The courses

The courses

I’m never sure where to put the salad and cheese courses in a meal. Should they go at the beginning or the end? And what about ices?

The order of courses in a meal is mainly determined by personal preference, though the number of courses also comes into play. For simple meals, the salad and any cooked cheeses (cheese wrapped in pastry, warm goat cheese on salad, baked brie, etc.) are a fine way to start. For multi-course meals, cheeses are best served at the end, as is salad, which is said to aid digestion.

Traditionally, an ice or sherbet was used to divide the meal into two parts. You can serve it just before the main course to provide a breather or at the end of the meal as a refreshment. Here are two examples of a logical sequence:


  • Salad or appetizer
  • Main
  • Dessert
  • (sherbet, etc.)


  • Hors d’œuvres
  • Cold appetizer
  • Hot appetizer
  • Soup
  • Ice
  • Fish or seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
  • Salad
  • Cheese

Rate this article

Login to rate this article and write a review.


Not a member yet? Sign up today, it's free!

Due to the large number of questions we receive, we are unable to answer each one. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section, which contains a great deal of useful information. We appreciate your enthusiasm for RICARDO cuisine!

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Your comment must comply with our netiquette.

512 characters maximum