Page links; Related site pagesBook travel, hotelsUseful outside linksAbout us, Contact

On this page;

Information about French menu and food terms –, the site for day trippers and visitors to France

French food and menu terms – Food Dictionary

Menu's can often be daunting if your French is rusty or none existant. Print this page and ensure you get the meal you really want.

Le Gout – Radio du Gout, interesting French website with useful food dictionary.

Event – Tous au Restaurant. Fourth annual event from 16th to 22nd September 2013. Described as a "week to discover the best restaurants in France". To encourage visitors to visit participating restaurants, they say "your guest is our guest (buy one get one free)". Online bookings start 5th September.



absinthe – aromatic plant used to flavour vermouth

gousse d'ail – clove of garlic.

houblon – hops

laurier – Bay (leaf)

marjolaine – marjoram

menthe – mint

moutarde – mustard

muscade – nutmeg

origan – origano

oseille – sorrel

persil – parsley

poivre – pepper

thym – thyme


abats – offal

achatine – land snail.

agneau – lamb

aiguillette – top rump (beef)

aloyau – sirloin (of beef)

amourette (s) – spinal bone marrow of calf or ox.

andouille (andouillette) – tripe sausage

arrière – rear

Bavette – undercut of sirlion

Bifteck – steak

Boeuf en musette – rolled and boned shoulder of beaf

carré d'sagneau – rack of lamb

cervelle (s) – Brain (s), of calf or lamb.

charcuterie – cold meats

chair – flesh

chevreuil – venison

coeur – heart

contre filet – loin strip steak, thicker slices are grilled as T bone or rump steaks

côtelettes – cutlets

couennes – pork rinds

échine – loin or chine (usually pork)

entier – whole

entrecôte – rib or rib eye steak, sometimes a slice from the rump is served under this name

escalope – Boneless cho

escargots – snails

escargot petit-gris – small land snail.

farcie – stuffing

faux-filet – Sirloin steak

flanchet – flank of beef, used in stews

foie – liver

foie de veau – calf's liver.

fritons – coarse pork rillettes or minced spread which includes organ meats.

gigot – leg

gîtes à la noix – silverside / topside of beef

goret – young pig.

grillades – grilled meat

haché – finely chopped meat

hanche – haunch

hure de porc – head of pig.

jambon – ham

jambon blanc – Boiled ham

jambon cru – raw ham

jarret – knuckle (of veal), shin (of beef)

jesus – pork liver sausage

langue – tongue

lapins – rabbit

lardons – Bits of bacon

lievre – hare

longe – lion of veal / pork

maigre – thin / lean meat

marcassin – young wild boar

merguez – spicy lamb sausage

minute / entracote – thin steak

moelle – marrow

morceaux – pieces

mouflon – wild shee

mouseau – Brawn

mouton – mutton / shee

noisette – small round slice of meat

onglet – long rump steak

os – Bone (marrow)

paleron – part of the shoulder (beef)

palette de porc – shoulder of porc

paupiettes – small rolled pieces/ fillets of seasoned meat or fish

pied – trotter / foot

poitrine – Brisket (of beef)

porc – pork

ris d'agneau (de veau) – lamb (veal) sweetbreads.

rognons – kidneys

rognonnade – veal loin with kidneys attached.

rumsteck – rump steak

tende de tranche – silverside of beef

terrine – coarse paté – resembles meat loaf and may consist of any meat, including game or fowl

terrinée – Baked rice pudding

tranche – slice / steak

tripoux – mutton tripe.

veau – veal

viande – meat

Dishes / Terms

abignades / abegnades – goose tripe and blood served on fried bread with lemon

africaine – dish usually with mushrooms, aubergine, tomato and potato garnish

agenaise – fried eggs with onions and tomatoes

aïgo à la ménagère – soup of onion, leek, garlic and tomato with poached eggs.

aïgo bouïdo – garlic soup – a provençal speciality

aïgo saou – fish and vegatable soup

aïoli de morue – salt cod, garlic mayonnaise and vegetables

albuféra (à la d's) – poached chicken dish, stuffed with rice, truffles and foie gras

amuse gueule – cocktail snack

anguille vert – Eel with herbs

assiette anglaise – Cuts of cold meat

assiette charcuterie – pâté, salami, etc

Béatille – 'titbit', dish combining various offal.

Bisque – seafood soup

Boeuf (bouguignon) – Beef (with red wine)

Bouilliture – eel stew with red wine and prunes.

Brochette (en) – kebab (served on a skewer)

carbonade flamande – Beef cooked in beer

cargolade – a copious mixed grill of snails, lamb, pork sausage, and sometimes blood sausage cooked over vine clippings.

cassoulet – white beans in casserole with meats

civet de tripes d'oies – a stew of goose innards, shallots, and garlic, cooked in wine vinegar and thickened with goose blood.

colère, en – 'in anger'; when, in the presentation of fish, its tail is inserted into its mouth to make it appear 'angry'.

compote – stewed fruit

consommé – clear soup

couscous – north African dish with veg. and meat

croque-monsieur – Welsh rarebit

demoiselle de canard – marinated raw duck tenderloin; not to be confused with Demoiselles de Cherbourg small lobsters cooked in Court bouillon and served in their cooking juices.

flammekeuche – A northern pizza with a thin crust

fritot – small organ meat fritter.

fruit de mer – shellfish – sea food platter

gibelotte – fricassee of rabbit in red or white wine.

gras – fatty.

jus – gravy, sauce

marmite – stew / stockpot

matelote – fish stew

medaillon – medallion sized slices

meli-melo – hotch potch

mi-cru – half raw.

mi-cuit – half cooked.

mollet – soft boiled egg

mitonée – simmered

museau de porc – snout of pork, vinegared.

non compris – service charge has not been included on listed menu prices; however, check the bill it's not unusual to find that it's been added anyw

L'Assiette Nordique – smoked fish platter

oreille de porc – cooked pigs ear, served grilled, with a coating of egg and breadcrumbs.

pangue – Corsican black pudding, usually with grapes or herbs.

papillote – fish cooked wrapped in oiled paper or foil

parmentier – dish cooked with potato

pave – shaped in squares / slices

pessie, en – cooked in a pig's bladder (usually chicken)

pestou – garlic and basil butter

piech – poached veal brisket stuffed with vegetables and herbs.

pele – peeled

périgueux – 1) purée of goose or duck liver and truffles. 2) truffle sauce

poele – pot roasted

point (a) – medium cooked – steak

porchetta – young pig stuffed with offal, herbs and garlic and roasted.

pot'sje vleish – meat brawn

potage – thick soup

soupe de poissons – fish soup

têté de veau – veal's head

velouté de tomates – cream of tomato soup

velouté de volaille – cream of chicken soup


Boulette d'sAvesnes – A northern cheese

Foudjou – strong smelling goat's cheese blending pepper, garlic, salt and brand with fresh and aged grated cheese.

Fromage de L'Avesnois – A northern cheese

fromages – cheeses

Maroilles – A northern cheese – strong smelling

Mont des Cats – A northern- from Flanders

Vieux Lille – A northern cheese


assortiment – assortment

caissette – crate


confiture – jam

miel – honey

Labels / Words

accompagnement – garnish / vegetable (served with meat)

acidulés – sharp (acidic)

affiné – ripe

aigre – sour

aigre doux / douce – Bitter sweet

ailier – wing (bird / fish)

aillé (e) – garlic flavoured

arête – Bone (fish)

Bâtonnet – sticks

Beurre – Butter

Bifteck haché – hamburger

Braisé – Braised

Brouillade – stew with oil

Brouillé – scrambled

Brûlé – toasted

campagnarde – Buffet, provincial

carte (à la carte) – menu (itemised prices)

champignons – mushrooms

cordon blue – literally "blue cord"

cuit – cooked

décongeler – defrost

dijonnaise – with mustard sauce

écréme – skimmed milk

élevage – Breeding

épais – thick

épaule – shoulder

étouffée (à l's. . .) – stewed

filet – fillet

four – oven baked

Friday (e) – fried

fumé – smoked

gelés – frozen

gratinée – grill browned

gratuit – free

grillé – grilled

jeune d'oeuf – egg yolk

mille feulles – fine layers of puff pastry

nature – plain

panier – Basket

parfum – flavour

pépites – nuggets

poche – poached

rissolé – fried

rotir – roast

rouelle – round slice

semi épais – slightly thick

surgelés – for deep freeze

tartiner – spread

tiède – warm


abati (s) – giblet (s) of poultry or game foul.

abbatis – fowl

caille – quail

canard – duck

caneton – duckling

dinde – turkey – hen

dindon – turkey – cock

dindonneau – turkey – young cock

dodine – cold, stuffed poultry which has already been boned.

faisan – pheasant

foie gras – Goose liver

gésier – gizzard

lagopede – grouse

magret de canard – Breast of fattened duck.

oeuf – egg

oie – goose

palombe – wood pigeon

perdreau – young partridge

perdrix – partridge

pigeon – pigeon

pintade – guinea fowl

poularde – chicken (boiled) – fattened pullet

poule – chicken / fowl

poulet – chicken (roasted)

poussin – spring chicken

suprême – 1) the wing and breast fillet removed in one piece from the side of a chicken carcass. 2) a thickened velouté sauce with mushrooms and cream

volaille – poultry

Fish – poisson

abadèche rouge – type of sea bass

abusseau – type of sea smelt

aigle de mer – skate

aiglefin / églifin – cod / haddock


ailes de raie – skate wings

airelle – cranberry / bilberry

anchois – anchovies

anguille – Eel

Bar – Bass / sea bass

Barbue – Brill

Bigorneau – periwinkle, tiny sea snail.

Brochet – pike

Brochet de la mer – Barracuda

Brocheton – young pike

Bulot – large sea snail or whelk, also called buccin.

cabillaud – cod

calmars – squid

colin – hake

coquilles St. Jacquesscallops

crevette gris – small shrimp (brown)

crevette grosse / royale – large prawn

crevettes (roses) – shrimps – common prawn

crustacés – shellfish

darnes – fish steak

daurade – sea bream

dorade commune – red bream

dorade gris – Black bream

ecornet – small illex squid, also known as calamar.

écrevisse – crayfish

frémi – literally meaning 'trembling' and often applied to barely cooked oysters.

friture – whitebait

gamba – large prawn

hareng – herring, ". . . baltique", marinated; ". . . bouffi", salted; ". . . pec", freshly salted; "saur", smoked.

harenguet – sardine or sprat

homard – lobster

huître – oyster

laitances – soft roes

langouste – clawless spiny lobster or rock lobster; sometimes called crawfish and, mistakenly, crayfish.

langoustine – clawed crustacean, smaller than langouste with very delicate meat. Known in British waters as Dublin Bay prawn.

limande – dab – member of the plaice family

limande sole – lemon sole

lingueling – cod like fish

loup de mer – sea bass

lotte de mer – monk fish

maquereau – mackerel

merlan – hake / whiting

morue – cod

moules – mussels

muge – mullet

officer – type of cod

omble, chevalier, char – fish akin to trout / salmon

ombre commun – greyling

oursin – sea urchin

pied de cheval – horses foot; giant Atlantic coast oyster.

perce – perche

perche de la mer – sea bass

plie – plaice

poisson – fish

poulpe – octopus

sandre – pike / perch

saumon – salmon

thon – tuna

tombe – gunarde (fish)

truite – trout

truite arc en ciel – rainbow trout


aillada – spicy garlic and oil sauce

aillade – garlic and walnut sauce

aïoli – garlic mayonnaise

aïoli à le grecque – a vinaigrette of garlic and nuts, served with fish

albert – a creamy horseradish sauce

albertine – a sauce based on white wine, mushrooms and trouffles

Béarnaise – creamy, slightly piquant sauce, with egg yolks, shallots, vinegar, wine and peppercorns (plus tarragon and parsley)

Béchamel – Basic white sauce

Beurre blanc – sauce with butter, shallots, vinegar, white wine and crême fraîche or double cream

Beurre noir – sauce with browned butter, vinegar and / or lemon juice

Beurre vert – herb and butter sauce

Bourguiginonne – red wine or herb sauce

chasseur – sauce with wine and mushrooms

coulis – fruit sauce

meunière – Butter and lemon sauce

Riste – Riste d'aubergine: an aubergine and tomato purée with garlic, olive oil and spices (Auchan sell this – highly recommended).


sauce – sauce

tapenade – a blend of black olives, anchovies, capers, olive oil and lemon juice.

velouté – a glossy, velvety thickened chicken or meat stock


abricot à la diable – poached glazed abricot on macaroons

aigrelet (ette) – sourish tart

aigrette – sour / tart

aigrettes – sourish tart in choux pastry

amandes – almonds

Babeluttes de Lille – Caramels

Betses – Mint humbugs

Bombe – ice cream

chuques du Nord – Coffee sweets with caramel centre

coupe – ice cream sundae

crêpe – pancake

flan – custard tart

gaufres – Waffles

glaces – ice cream

Langue (de chat) – cat's tongue; thin, narrow, delicate biscuit (often served with sorbet or ice cream).

marmelade – stewed fruits

patisseries – pastries / cakes

omelotte a la confiture – sweet omelette

tarte au fromage – Cheese cake made from eggs and cottage cheese.

tarte aux sucre – Brown sugar Tarte

Fruit / Vegetables

abricot – apricot

agrumes – citrus fruits

ail – garlic

ananas – pineapple

artichaut – artichoke

asperges – asparagus

Betterave – Beetroot

cassis – Blackcurrant

cerises – cherries

chicorée – endive (chicory)

chou-fleur – cauliflower

choux – cabbage

choux de Bruxelles – Brussels sprouts

citron – lemon

cornichons – gherkins (pickled)

concombre – cucumber

cornichon – gherkin, tiny bitter cucumber pickle.

crudités – fresh, raw vegetables

endives – endive (chicory)

épinards – spinach

flageolets – dwarf kidney beans

fraises – strawberries

framboises – raspberries

garni – with vegetables

garniture – vegetables

guyot – variety of pear

haricot – Bean

laitue – lettuce

légume – vegetable

mache – lambs lettuce

mais – maize

mangue – mango

marrons – sweet chesnuts

mesclun – mix of salad leaves

mure – mulberry

myrtile – Bilberry

navette – turni

navette de suede – swede

noisette – hazelnut

noix – nut

oignon – onion

orge perel – pearl barley

ortice – nettle

pacane – pecan nut

pamplemousse – grapefruit

perce-pierre – samphire, edible seaweed.

pignon – pine nut

pissenit – dandelion

pistache – pistachio

pleurotte – large field mushroom

poireau – leek

poivron – sweet pepper

pomme – apple

pomme de terre – potato

prune – plum

pruneau – prune

salicorne – edible seaweed.

tomates – tomato

topinambour – jerusalem artichoke

Alcohol / Drink

abricotine – apricot and brandy liquer

apéritifs – Before meal drink

Boisson compris – including wine

Boissons – drinks

digestifs – Brandy, liqueurs etc

eau – water

lait – milk

mousseux – sparkling

non gazeuse – still, flat

panache – shandy

porto – port

thé – tea

thé glacé – iced tea

thé vert – china tea

tisane – herb tea

tisane d'sorge – Barley water

Bread / Pastry / pasta

Brioche – Sweet breakfast bread

couronnes – Ring shaped baguette style bread

cramique – Type of brioche with currants

croissants – pastry

levure – yeast

marc – rough brandy

nouilles – noodles

pain au chocolat – Croissant with chocolate centre

pain au Levain / L'Ancienne – Bread made from sour dough

pain aux noix – Bread with walnuts

pain aux olives – Bread with olives

pain biologique – Made with organic wholemeal flour

pain campagne – A heavier, longer lasting and tastier bread

pain de mie – Sliced bread

pain d'epice – ginger bread

pain de sègle – Bread made with rye and wheat

pain de son – Wholemeal bread with bran

pain noir / complet – Wholemeal bread

Useful Outside links

Le Gout – Le Gout, France's annual food tasting week.

The Other side. Interesting link about Flemmish food.

Slow Food France – Slow Food France.

Les Routes du Terroir – Les Routes du Terroir. Worth visiting (French).

Happy Cow – Happy Cow, Vegetarian restaurants Wordwide.

French Foodgate – Find a company dealing in French food and wine. Excellent resource.

French version.

Le Gout, about an annual food tasting week.

Hungry Monster – Hungry Monster.

Hungry Monster. Facts about food, Foods glossary

Restaurant food info. – Food Facts, Food information, and Tips! Good list of E-numbers.

lets cook French – Lets cook French. Lovely site with lots useful information.

Show booking widget only