glossary of food terms


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


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


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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