> SlowTrav > France > Restaurants/Cafes

French Menu/Food Glossary

This glossary was compiled a few years ago by a group of francophiles who were devotees of the AOL France message boards. It was sent to Slow Travel by Mellen Candage, one of those devotees.

Click here to download a PDF version (right click and select "Save Target As" to save it to your computer). (File french-food-glossary.pdf, size 149kb)

Page Contents

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


à l'ancienne: in the old style

à la vapeur: steamed

à l'etouffée: stewed

à point: medium rare

abats: organ meats

abricot: apricot

addition: bill

affiné(e): aged

agneau (de lait): lamb (young-milk fed)

aiglefin, églefin: haddock

aigre: sour

aigre-doux: sweet & sour

aigrelette (sauce): a sour or tart sauce

aiguillettes: thin slivers, usually of duck breast

ail: garlic

aile: wing of poultry or game bird

aile et cuisse: white meat (aile), dark (cuisse), usually chicken

aïoli: garlicky blend of eggs and olive oil

aligot: mashed potatoes with fresh Cantal cheese and garlic

alose: shad

alose à l'oseille: shad or other fish in light hollandaise garnished with sorrel

aloyau: loin area of beef

alummettes: puff pastry strips, also fried matchstick potatoes

amande: almond

ananas: pineapple

anchoiade: puree of anchovies, olive oil, vinegar

anchois: anchovy

andouillette: smaller chitterline (tripe) sausage

aneth: dill

anis: aniseed

arachide: peanut oil

araignée de mer: spider crab

ardoise: literally "slate" - refers to the day's specialties

argumes: citrus fruits

aromates: spices and herbs

artichaut: artichoke

asperge: asparagus

assiette: plate

assiette du pecheur: assorted fish platter

assorti(e): assorted

au four: baked

aubergine: eggplant

aumonière: thin crèpe, filled, wrapped like bundle

aurore: béchamel or cream sauce with tomatoes

automne: autumn

auvergnat(e): (style) often with cabbage, sausage, and bacon

avocat: avocado


baies: berries

baies roses: pink peppercorns

baigne: bathes

ballotine: usually poultry, boned, stuffed, rolled

banane: banana

bar: fish, similar to bass

Barbarie (canard de): breed of duck

barbue: brill, fish related to turbot

baron: hindquarters - lamb, rabbit, etc.

barquette: small pastry shaped like a boat

basilic: basil

basquaise: Basque-style, usually with ham or tomatoes or red peppers

bavaroise: cold dessert, rich custard with cream and gelatin

bavette: skirt steak

beatilles: dish combining various organ meats

bécasse: woodchuck

beignet: fritter or doughnut

belon: prized, flat-shelled plate oyster

Bercy : fish-stock-based sauce thickened with flour, butter, shallots, white wine

berrichonne: garnish of braised cabbage, glazed baby onions, chestnuts, bacon

betterave: beet

beurre: butter

beurre noisette: lightly browned butter

biche: female deer

bifteck: steak (can be tough)

bigarade: orange sauce

bigarreau: cherry

Billy Bi, Billy By: cream of mussel soup

biscuits à la cuillère: ladyfingers

blanc (de poireau): white part of leeks

blanc (de volaille): usually breast of chicken

blanquette: veal, lamb, chicken, or seafood stew w/rich white sauce

blette: Swiss chard

bleu: bloody rare, usually for steak

blinis: small pancakes

boeuf à la mode: beef marinated and braised in red wine w/carrots, mushrooms, onions

boeuf au gros sel: boiled beef, with vegetables and coarse salt

boissons (non) comprises: drinks (not) included

bombe: molded, layered ice cream dessert

bonne femme: home style, meat with bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, onions

bonne femme (fish): with shallots, parsley, mushrooms, potatoes

bonne femme (sauce): white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms, lemon juice

bordelaise: Bordeaux-style, also brown sauce of shallots, red wine, bone marrow

bouchée: tiny mouthful, bite-size

boudin: technically meat sausage, any sausage-shaped mixture

boudin blanc: white sausage (veal, chicken, or pork)

boudin noir: pork blood sausage

bouillabaisse: Mediterranean fish soup

bouilli: boiled

bouillon: light soup or broth

boulette: meatball or fishball

bouquet: large reddish shrimp

bourdaloue: hot poached fruit, sometimes wrapped in pastry

bourguignon(ne): Burgundy-style, often with wine, onions, mushrooms, bacon

bouribut: spicy red wine duck stew

bourride: fish stew

bouteille de: bottle of

braise: live coals; braised

braiser: to braise, cook meat by browning, then simmering

brandade (de morue): warm garlicky purée of salt cod, cream & sometimes mashed potatoes

brebis (fromage de): sheep

bretonne: in the style of Brittany, dish served with white beans

bretonne (sauce): white wine sauce with carrots, leeks, celery

brioche: buttery, egg-enriched yeast bread

broche (à la): spit-roasted

brochet: pike

brouillé(e)(s): scrambled, usually eggs

brulé(e): literally, burned; dark caramelization

brunoise: tiny diced vegetables

buffet froid: cold buffet

bugnes: sweet fried doughnuts or fritters

buisson: literally bush; presentation (classically, crayfish)

bulot: large sea snail


cabécou: small round goat cheese

cabillaud: fresh cod

Caen (à la mode de): usually cooked in calvados and white wine or cider

café (crème) (au lait): coffee (with cream) ( with hot milk)

café Liègeois: iced coffee served with whipped cream, sometimes ice cream

cagouille: small snail

caille: quail

calamar: squid

campagne (de la): country-style

canard: duck

canard à la presse: roast duck served with sauce of juices, red wine, cognac

canard de Barbarie: breed, with strong flavor

canard de Nantes: also canard de Challans, very delicate-flavored small duck

canard de Rouen: cross between domestic & wild, smothered not bled, special taste

canard sauvage: wild duck

caneton: young male duck

canette: young female duck

cannelle: cinnamon

carbonnade: braised beef stew with beer and onions

cardon: large, celery-like vegetable in artichoke family

carré d'agneau: rack or loin of lamb

carré de porc: rack or loin of pork

carré de veau: rack or loin of veal

carrelet: summer flounder

carte: menu

carvi: caraway seeds

casse-croute: snacks

casse-pierre: edible seaweed

cassis: black currant, black currant liqueur

cassolette: dish presented in a casserole

cassoulet: casserole of white beans, including various meats

caudière: chowder of fish and potatoes

caviar d'aubergine: cold eggplant purée

céleri : celery

céleri branché: celeriac

cèpe: large, meaty wild mushroom

cerfeuil: chervil

cerise: cherry

cerise noire: black cherry

cerneau: walnut meat

cervelas: garlicky pork sausage, or seafood sausage

cervelles: brains, of calf or lamb

chair: fleshy portion of poultry or meat

champêtre: rustic, simple presentation

champignon: mushroom (de bois) wild, (de Paris) cultivated, (sauvage) wild

champignons à la grecque: tiny mushrooms cooked with lemon, olive oil, spices

chanterelle: pale, curly-capped wild mushroom

chantilly: sweetened whipped cream

chapon: capon

chapon de mer: fish in the scorpion family

charcuterie: cold cuts, sausages, terrines, pâtés, also shop selling these

chariot (de desserts): dessert cart

charlotte: molded dessert with ladyfingers, custard, fruit compote; cold or hot

charolais: light-colored cow that produces high-quality beef

chartreuse: dish of braised partridge and cabbage; also a liqueur

chasse: the hunt

chasseur: sauce with white wine, shallots, mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs

châtaigne: chestnuts

chaud(e): hot (or warm)

chaud-froid: cooked poultry dish served cold, usually covered with sauce, aspic

chaudrée: fish stew, sometimes with potatoes

chausson: filled pastry turnover, sweet or savory

chemise (en): wrapped in pastry

chevreuil: young deer

chèvre: goat cheese

chicorée: curly endive

chiffonnade: shredded, herbs and vegetables, usually green

chinchard: type of fish

chipiron: squid

choix (au): a choice, usually may choose from several offerings

choron: Béarnaise sauce with tomatoes

chou: cabbage

chou frise: kale

chou rouge: red cabbage

chou vert: curly green savoy cabbage

choucroute: sauerkraut; also dish of sauerkraut, sausages, bacon, pork, potatoes

chou-fleur: cauliflower

chous (pâte à): creampuff (pastry)

choux de Bruxelles: brussels sprouts

ciboulette: chive

cidre: cider, apple, or pear

citron: lemon

citron pressé: fresh lemonade

citron vert: lime

citronnelle: lemon grass (oriental herb)

citrouille: pumpkin, gourd

civelles: spaghetti-like baby eels

civet: stew of game thickened with blood

civet de lièvre: jugged hare; stewed hare thickened with blood

clafoutis: tart, made with crepe batter and fruit (usually black cherries)

claires: oysters (sometimes put in beds and fattened up before market)

clamart: garnish of peas

clémentine: small tangerine, from Morocco or Spain

cloute: studded with

cochon (de lait): pig (suckling)

cochonnaille: pork products, usually an assortment of sausages or pâtés (1st course)

cocotte: casserole or cooking pot

coeur: heart

coffret: box-shaped pastry

coing: quince

colin: hake

colvert: wild duck

compote: stewed fresh or dried fruit

concassé(e): coarsely chopped

concombre: cucumber

confit: duck, goose, or pork cooked & preserved in its own fat

confit: also fruit or vegetables preserved in sugar, alcohol, or vinegar

confiture: jam

confiture de vieux garçon: varied fresh fruits macerated in alcohol

congeler: to freeze

congre: eel or fish similar to eel

contre-filet: sirloin taken above the loin, tied for roasting, braising, grilling

convives (la totalité des): all those gathered at a single table

copeaux: shavings

coq (au vin): mature rooster stewed in wine

coque: tiny mild-flavored clam-like shellfish

coque (à la): soft cooked egg, or anything served in a shell

coquelet: young, male chicken

coquillage: shellfish

coquille: shell

coquille St Jacques: sea scallop

corail: egg sac found in scallops, spiny lobster or crayfish

corbeille (de fruits): basked (of fruit)

coriandre: coriander

côte d'agneau: lamb chop

côte de boeuf: beef blade or rib steak

côte de veau: veal chop

cotelette: thin chop or cutlet

cotriade: Brittany-style fish stew with butter, potatoes, onions, herbs

cou d'oie (de canard): neck skin of goose, stuffed like a sausage

couer de filet: thickest (and best) part of beef filet (usually châteaubriand steaks)

coulis: puree or raw or cooked vegetables or fruit

coullibiac : hot Russian pâté, usually filled with salmon and covered with brioche

coupe: cup; dessert served in goblet

courge: squash or gourd

courgette: zucchini

couronne: ring or circle, usually of bread

couteau: knife

couvert: place setting

crabe: crab

crapaudine: preparation of grilled poultry or game bird, backbone removed

crécy: carrot garnish, or carrot-based dish

crème chantilly: sweetened whipped cream

crème fouettée: whipped cream

crème patissière : custard filling for pastries and caked

crème plombières: custard filled with fresh fruit and egg whites

crépinette: small sausage patty wrapped in caul fat

cresson: watercress

cressonade: watercress sauce

crête de coq: cock's comb

creuse: elongated, crinkle-shelled oyster

crevette grise: tiny soft-fleshed shrimp that remains gray when cooked

crevette rose: small firm fleshed shrimp that turns red when cooked

criste-marine: edible algae

croquant(e): crispy

croque-madame: toasted ham and cheese sandwich topped with an egg

croque-monsieur: toasted ham and cheese sandwich

croquette: ground meet, fish, fowl or vegetables bound with eggs or sauce

croquettes: usually coated in crumbs and deep fried

crottin (de chavignol): firm goat cheese

croustade: usually small, pastry-wrapped dish (e.g., filled with fruit)

croute (en): in pastry

croute de sel (en): in a salt crust

cru(e): raw

crudités: raw vegetables

crustaces: crustaceans

cuillère (à la): to be eaten with a spoon

cuisse de poulet: chicken drumstick

cuisson: cooking

cuissot: haunch of veal, venison, or wild boar

cuit(e): cooked

cul: haunch or rear, usually of red meat

cure-dent: toothpick


dariole: usually a garnish in a cylindrical mold

darne: a slice or steak from fish, often salmon

dattes: dates

daube: stew, usually meat

daurade: dorade or sea bream, similar to porgy

décortiqué(e): shelled or peeled

dégustation: tasting or sampling

déjeuner: lunch

délice: delight, usually used to describe a dessert

demi-deuil: poached (usually chicken) with truffles inserted under skin. Also could be sweetbreads with a truffled white sauce

demi-glace: concentrated beef base

désossé(e): boned

diable: with a peppery (often mustard based) sauce

dieppoise: dieppe style, white wine, mussels, shrimp, mushrooms, cream

digestif: after-dinner drink - liqueur

dinde: turkey ham

dindon(neau): turkey in general

discretion (à la): on menu usually refers to wine without limit, at customer's discretion

dodine: cold, boned stuffed duck

dos: back, also refers to meatiest portion of fish

dos et ventre: back and front; both sides (usually fish)

douceurs: sweets or desserts

doux, douce: sweet

duglere: white, flour-based sauce with shallots, white wine, tomatoes, and parsley

duxelles: chopped mushrooms and shallots sautéed in butter, mixed with cream


eau du robinet: tap water

écailler: to scale fish, also an oyster opener or seller

échalotes: shallots

échine: spare ribs

écrevisse: freshwater crayfish

éffiloche: frayed, thinly sliced

églefin, aiglefin: haddock

émincé: thin slice, usually of meat

encornet: small squid

endive: chicory or Belgian endive

entrecôte: beef rib steak

entrecôte mâitre d'hotel: with herb butter

entrecôte marchand de vin: with sauce of red wine and shallots

entrée: first course

entremets: sweets

épaule: shoulder of veal, lamb, mutton, pork

épi de mais: ear of sweet corn

épices: spices

épinard: spinach

escabeche: sardines or marinated raw fish (vinegar or lemon juice and herbs)

escalope: thinly slices meat or fish, usually cut at an angle

escargot: land snail

escargot à l'alsacienne: simmered in Riesling, baked with garlic and parsley butter stuffing

escargot de Bourgogne: land snail prepared with butter, garlic, and parsley

escargot petit-gris: small land snail

espadon: swordfish

estofinado: fish stew from Auvergne w/dried cod, eggs, garlic, cream

estouffade: stew of beef, pork, onions, mushrooms, orange zest, red wine

estragon: tarragon

été: summer

étrille: small crab

étuvé: cooked in own juice, braised

éventail (en): cut into fan shape (vegetables or fish)


façon (à ma): my way (of preparing a dish)

faisan(e): pheasant

farandole: rolling cart, usually of desserts or cheese

farci(e): stuffed

farine: flour

faux-filet: sirloin steak

fenouil: fennel

fera: salmonlike lake fish

fermé(e): closed

ferme(fermier): farm-fresh

feu de bois (au): cooked over a wood fire

feuille de chêne: oak-leaf lettuce

feuille de vigne: vine leaf

feuilletage (en): (in) puff pastry

feuillete au foie gras: puff pastry layered with sausage and foie gras (extravagant first course)

fèves: broad beans or favas

ficelle (à la): tied with a string; also small, thin baguette

figue: fig

financière: madeira sauce with truffle juice

fines de claire: elongated crinkle shelled oysters (fattened up in beds)

flageolets: small, pale green kidney-shaped beans

flagnarde, flaugnarde: hot fruit-filled batter cake

flamande (à la): flemish style, usually with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, bacon

flambe: flamed

flamiche: savory tart with rich bread dough crust

flamiche aux poireaux: leek and cream tart

flan: sweet or savory tart or crustless custard pie

flanchet (de veau): flank (of veal)

fletan: halibut

fleur: flower

fleurons: puff pastry crescent

florentine: with spinach

foe de veau: calf's liver

foie: liver

foie gras d'oie (de canard): liver of fattened goose (duck)

foies blonds de volaille: chicken livers; chicken liver lousse

foin (dans le): cooked in hay

fond: cooking juices from meat, used to make sauces; also, bottom

fond d'artichaut: heart and base of artichoke

fondant: melting; as in melted sugar flavored and used for icing

forestière: garnish of wild mushrooms, bacon and potatoes

four (au): baked in oven

fourchette: fork

fourre: stuffed

frais, fraiche: fresh

fraise: strawberry

fraise des bois: wild strawberry

framboise: raspberry

frangipane: almond custard filling

frappe: drink served very cold or with ice

frémis: (quivering); barely cooked (oysters)

friandises: sweets, petit fours

fricadelles: fried minced meat patties

fricandeau: thinly sliced veal or rump roast, braised with vegetables, white wine

fricassé(e): ingredients braised in wine with butter and/or cream added; stewed

frisée : curly, usually endive

frit(es): french fries

fritons: coarse pork rillettes or minced spread (includes organ meats)

fritot: small organ meat fritter

friture: frying; also refers to preparation of small fried fish (ex. smelts)

froid(e): cold

fromage: cheese

fromage blanc: smooth low-fat cheese, similar to cottage cheese

fromage de tête: head cheese, usually pork

fromage maigre: low-fat cheese

fruit de la passion: passion fruit

fruits confits: preserved fruits; generally refers to candied fruits

fruits de mer: seafood

fumé(e): smoked

fumet: fish stock


galantine: boned poultry or meat stuffed, rolled, cooked, glazed with gelatin, cold

galette: crêpe made with buckwheat flour

galette: round, flat pastry, pancake or cake; sweet or savory

gambas: large prawns

garbure: generally a hearty soup of beans, cabbage, and pork or fowl

garni(e): garnished

garniture: garnish

gâteau: cake

gaufre: waffle

gayettes: small sausage made with pork liver and bacon

gelée: aspic

genièvre: juniper berry

genoise: sponge cake

germiny : garnish of sorrel; sorrel and cream soup

gésier: gizzard

gibelotte: fricassée of rabbit in red or white wine

gibier: game

gigot: leg, usually of lamb (d'agneau)

gigot de mer: a preparation; usually large pieces of monkfish (lotte), oven-roasted

gigue (de): haunch (of) certain game meats

gingembre: ginger

girofle: cloves

girolle: delicate, pale, orange wild mushroom

glace: ice cream

glacé(e): iced, crystallized or glazed

glaçons: ice cubes

gougère: cheese flavored chou pastry (puff)

goujonnettes: generally describes small slices of fish, ex sole, usually fried

goujons: small catfish; or any small fish; or small piece; breaded & fried

gourmandises: sweetmeats

gousse (d'ail): clove (of garlic)

graine de moutarde: mustard seed

graisse: fat

graisserons: crisply fried pieces of duck or goose skin; cracklings

grand veneur: usually a brown sauce for game, with red currant jelly

granite: water ice

gras: fatty

gras-double: tripe baked with onions and white wine

gratin: crusty-topped dish; also refers to a casserole

gratin dauphinois: baked casserole of sliced potatoes w/cream and sometimes cheese

gratin savoyard: baked casserole of sliced potatoes w/bouillon, cheese, butter

gratiné(e): having a crusty, browned top; also onion soup

grattons: crisply fried pieces of pork, goose or duck skin; cracklings

gratuit: free

grecque (à la): cold vegetables, usually mushrooms, marinated in oil, lemon, water

grelot: small white bult onion

grenade: pomegranate

grenadin: small veal scallop

grenouille (cuisses de): frog legs

gribiche (sauce): mayonnaise with capers, cornichons, and herbs

grillade: grilled meat

grillé(e): grilled

griotte: shiny, slightly acidic reddish black cherry

grive: thrush

grondin: type of ocean fish used in fish stews such as bouillabaisse

gros sel: coarse sale

groseille: red currant

gruyère: hard, mild cheese


hachis: minced or chopped meat preparation

hareng: herring

haricot: bean

haricot blanc: white bean; usually dried

haricot de mouton: stew of mutton and white beans

haricot rouge: red kidney bean; also preparation of red beans in red wine

haricot vert: green bean, usually fresh

hiver: winter

hochepot: thick stew, usually oxtail

homard: lobster

hongroise (à la): Hungarian-style, usually with paprika and cream

hors-d'oeuvre: appetizer; also can refer to a first course

huile: oil

huile d'arachide: peanut oil

huile de pépins de raisins: grape seed oil

huitre: oyster

hure de porc: head of a pig or boar; usually headcheese preparation

hure de saumon: a salmon "headcheese", prepared with salmon meat, not the head


ile flottante: classically layered cake covered w/whipped cream, w/custard sauce

ile flottantes: floating island of meringue in crème anglaise

imperatrice (à l'): usually rice pudding dessert with candied fruit

indienne (à l'): East Indian style, usually with curry powder

infusion: herb tea


jambon: ham; also refers to thigh or shoulder of meat, usually pork

jambon cru: usually salt cured or smoked ham that has been aged but not cooked

jambon de Bayonne: raw, dried, salt-cured ham

jambon de Paris: lightly salted, cooked ham, very pale in color

jambon de York: smoked, English-style ham, usually poached

jambon d'oie (canard): breast of fattened goose (duck), smoked or salted or sugar cured

jambonneau: pork knuckle

jambonnette: boned and stuffed knuckle of ham or poultry

jardinière: garnish of fresh cooked vegetables

jarret de veau: stew of veal shin

Jésus de morteau: smoked pork sausage from the Franche-Comte

jeun(e): young

joue: cheek

julienne: slivered vegetables (sometimes meat)

jus: juice


kir: crème de cassis and white wine (usually, sometimes red)

kir royal: crème de cassis and champagne

kougelhopf : sweet, crown-shaped Alsatian yeast cake w/almonds and raisins


lait: milk

laitance: soft roe (often herring) or eggs

laitue: lettuce

lamproie: lamprey (eel shaped fish)

langouste: clawless spiny lobster; sometimes called crawfish or crayfish

langoustine: clawed crustacean, smaller than lobster or spiny lobster (prawn)

langue (de boeuf): tongue (of beef)

languedocienne: garnish, usually of tomatoes, eggplant, and wild cèpe mushrooms

lapereau: young rabbit

lapin: rabbit

lapin de garenne: wild rabbit

lard: bacon

lardon: cube of bacon

larme: (teardrop); a very small portion of liquid

lèche: thin slice of bread or meat

léger(e): light

légume: vegetable

lemelle: very thin slice

lieu (jaune): pollack, a prized small (yellow) saltwater fish

lièvre: hare

limande: sole-like ocean fish, not as firm as sold

limande sole: lemon sole

lisette: small mackerel

lit: bed

lotte: monkfish or angler fish; a large firm-fleshed ocean fish, rich in flavor

lou magret: breast of fattened duck

loup (de mer): Mediterranean fish, also known as bar, similar to striped bass

lyonnaise (à la): in the style of Lyon, often garnished with onions


macédoine: diced mixed fruit or vegetables

macérer: to steep, pickle or soak

mâche: lamb's lettuce, a tiny, dark green lettuce

madeleines: small tea cakes

madère: madeira

magret de canard (d'oie): breast of fattened duck (or goose)

maigre: thin, non-fattening

mais: corn

maison (de la): of the house, or restaurant

maître d'hôtel: head waiter; also compound butter

maltaise: orange-flavored hollandaise sauce

mandarine: tangerine

mange-tout: literally, eat it all; podless green bean, snow pea, type of apple

mangue: mango

manière (de): in the style of

maquereau: mackerel

maraichère (à la): market-garden style; dish or salad that includes various greens

marbré(e): marbled

marc: distilled residue of grape skins or other fruit after they've been pressed

marcassin: young wild boar

marchand de vin: wine merchant; also a sauce made with red wine, meat stock, shallots

marché: market

marée (la): literally the tide; usually used to indicate that seafood is fresh

marennes: flat-shelled, green-tinged plate oysters; village where raised

mareyeur: wholesale fish merchant

marine: marinated

marinière (moules): mussels cooked in white wine with onions, shallots, butter, herbs

marjolaine: marjoram; also, multilayered chocolate and nut cake

marmite: small covered pot; also a dish cooked in a small casserole

marquise (au chocolat): rich chocolate mousse cake

marron: large chestnut

matelote (d'anguilles): freshwater fish stew (or of eels)

mauviette: wild meadowlark or skylark

médaillon: round piece or slice

mélange: mixture or blend

méli-mélo: an assortment of fish and/or seafood, usually served in a salad

melon de cavaillon: small cantaloupe-like melon

ménagère (à la): in the style of a housewife (simply prepared), onions, potatoes, carrots

menthe: mint

menthe poivrée: peppermint

menu d'affairs: (businessman's) - avoid - cell phones

menu de la mer: seafood menu

menu dégustation: tasting menu

menu du marché: fresh ingredients picked up by chef at market that day

menu du terroir: regional menu

menu gastronomique: extravagant or richly luxurious specialties

mets: dish or preparation

mets selon la saison: seasonal preparation

meunière (á la): fish seasoned, floured, fried in butter, served with lemon and parsley

meurette: in, or with, a red wine sauce; also a Burgundian fish stew

meurette: red wine sauce w/mushrooms, onions, bacon, carrots

miel: honey

mignardises: petit fours

mignonette: small cubes, usually of beef; also refers to coarsely ground peppercorns

mijoté(e) (plat): simmered (dish or preparation)

mille-feuille: refers to puff pastry

mimosa: garnish of chopped hard cooked egg yolks

minute (à la): prepared at the last minute

mirabeau: garnish of anchovies, pitted olives, tarragon and anchovy butter

mirabelle: yellow plum

mirepoix: cubes of carrots and onions, or mixed vegetables in braising for flavor

miroton (de): slices (of); also stew of meats flavored with onions

mitonnée: a simmered soup-like dish

mode (à la): in the style of

moelle: beef bone marrow

moka: refers to coffee; coffee-flavored dish

montagne (de): from the mountains

montmorency: garnished with cherries

morceau: piece or small portion

morille: wild morel mushroom

mornay: cheese sauce

morue: salted or dried and salted codfish

mouclade: creamy mussel stew; sometimes flavored with curry

moule: mussel

moule de parques: Dutch mussels; usually fattened in beds

moule d'Espagne: large mussel, often served raw as part of seafood platter

moules marinières: mussels cooked in white wine, shallots, butter, herbs

moules-frites: snack of steaming bowl of mussels, French fries w/mayonnaise

mousse: light, airy mixture; sweet or savory

mousseline: ingredients lightened with whipped cream or egg whites (sauces)

mousseron: tiny, delicate, wild mushroom

moutarde (à l'ancienne en): mustard (coarse grained)

mouton: mutton

mulet: mullet, a rustic-flavored ocean fish

mure: blackberry

muscade: nutmeg

museau de porc (boeuf): vinegared pork (beef) muzzle

myrtille: type of blueberry

mystère: cone-shaped ice cream dessert; also meringue/ice cream/choc sauce


nage (à la): aromatic poaching liquid (served in)

nantua: sauce of crayfish, butter cream and truffles; also garnish of crayfish

nappe: covered; as with a sauce

nature: refers to simple, unadorned preparations

navarin: refers to lamb or mutton

navet: turnip

niçoise: w/tomatoes, onions, anchovies, olives

nid: nest

nivernaise: in the style of nevers, with carrots and onions

noilles: noodles

noisette: hazelnut; hazelnut flavored

noisette: also refers to small round piece (such as potato) browned in butter

noix: walnut; nut; nut sized

normande: refers to fish or meat cooked with apple cider or calvados; or sauce of seafood, cream, mushrooms

normande: also dessert with apples, usually served with cream

nouilles à l'alsacienne: noodles, usually with butter and cream

nouveau (nouvelle): new or young

nouveauté: a new offering

noyau: stone or pit


oeuf à la coque: soft-cooked egg

oeuf brouillé: scrambled egg

oeuf dur: hard-cooked egg

oeuf en meurette: poached egg in red wine sauce

oeuf mollet: egg simmered in water for 6 minutes

oeuf poche: poached egg

oeuf saut à la poêle: fried egg

oeuf sur le plat: fried egg

oeufs à la neige: (in the snow) sweetened whipped whites poached in milk/in custard

oeufs au jambon: eggs and ham

offert(e): offered; free or given

oie: goose

oignon: onion

omble chevalier: member of trout family with firm flaky flesh from white to deep red

omelette: aux fines herbs; au fromage (cheese); au jambon (ham)

onglet: cut similar to beef flank steak; biftek, and entrecote (can be tough)

oreilles (de porc): ears (of pig)

orties: nettles

ortolan: tiny wild bird (now protected)

os: bone

oseille: sorrel

oursin: sea urchin

ouvert: open


paillard (de veau): thick slice (of veal)

pailles (pommes): fried straw potatoes (finely shredded)

paillettes: cheese straws, usually made with puff pastry and Parmesan cheese

pain: bread

paleron: shoulder of beef

paletot: (coat) skin bone and meat of fattened duck or goose

palmier: palm-leaf-shaped cookie made of sugared puff pastry

palmier (coeurs de): palm hearts

palombe: wood or wild pigeon

palourde: prized medium sized clam

pamplemousse: grapefruit

panache: mixed; liberally used menu term to denote any mixture

panade: thick mixture used to bind (flour and butter, bread crumbs, etc.)

panais: parsnip

pané(e): breaded

panier: basket

pannequet: rolled crêpe filled with sweet or savory mixture

papillote (en): cooked in parchment paper or foil

paquets (en): (in) packages or parcels

parfait: a dessert mousse; also mousse-like mixture of chicken, duck liver, etc.

parfum: flavor

parisienne (à la): varied garnish , always includes fried potato balls tossed in meat glaze

parmentier: dish with potatoes

partager: share

passe-pierre: edible seaweed

pastèque: watermelon

pastis: refreshing long, cool drink; anise liqueur or flavor w/ice and water

pastise: anise liqueur

pâte: pastry dough

pâte à choux: cream puff pastry

pâte brisée: pie pastry

pâte sablée: sweeter, richer than pâte sucrée

pâte sucrée: sweet pie pastry

pâté: molded, spiced, minced meat, baked and served hot or cold

pâté en croute: pate baked in pastry crust

pâtisserie: pastry

pâtissier: pastry chef

patte: paw, foot, or leg or bird or animal

patte blanche: small crayfish

patte rouge: large crayfish

paupiette: thin sice of meat, usually beef or fish, filled, rolled, then wrapped

pavé: thick slice of boned beef or calve's liver; also king of pastry

paysan(ne) (à la): country style; garnish of carrots, turnips, onions, celery, bacon

peau: skin

pêche: peach

pêche melba: poached peach with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce

pêcheur: usually refers to fish preparations

pelure: peelings, such as truffles, used for flavorings

perce-pierre: samphire, edible seaweed

perche: perch, finely flavored fresh water fish

perdreau: young partridge

perdrix: partridge

périgourdine (à la): sauce, usually with truffles and foie gras

persil: parsley

petit déjeuner: breakfast

petit-pois: small green peas

petits fours: tiny cakes and pastries

petits-gris: small land snail

petoncle: tiny scallop, similar to bay scallops

pets de nonne: small, dainty fried pastry

pibale: small eel, also called civelle

pièce: portion or piece

pied de mouton: meaty, cream-colored wild mushroom; also sheep's foot

pied de porc: pig's foot

pigeonneau: young pigeon or squab

pignons: pine nuts, or pignoli

pilau, pilaf: rice booked with onions and broth

piment (poivre) de Jamaïque: allspice

piment doux: sweet pepper

pince: claw; also tongs used when eating snails or seafood

pintade: guinea fowl

pintadeau: young guinea fowl

pipérade: basque dish of peppers, onions, tomatoes, and often scrambled eggs

pipérade au jambon: above served on slice of ham

piquant(e): sharp or spicy tasting

pique: larded; studded

pissaladière: a flat open-face tart garnished with onions, olives, anchovies

pissenlit: dandelion (leaves)

pistache: pistachio nuts

pistil de safran: thread of saffron

pistou: sauce of basil, garlic, olive oil; also a rich vegetable soup

pithiviers: classic puff pastry dessert filled with almond cream

plat: a dish

plat principal: main dish

plate: flat-shelled oyster

plateau: platter

plateau de fruits de mer: seafood platter (raw & cooked combined)

plates côtes: part of beef ribs usually used in pot-au-feu

pleurote: oyster mushroom

plie franche: flounder

plombières: dessert of vanilla ice cream, candied fruit, kirsch, whipped cream

pluches: leaves of herbs or plants, generally used for garnish

poché(e): poached

pochouse: freshwater fish stew prepared with white or red wine

poêlé(e): pan-fried

pointe (d'asperge): tip (of asparagus)

poire: pear

poireau: leek

poires belle hélène: poached pears served on vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate sauce

pois: peas

poisson: fish

poitrine: breast (of meat or poultry)

poitrine demi-sel: unsmoked slab bacon

poitrine fumée: smoked slab bacon

poivrade: peppery brown sauce of wine, vinegar, and cooked vegetables (strained)

poivre: pepper

poivre frais de Madagascar: green peppercorns

poivre noir: black peppercorns

poivre rose: pink peppercorns

poivre vert: green peppercorns

poivron (doux): sweet bell pepper

polenta: cornmeal cooked with butter and cheese

pommade (en): usually refers to a thick, smooth paste

pomme: apple

pomme en l'air: caramelized apple slices usually served with blood sausage

pommes (de terre): potatoes

pommes à la vapeur: steamed or boiled potatoes

pommes à l'anglaise: boiled potatoes

pommes allumettes: very thin fries 1/4 x 2-1/2

pommes boulangère: potatoes cooked with the meat; gratin with onions, sometimes bacon

pommes dauphinoise: basked dish of sliced potatoes w/milk, garlic, cheese

pommes dauphine : mashed potatoes mixed with chou pastry, shaped into balls & fried

pommes duchesse: mashed potatoes with butter, egg yolks, nutmeg garnish

pommes en robe: potatoes cooked with skins on

pommes frites: French fries

pommes gratinées: baked dish of potatoes, browned, often with cheese

pommes lyonnaises: potatoes sautéed with onions

pommes paillés: potatoes cut into julienne strips, then fried

pommes pont-neuf: classic fries, cut 1/2 x 2-1/2

pommes soufflées: small thin slices of potato fried twice (inflate like pillows)

porc (carré de): pork (loin)

porc (côte de): pork (chop)

porcelet: young suckling pig

porto (au): with port

portugaises: type of oyster

potage: soup

pot-au-feu: boiled beef with vegetables, often served in two or more courses

pot-de-crème: individual custard or mousse-like dessert, often chocolate

potée: hearty soup of pork and vegetables, generally cabbage and potatoes

poularde: fattened hen

poule d'inde: turkey hen

poule faisane: female pheasant

poulet (rôti): chicken (roast)

poulet basquaise: basque style chicken, with tomatoes and sweet peppers

poulet de Bresse: high-quality, free-running, corn-fed chicken

poulet de grain: corn-fed chicken

poulet fermier: free-range chicken

poulpe: octopus

pousse-pierre: edible seaweed

poussin: baby chicken

praire: small clam

pralin: ground caramelized almonds

primeur: refers to early fresh fruits and vegetables

printanière: garnish of spring vegetables, cut into dice or balls

prix fixe: fixed-price menu

prix net: service included

profiterole: chou pastry desssert, filled with ice cream and topped with chocolate

provençal(e): in the style of Provence; with garlic, tomatoes, olive oil

prune: fresh plum

pruneau: prune

ptes (fraiches): pasta (fresh)

purée: mashed


quenelle: dumpling, usually of veal, fish, or poultry

quetsch: small purple damson plum

queue (de boeuf): tail (oxtail)


rable de lièvre (lapin): saddle of hare (rabbit)

radis: small red radish

radis noir: large black radish

ragout: stew, usually of meat

raie: skate (fish)

raifort: horseradish

raisin: grape

ramequin: small individual casserole, also small tart

rapé(e): grated or shredded

rascasse: scorpion fish

rave: root vegetables - celery, turnip, radish

ravigote: thick vinaigrette sauce w/vinegar, white wine, shallots, herbs, mayo

réchauffer: to reheat

reine-claude: greengage plum

reinette: fall and winter variety of apple

rémoulade: sauce of mayo, capers, mushrooms, herbs, anchovies, gherkins

rillettes (d'oie): minces spread of pork (goose), or duck, fish, rabbit

rillons: usually pork belly, cut up and cooked 'til crisp

rince doigt: finger bowl

ris d'agneau: lamb sweetbreads

ris de veau: veal sweetbreads

rivière: river

riz à l'imperatrice: cold rice pudding with candied fruit

riz complet: brown rice

rognonnade: veal loin with kidneys attached

rognons: kidneys

romarin: rosemary

rondelle: round slice

rosette (de porc): dried sausage (of pork) usually from Beaujolais

rosé: rare (meat)

rôti: roast

rouelle (de): slice of meat or vegetable cut at an angle

rouget (rouget barbet): sweet, red-skinned fish commonly called red mullet; smaller, better

rouille: thick, spicy, rust-colored sauce, w/olive oil, peppers, tomatoes, garlic

roulade: roll, often stuffed

roulé(e): rolled

roux: butter and flour mixed together to thicken sauce


sabayon: light sweet sauce of egg yolks, sugar, wine, flavoring, whipped as cooked

sable: shortbread-like cookie; also sweet pastry dough

safran: saffron

saignant(e): very rare (for the cooking of meat)

saint pierre: mild, flat, white ocean fish; john dory

saint-germain: with peas

saint-hubert: sauce poivrade with chestnuts and bacon added

saint-jacques (coquille): sea scallop

saison (suivant la): according to the season

salade aux noix: green salad with walnuts dressed with walnut oil

salade folle: mixed salad, usually including green beans and foie gras

salade panachée: mixed salad

salade verte: green salad

salé(e): salted

salicorne: edible algae

salmis: stewlike preparation of game birds or poultry

salpicon: diced vegetables, meat and /or fish in a sauce

salsifis: salsify, or oyster plant

sandre: perchlike freshwater fish

sang: blood

sanglier: wild boar

sarriette: summer savory; also called poivre d'âne

saucisse: small fresh sausage

saucisson: large dried sausage

saucisson de Lyon: pork sausage with garlic, pepper, sometimes truffles or pistachios

sauge: sage

saumon (sauvage): salmon (wild, non-cultivated)

saumon d'Ecosse: scottish salmon

saumon fumé: smoked salmon

saupiquet: classis aromatic wine sauce thickened with bread crumbs

sauté(e): browned in fat

sauvage: wild

savarin: yeast-leavened cake shaped like a ring, soaked in sweet syrup

savoyarde: usually, flavored with Gruyère cheese

scarole: escarole

seiche: large squid

sel: salt

selle: saddle (of meat)

serpolet: wild thyme

service (non) compris: service (not) included

serviette: napkin

sirops: flavored syrup w/mineral water, seltzer, lemon soda (bar or cafe)

smitane: sauce of cream, onions, white wine and lemon juice

soissons: dried or fresh white beans

sole normande: sole poached in cider, garnished with mussels, shrimp, cream sauce

sorbet: sherbet

soubise: onion sauce

souffle: light sweet or savory mixture, served hot or cold

steack: beef steak

stockfish: salted and air-dried codfish

succes au pralin: meringue cake flavored w/caramelized almonds, layered w/butter cream

sucre: sugar

suprême: a veal- or chicken-based white sauce thickened with flour and cream

suprême: a boneless breast of poultry or a fillet of fish


tablier de sapeur: tripe that is marinated, breaded, and grilled

tagine: spicy North African stew of veal, lamb, chicken, or pigeon with veg

tanche: tench, a freshwater fish with mild, delicate flavor

tapenade: blend of black olives, anchovies, capers, olive oil, lemon juice

tarama: mullet roe, often made into a spread of the same name

tart tatin: caramelized upside-down apple pie

tartare: chopped raw beef, seasoned and garnished with raw egg, etc.

tarte: tart; open-face pie or flan, usually sweet

tarte au fromage: cheesecake

tartine: open-face sandwich; buttered bread

tasse: cup

tendre: tender

tendrons: cartilaginous meat cut from beef or veal ribs

terrine: earthenware container; also mixture cooked in the container

tête de veau (porc): head of veal (pork), usually used in headcheese

thé: tea

thon: tuna fish

thym: thyme

tian: earthenware gratin dish; also vegetable mixture cooked in dish

tiède: lukewarm

tilleul: lime or linden blossom herb tea

timbale: small mold; mixture prepared in mold

topinambour: Jerusalem artichoke

tortue: turtle

toulousaine: Toulouse-style; usually with truffles or sweetbreads; cock's combs, etc.

tournédos: center portion of beef filet, usually grilled or sautéed

tournédos rossini: sauteed tournedos garnished with foie gras and truffles

tourteau: large crab with large claws full of deliciously sweet meat

tourtière: shallow cooking vessel; also pastry dish filled w/spples and/or prunes

tranche: slice

travers de porc: spare ribs

tripes à la mode de Caen: beef tripe, carrots, onions, leeks, spices, cooked w/cider and brandy

tripoux: mutton tripe

trompettes des mort: dark brown "horn of plenty" mushrooms

tronçon: cut of meat or fish (sliced from widest part)

truffe (truffé[e]): truffle (with truffles)

truite: trout

truite saumonée: salmon trout

tuile: literally, tile; delicate almond-flavored cookie

turban: usually mixture or combination of ingredients cooked in ring mold

turbot(in): turbot (small turbot) considered the finest of fish (and most expensive)


vacherin: dessert of baked meringue, with ice cream and cream; also a cheese

vallé d'ange: region of Normandy; also garnish of cooked apples and cream

vanille: vanilla

vapeur (à la): steam(ed)

veau: veal

velouteé: veal or chicken based sauce thickened with flour

venaison: venison

ventre: belly or stomach

venus: American clam

verjus: juice from unripe grapes; once used in sauces instead of vinegar

vernis: large, fleshy clam

vert-pré: watercress garnish, sometimes includes potatoes

verviene: lemon verbena (herb tea)

vessie (en): cooked in a pig's bladder (usually a chicken)

viande: meat

vichy: with glazed carrots; also a brand of mineral water

vichyssoise: cold, creamy leek and potato soup

vierge (beurre): whipped butter sauce with salt, pepper, and lemon juice

vierge (huile d'olive): virgin olive oil

vieux (vieille): old

vigneron: wine grower

vinaigre (vieux): vinegar (aged)

vinaigre de Xeres: sherry vinegar

vinaigrette: oil and vinegar dressing

vivant(e): living

vivier: fish tank

vol au vent: puff pastry shell

volaille: poultry


Xeres: sherry (vinegar)


yaourt: yogurt


zeste: citrus peel, with white pith removed

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