A side dish, sometimes referred to as a side order, side item, or simply a side, is a food item that accompanies the entrée or main course at a meal.
Side dishes such as salad, potatoes and bread are commonly used with main courses throughout many countries of the western world. Rice and couscous, have grown to be quite popular throughout Europe, especially at formal occasions (with couscous appearing more commonly at dinner parties with Middle Eastern dishes).
When used as an adjective qualifying the name of a dish, the term "side" usually refers to a smaller portion served as a side dish, rather than a larger, main dish-sized serving. For example, a "side salad" usually served in a small bowl or salad plate, in contrast to a large dinner-plate-sized entrée salad.
A typical American meal with a meat-based main dish might include one vegetable side dish, sometimes in the form of a salad, and one starch side dish, such as bread, potatoes, rice, or pasta.
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