food glossary


If you are familiar with some of the basic food items, it will do no harm, and possibly save a certain amount of indigestion.



ail - garlic

aïoli - garlic mayonnaise

aligot - potatoes and Tomme cheese

anana - pineapple

andouillette - chitterling sausage

anis - aniseed confectionery

asperges - asparagus

banane - banana

bar - sea bass

bergamotes - orange-flavoured, hard-boiled sweets

berlingots - more hard-boiled sweets

bêtises - hard mints

beurre blanc - butter sauce

boeuf - beef

boudin noir - black pudding

bouillabaisse - seafood stew

bourride - fish soup

brandade - creamed salt-cod

calmar - squid

canard - duck

cassoulet - stew with haricot beans, sausages and pork

cèpes - cèpe mushrooms

cérises - cherries

charcuterie - smoked, cured or dried meats

chips - crisps

choucroute - Sauerkraut

confiseries - confectionery

confits - duck or goose preserved in fat

confiture - jam (jelly)

coq au vin - chicken in wine

coquilles St Jacques - scallops

crêpes - pancakes

crêpes dentelles - thin pancakes

crudités - raw vegetables, often served as a starter

cuisse de grenouilles - frog‘s legs

daurade, dorade - sea bream

dragées - sugared almonds

encornet - squid

escargots - snails

esturgeon - sturgeon

ficelles Picardes - Ham pancakes with mushroom sauce

foie gras - goose liver

fouace - dough cakes

fraises - strawberries

framboises - raspberries

frites - chips, usually slender

fromage - cheese ('The cheeses of France')

fruits confits - crystallised fruit

fruits de mer - seafood


© ATOUT FRANCE/Patrice Thébault


galettes - savoury pancakes or waffles

gâteau d’amandes - almond cake

garbure - meat and vegetable stew

gratins - dishes with a crusty topping

groseilles - red currants

groseilles à maquereau - gooseberries

haricots - beans

haricots verts - green beans

huile d'olives - olive oil

huitres - oysters

jambon - ham

jambon cru - cured ham

lait - milk

lapin - rabbit

lardons - thickly sliced bacon pieces

légumes - vegetables

lotte - monkfish

loup - bass

macarons - macaroons

madeleines - small sponge cakes

magret de canard - duck breast

marrons glacés - crystallised chestnuts

merlu - hake

miel - honey

morue - salt cod

mouclade - mussel stew

moules - mussels

moutarde - mustard

noix - nuts

nougat - sugar, honey and nut sweetmeat

nougatine - caramel syrup and almond sweetmeat

oursin - sea urchin


© ATOUT FRANCE/Cédric Helsly. Bread comes in all shapes and sizes


pain - bread

pain au chocolat - croissant-like pastry filled with chocolate

pain d’épice - spiced honey cake

pieds de cochon - pigs’ trotters

piperade - sweet pepper and tomato omelette

poire - pear

poireau - leeks

poisson - fish

pomme - apple

pommes de terre - potatoes

pot au feu - stewed beef with vegetables

poularde - fatted chicken

poulet - chicken ('Poulet de Bresse')

poulpe - octopus

pralines - caramelised almond confectionery

pruneaux - prunes

quenelles - poached meat or fish dumplings

quenelles de brochet - pike dumplings

quiche - egg, cream and bacon flan

Raclette - dish with cheese and meats

rillettes - potted pork

rillons - potted chopped pork

ris de veau - sweetbreads

rognons - kidneys

salade verte - green salad

saucisson - sausage

seiche - cuttlefish

soupe au pistou - Vegetable soup with basil

tapinade - olive paste

tartiflette - potatoes, Reblochon cheese, cream, and lardons

topinambour - Jerusalem artichoke

touron - soft almond confectionery

tourteau fromager - goats’ cheese gateau

tripes - tripe

truffes - truffles

truite - trout

viande - meat

volailles - poultry



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