refer to hors d’oeuvre, a small and light dish served before the meal.
What is an Entree?
The term entree basically has two meanings. In French cuisine, and in English-speaking parts of the world except North America and Canada, entree refers to the dish served before the main meal or between two principal meals.
Entrees (in French meaning) are often considered as a half-sized version of the main meals and are more substantial than hors d’œuvres. This is similar to a starter in British English and appetizer in American English. A meal can have more than one entree. For example, the grand dinner for eighteen in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management contains four entrees: poulet à la Marengo, côtelettes de porc, ris de veau, and ragoût of lobster. However, the diners are not expected to eat each dish.
In American English, entree refers to the main course of a meal, which is the heaviest and heartiest dish on the meal. It usually contains fish, meat or another protein source as its main ingredient.
The term entree comes to English from French and originally refers to the entry of the dishes from the kitchen to the dining room.
What is the difference between Starter and Entree?
In British English:
Starter is the first dish in a meal.
Entree is the dish served before the main meal.
In American English:
Starter is known as appetizer.
Entree is the main course of a meal.
Beeton. The Book of Household Management .. London: Ward, Lock, 1888. Print.