Two Questions in One

Joined Jul 31, 2000
Does anyone still do Intermizzo?

If yes, is it the Pastry Chefs job?

Also, How do the pastry people feel about combining savory ingredients with there sweet bases for sorbets?

Pineapple with tarragon and red peppercorns (crushed)
saffron and honey..ETC.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
I would say yes, that the pastry chef should do the intermezzo, or at least as a collaborative effort with the chef. I haven't done them in years, but I've seen 'em in recent years while dining in some restaurants.

Savory should be part of the intermezzo (herbs, etc.), and I also like some of the sweeter savories, such as cucumber, tomato, anise, etc, because of their neutrality and cleansing qualities.

Your pineapple intermezzo sounds refreshing...:lips:

Come to think of it, you only hear of sorbets as intermezzos, but has anyone seen other preparations used the same way(to cleanse the palate)?
Joined Jul 31, 2000


I'm sitting here trying to think of what iv'e seen done other than ices, sorbets and gratines for intermezzo.

I have to think about this one.
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Ok, I wasnt gonna ask but the dictionary didnt tell me much. What in the world is an "Intermezzo". All the dictionary said was: Music and I cant see anyone eating music. :confused:
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Intermezzo is a palete cleanser served between usaully the third and fourth course of a formal meal. Most of the time when you are going from seafood to meat.

Like said before by Momoreg, it is almost always a sorbet, not a sherbert like served at Freindlys restaurant :) but less sweet and balanced with acid and sweetness and savory.

Intermezzo basiclly means Intermission, give your palete a stretch so to speak.
Joined May 29, 1999
like the lime between the taquila and salt?


how about a warm infusion or tea course in place of the sorbet? the same principals could be applied, lime with cardamon and saffron, but warm. tiny sake like cup.

fruit jelly lemon verbena.


poached citrus zest, not quite candy.

Joined Jul 31, 2000
M Brown,

I absolutly love your humor.

The lime in between the Agave and salt sounds perfect about now.

You have peeked my curiousity.

I have always thought that temperture plays a very important role in the effectiveness of a intermezzo.

Cold, elevates, stimulates and cleanses the palate. as something warm in this situation may work in reverse.

Michel, I am playing the devils advocate here.
Does this make sense?

BTW...pass the lime.:bounce: :p
Joined Jul 28, 2001
IMO This is a very important part of any meal. It is starting to arrive back on the scene here. To my dislike, the chefs are going way to right. An intermezzo IMO really should be a cleansing and neutralizing to prepare for the next course. I have usually developed mine with a little yin and yang philo. The last few I have had have been way to overpowering, adding flavor instead of infusing. Last week we had a nice one after scallops w/creme sauce, it was ruby red grapefruit w/a hint of tequilla sorbet. the chef put this in the middle of a quinelle of blood orange gratinee and sprinkled w/pink peppercorn.
I have use sorbets,chilled consumees, and such.
Great topic.
Usually pastry chefs task.
Joined May 26, 2001
TBH: Oh, you meant as the dinner guest! At first I thought you meant being the cook! (Wouldn't we all like that!?!?)
Joined Jul 24, 2001
I am with panini on that. I find it very very important in a dinner and I am looking forward to your ideas.

Cape Chef,mbrown I have never thought that an intermezzo could be hot!! Especially tea...:cool:

But TBH you may have your back rubbed while you are enjoying your intermezzo!!

Great topic BTW
Joined May 29, 1999
to remove the remains of cocoa butter from the mouth during a chocolate tasting it is suggested you drink warm water.
why does the intermezzo have to be cold, just to save stove or oven space by having a cold course?
to cleanse the palate why not warm to remove fats, oils?

this is fun.

back rub would be nice too.;)
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Dear M.Brown,
I understand your point about drinking warm water at a chocolate tasting,
(Although I would prefere 77 Fonseca).

This differene here is that the water is a neutral ingredient that imparts no distinct flavor
Change in the chocolate, but as you said..It melts the cocoa butter off your tongue.
In addition, you are going from one style chocolate to another, instead of one distinct flavor profile
Into another (as in a meal).

When I go to, or conduct wine tastings, I follow your format in regards to palete cleansing.
Water and sliced bagguette is all you need to move from one wine to another.

Except; of course if you are trying to show the chemical and physical changes that occur during eating certain foods with wine.

The chilled aspect of an Intermezzo achieves palate cleansing by a balance of acid to sweetness and temperture. The acid cleanses the pores in your toungue, while the sugar and coldness kind of tickle your toungue and get it juiced up for the next course.

I think the concept is not so much as actually “Cleaning your mouth” as it is to stimulate your taste buds.
Joined May 29, 1999
what about tart fruit gels or lightly candied zests?

as far as the warm mezzo, how about a tepid one?
could happen.



Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I was in Savannah, GA a few years back and had a tiny, little herb salad served as an intermezzo. It must of contained 10-15 different herbs and greens. My first thought was "How in the world is this going to cleanse my palate and stimulate my apettite?" I was completely amazed. All the herbs were very subtle and played against each other well. By the time I was finished, my palate had been refreshed and the herbs, stimulated my apettite again. I have tried to re-create this salad, but as of yet, no luck.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
I was thinking last night, that a warm citrus infusion might be a perfect stimulant too, maybe with some crushed mint or cilantro.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Momo, you might be on to something. Maybe even blood temp.
You know I grew up in an Italian household,DAH, and I can remember it was kind of a ceremony to gather around the large shelf of different colored bottles of aperitif's. Supposedly they were to stimulate our appetites before a meal. We always had these are toom temp. Just a thought. Actually I think stimulate is the key word here(one hour of listening to my Aunt Carmella)?????:D
Joined Nov 20, 2000
Personally I think it should be the Chefs responsibility. Why you ask? Because!:bounce:
Seriously what I don't think most people realize is that the pastry chef has a LOT more to do than just desserts. Depending on the operation there's Tea items, breakfast items etc. All the rolls and breads for the dining room come from there. If you are running mini pizzas who makes the dough? If you are making Couilbiac, who makes the pastry? Anything involving dough comes from the pastry chef on top of all the other work they have to do. I think the chef should have their own ice cream makers and make their own infusions etc and pour it into the little bugger, turn it on and come back later for it and leave the pastry department out of it. Sorry Brad:D
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Please my Dear hocky indused pastry powerhouse!!!

I have no problem with the savory side of the Kitchen doing the bases for intermezzo, actually..I enjoy making these tasty buggers!!!

Besides I get nuts when My Pastry chef complains of more responsability:D (kidding Micheal)

This was my point to my question, to see whom should be doing it, and if chefs and pastry chefs still think intermezzo is a viable course in a meal.

Hey, Panini..I'm Jewish, but I think I had an Aunt Camellia to

Top Bottom