For many diners, the restaurant menu can present a confusing and intimidating barrier to the pleasures of dining out. The French language, of course, is no help with so many sound-alike words. It is so easy to confuse tourteau (crab) with tortue (turtle), ail (garlic) with aile (a poultry wing), chevreau (young goat) with chevreuil (venison).
The variety of fish and shellfish found in France’s waters can be equally confusing, particularly when one is faced with a multitude of regional or local names given to each species. The large, meaty monkfish, for example, might be called baudroie, lotte, or gigot de mer; depending upon the region or the whim of the chef.
In preparing this glossary, I have tried to limit the list to contemporary terms, making this a practical guide for today’s traveler in France. Translations are generally offered for those dishes, foods, and menus, in markets, expressions or terms phrases one is most likely to encounter on menus and in shops. I have also added regional terms one might not find explained elsewhere.
A point: cooked medium rare.
Abat(s): organ meat(s).
Abati(s): giblet(s) of poultry or game fowl.
Abbacchio: young lamb, specialty of Corsica.
Abondance: firm thick wheel of cow’s-milk cheese from the Savoie, a département in the Alps.
Acacia: the acacia tree, the blossoms of which are used for making fritters; also honey made from the blossom.
Achatine: land snail, or escargot, imported from China and Indonesia; less prized than other varieties.
Affinage: process of aging cheese.
Affiné: aged, as with cheese.
Agneau (de lait): lamb (young, milk-fed).
Agneau chilindron: sauté of lamb with potatoes and garlic, specialty of the Basque country.
Agneau de Pauillac: breed of lamb from the southwest.
Agnelet: baby milk-fed lamb.
Agnelle: ewe lamb.
Agrume(s): citrus fruit(s).
Aïado: roast lamb shoulder stuffed with parsley, chervil, and garlic.
Aiglefin: aigrefin, églefin: small fresh haddock, a type of cod.
Aïgo bouido: garlic soup, served with oil, over slices of bread; a specialty of Provence.
Aïgo saou: “water-salt” in Provençal; a fish soup that includes, of course, water and salt, plus a mixture of small white fish, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and olive oil; specialty of Provence.
Aigre: bitter; sour.
Aigre-doux: sweet and sour.
Aigrelette, sauce: a type of tart sauce.
Aiguillette: a long, thin slice of poultry, meat, or fish. Also, top part of beef rump.
Ail des ours: (Allium Ursinum) Wild garlic - also known as ramsons, buckrams, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek or bear's garlic
Aile: wing of poultry or game bird.
Aile et cuisse: used to describe white breast meat (aile) and dark thigh meat (cuisse), usually of chicken.
Aillade: garlic sauce; also, dishes based on garlic.
Aillé: with garlic.
Aillet: shoot of mild winter baby garlic, a specialty of the Poitou-Charentes region along the Atlantic coast.
Aïoli, ailloli: garlic mayonnaise. Also, salt cod, hard-cooked eggs, boiled snails, and vegetables served with garlic mayonnaise; specialty of Provence.
Airelle: wild cranberry.
Aisy cendré: thick disc of cow’s-milk cheese, washed with eau-de-vie and patted with wood ashes; also called cendre d’aisy: a specialty of Burgundy.
Albuféra: béchamel sauce with sweet peppers, prepared with chicken stock instead of milk; classic sauce for poultry.
Aligot: mashed potatoes with tomme (the fresh curds used in making Cantal cheese) and garlic; specialty of the Auvergne.
Alisier, alizier: eau-de-vie with the taste of bitter almonds, made with the wild red serviceberries that grow in the forests of Alsace.
Allumette: “match”; puff pastry strips; also fried matchstick potatoes.
Alose: shad, a spring river fish plentiful in the Loire and Gironde rivers.
Aloyau: loin area of beef; beef sirloin, butcher’s cut that includes the rump and contre-filet.
Alsacienne, à l’: in the style of Alsace, often including sauerkraut, sausage, or foie gras.
Amande de mer: smooth-shelled shellfish, like a small clam, with a sweet, almost almond flavor.
Amandine: with almonds.
Amer: bitter; as in unsweetened chocolate.
Américaine, Amoricaine: sauce of white wine, Cognac, tomatoes, and butter.
Ami du Chambertin: “friend of Chambertin wine”; moist and buttery short cylinder of cow’s milk cheese with a rust-colored rind, made near the village of Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy. Similar to Époisses cheese.
Amourette(s): spinal bone marrow of calf or ox.
Amuse-bouche or amuse gueule: “amuse the mouth”; appetizer.
Anchoïade: sauce that is a blend of olive oil, anchovies, and garlic, usually served with raw vegeta-bles; specialty of Provence; also, paste of anchovies and garlic, spread on toast.
Anchois (de Collioure): anchovy (prized salt-cured anchovy from Collioure, a port town near the Spanish border of the Languedoc), fished in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
Ancienne, à l’: in the old style.
Andouille: large smoked chitterling (tripe) sausage, usually served cold.
Andouillette: small chitterling (tripe) sausage, usually served grilled.
Ange à cheval: “angel on horseback”; grilled bacon-wrapped oyster.
Anglaise, à l’: English style, plainly cooked.
Anguille (au vert): eel; (poached in herb sauce).
Anis: anise or aniseed.
Anis étoilé: star anise; also called badiane.
AOC: see Appellation d’origine contrôlée.
Apéritif: a before-dinner drink that stimulates the appetite, usually somewhat sweet or mildly bitter.
Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC): specific definition of a particular cheese, butter, fruit, wine, or poultry – once passed down from generation to generation, now recognized by law – regulating the animal breed or variety of fruit, the zone of production, production techniques, composition of the product, its physical characteristics, and its specific attributes.
Arachide (huile d’; pâté d’): peanut (oil; butter).
Araignée de mer: spider crab.
Arbousier (miel d’): trailing arbutus, small evergreen shrubby tree of the heather family, also called strawberry tree, ground laurel and madrona tree with strawberry-like fruit dotted with tiny bumps; (honey of). Used for making liqueurs, jellies, and jams.
Arc en ciel (truite): rainbow (trout).
Ardennaise, à l’: in the style of the Ardennes, a département in northern France; generally a dish with juniper berries.
Ardi gasna: Basque name for sheep’s-milk cheese.
Ardoise: blackboard; bistros often use a blackboard to list specialties in place of a printed menu.
Arête: fish bone.
Arlésienne, à l’: in the style of Arles, a town in Provence; with tomatoes, onions, eggplant, potatoes, rice, and sometimes olives.
Armagnac: brandy from the Armagnac area of Southwestern France.
Aromate: aromatic herb, vegetable, or flavoring.
Arômes à la gêne: generic name for a variety of tangy, lactic cheeses of the Lyon area that have been steeped in gêne, or dry marc, the dried grape skins left after grapes are pressed for wine. Can be of cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or a mixture.
Arosé(e): sprinkled, basted, moistened with liquid.
Arpajon: a town in the Ile-de-France; dried bean capital of France; a dish containing dried beans.
Artichaut (violet): artichoke (small purple) (camus) snub-nosed.
Artichaut à la Barigoule: in original form, artichokes cooked with mushrooms and oil; also, artichoke stuffed with ham, onion, and garlic, browned in oil with onions and bacon, then cooked in water or white wine; specialty of Provence.
Asperge (violette): asparagus (purple-tipped asparagus, a specialty of the Côte-d’Azur).
Assaisonné: seasoned; seasoned with.
Assiette anglaise: assorted cold meats, usually served as a first course.
Assiette de pêcheur: assorted fish platter.
Assoiffé: parched, thirsty.
Aulx: plural of ail (garlic).
Aumônière: “beggar’s purse”; thin crêpe, filled and tied like a bundle.
Aurore: tomato and cream sauce.
Auvergnat(e): in the style of the Auvergne; often with cabbage, sausage, and bacon.
Aveline: hazelnut or filbert, better known as noisette.
Axoa: a dish of ground veal, onions, and the local fresh chilies, piment d’Espelette; specialty of the Basque region.
Azyme, pain: unleavened bread; matzo.
Baba au rhum: sponge cake soaked in rum syrup.
Badiane: star anise.
Baeckeoffe, baekaoffa, backaofa, backenoff: “baker’s oven”; stew of wine, beef, lamb, pork, potatoes, and onions; specialty of Alsace.
Bagna caudà: sauce of anchovies, olive oil, and garlic, for dipping raw vegetables; specialty of Nice.
Baguette: “wand”; classic long, thin loaf of bread.
Baguette au levain or à l’ancienne: sourdough baguette.
Baie rose: pink peppercorn.
Ballotine: usually poultry boned, stuffed, and rolled.
Banon: village in the Alps of Provence, source of dried chestnut leaves traditionally used to wrap goat cheese, which was washed with eau-de-vie and aged for several months; today refers to various goat’s-milk cheese or mixed goat- and cow’s-milk cheese from the region, sometimes wrapped in fresh green or dried brown chestnut leaves and tied with raffia.
Bar: ocean fish, known as loup on the Mediterranean coast, louvine or loubine in the southwest, and barreau in Brittany; similar to sea bass.
Barbouillade: stuffed eggplant, or an eggplant stew; also, a combination of beans and artichokes.
Barbue: brill, a flatfish related to turbot, found in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
Barder: to cover poultry or meat with strips of uncured bacon, to add moisture while cooking.
Baron: hindquarters of lamb, including both legs.
Barquette: “small boat”; pastry shaped like a small boat.
Basquaise, à la: Basque style; usually with ham or tomatoes or red peppers.
Bâtard, pain: “bastard bread”; traditional long, thin white loaf, larger than a baguette.
Batavia: salad green, a broad, flat-leafed lettuce.
Bâton: small white wand of bread, smaller than a baguette.
Bâtonnet: garnish of vegetables cut into small sticks.
Baudroie: in Provence, the name for monkfish or anglerfish, the large, firm-fleshed ocean fish also known as lotte and gigot de mer; also a specialty of Provence, a fish soup that includes potatoes, onions, fresh mushrooms, garlic, fresh or dried orange zest, artichokes, tomatoes, and herbs.
Bavaroise: cold dessert; a rich custard made with cream and gelatin.
Bavette: skirt steak.
Baveuse: “drooling”; method of cooking an omelet so that it remains moist and juicy.
Béarnaise: tarragon-flavored sauce of egg yolks, butter, shallots, white wine, vinegar, and herbs.
Béatille: “tidbit”; dish combining various organ meats.
Bécasse: small bird, a woodcock.
Bécassine: small bird, a snipe.
Béchamel: white sauce, made with butter, flour, and milk, usually flavored with onion, bay leaf, pepper, and nutmeg.
Beignet: fritter or doughnut.
Beignet de fleur de courgette: batter-fried zucchini blossom; native to Provence and the Mediterranean, now popular all over France.
Belle Hélène (poire): classic dessert of chilled poached fruit (pear), served on ice cream and topped with hot chocolate sauce.
Bellevue, en: classic presentation of whole fish, usually in aspic on a platter.
Belon: river in Brittany identified with a prized flat-shelled (plate) oyster.
Belondines: Brittany creuses, or crinkle-shelled oysters that are affinées or finished off in the Belon river.
Berawecka, bierewecke, bireweck, birewecka: dense, moist Christmas fruit bread stuffed with dried pears, figs, and nuts; specialty of Kaysersberg, a village in Alsace.
Bercy: fish stock-based sauce thickened with flour and butter and flavored with white wine and shallots.
Bergamot (thé a la bergamote): name for both a variety of orange and of pear; (earl grey tea).
Berrichonne: garnish of bruised cabbage, glazed baby onions, chestnuts, and lean bacon named for the old province of Berry.
blanc: classic reduced sauce of vinegar; white wine, shallots, and butter.
cru: raw cream butter.
de Montpellier: classic butter sauce seasoned with olive oil, herbs, garlic, and anchovies.
demi-sel: butter (lightly salted).
des Charentes: finest French butter, from the region of Poitou-Charentes along the Atlantic coast.
du cru: butter given the appellation d’origine contrôlée pedigree.
Echiré: brand of the finest French butter, preferred by French chefs, with an AOC pedigree, from the region of Poitou-Charentes along the Atlantic coast.
noir: sauce of browned butter, lemon juice or vinegar, parsley, and sometimes capers; tradi-tionally served with raie, or skate.
noisette: lightly browned butter.
vierge: whipped butter sauce with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Bibelskäs, bibbelskäse: fresh cheese seasoned with horseradish, herbs, and spices; specialty of Alsace.
Biche: female deer.
Bien cuit(e): cooked well done.
Bière (en bouteille, à la pression): beer (bottled, on tap).
Bigarade: orange sauce.
Biggareau: red firm-fleshed variety of cherry.
Bigorneau: periwinkle, tiny sea snail.
Bigoudène, à la: in the style of Bigouden, a province in Brittany; (pommes) baked slices of unpeeled potato; (ragôut) sausage stewed with bacon and potato.
Billy Bi, Billy By: cream of mussel soup, specialty of the Atlantic coast.
Biscuit à la cuillère: ladyfinger.
Bistrotier: bistro owner.
Blanc (de poireau): white portion (of leek).
Blanc (de volaille): usually breast (of chicken).
Blanc-manger: chilled pudding of almond milk with gelatin.
Blanquette: classic mild stew of poached veal, lamb, chicken, or seafood, enriched with an egg and cream white sauce; supposedly a dish for convalescents.
Blé (noir): wheat (buckwheat).
Blette, bette: Swiss chard.
Bleu: “blue”; cooked rare, usually for steak. See also Truite au bleu.
Bleu d’Auvergne: a strong, firm, and moist flattened cylinder of blue-veined cheese made from cow’s milk in the Auvergne, sold wrapped in foil; still made on some farms.
Bleu de Bresse: a cylinder of mild blue-veined cow’s-milk cheese from the Bresse area in the Rhône-Alps region; industrially made.
Bleu de Gex: thick, savory blue-veined disc of cow’s-milk cheese from the Jura; made in only a handful of small dairies in the département of the Ain.
Bleu des Causses: a firm, pungent, flat cylinder of blue-veined cow’s-milk cheese, cured in cellars similar to those used in making Roquefort.
Blini: small thick pancake, usually eaten with caviar.
Boeuf à la ficelle: beef tied with string and poached in broth.
Boeuf à la mode: beef marinated and braised in red wine, served with carrots, mushrooms, onions, and turnips.
Boeuf gros sel: boiled beef, served with vegetables and coarse salt.
Bohémienne, à la: gypsy style; with rice, tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers, and paprika, in various combinations.
Boisson (non) comprise: drink (not) included.
Bolet: type of wild boletus mushroom. See cèpe.
Bombe: molded, layered ice cream dessert.
Bonbon: candy or sweet.
Bon-chrétien: “good Christian”; a variety of pear, also known as poire William’s.
Bondon: small cylinder of delicately flavored, mushroomy cow’s-milk cheese made in the Neufchâtel area in Normandy.
Bonite: a tuna, or oceanic bonito.
Bonne femme (cuisine): meat garnish of bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, and onions; fish garnish of shallots, parsley, mushrooms, and potatoes; or white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms, and lemon juice; (home-style cooking).
Bordelaise: Bordeaux style; also refers to a brown sauce of shallots, red wine, and bone marrow.
Bouchée: “tiny mouthful”; may refer to a bite-size pastry or to a vol-au-vent.
Boudouses: literally, to pout; tiny oysters from Brittany that refuse to grow to normal size; iodine rich and prized.
Bouchoteur: mussel fisherman; a dish containing mussels.
Boudin: technically a meat sausage, but generically any sausage-shaped mixture.
Boudin blanc: white sausage of veal, chicken, or pork.
Boudin noir: pork blood sausage.
Bouillabaisse: popular Mediterranean fish soup, most closely identified with Marseille, ideally prepared with the freshest local fish, preferably rockfish. Traditionally might include dozens of different fish, but today generally includes the specifically local rascasse (scorpion fish), Saint-Pierre (John Dory), fiéla (conger eel), galinette (gurnard or grondin), vive (weever), and baudroie (monkfish) cooked in a broth of water, olive oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, and saffron. The fish is served separately from the broth, which is poured over garlic-rubbed toast, and seasoned with rouille which is stirred into the broth. Varied additions include boiled potatoes, orange peel, fennel, and shellfish. Expensive shellfish are often added in restaurant versions, but this practice is considered inauthentic.
Bouilliture: eel stew with red wine and prunes; specialty of the Poitou-Charentes on the Atlantic coast.
Bouillon: stock or broth.
Boulangère, à la: in the style of the “baker’s wife”; meat or poultry baked or braised with onions and potatoes.
Boule: “ball”; a large round loaf of white bread, also known as a miche.
Boule de Picoulat: meatball from Languedoc, combining beef, pork, garlic, and eggs, traditionally served with cooked white beans.
Boulette d’Avesnes: pepper-and-tarragon-flavored cheese, made from visually defective Maroilles, formed into a cone, and colored red with paprika; named for Avesnes, a village in the North.
Bouquet: large reddish shrimp. See also crevette rose.
Bouquet garni: typically fresh whole parsley bay leaf and thyme tied together with string and tucked into stews; the package is removed prior to serving.
Bouquetière: garnished with bouquets of vegetables.
Bourdaloue: hot poached fruit, sometimes wrapped in pastry often served with vanilla custard; often pear.
Bourgeoise, à la: with carrots, onions, braised lettuce, celery, and bacon.
Bourguignonne, à la: Burgundy style; often with red wine, onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
Bouribot: spicy red-wine duck stew.
Bourride: a Mediterranean fish soup that generally includes a mixture of small white fish, onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and olive oil, thickened with egg yolks and aïoli (garlic mayonnaise); there are many variations.
Bourriole: rye flour pancake, both sweet and savory; specialty of the Auvergne.
Boutargue, poutargue: salty paste prepared from dried mullet or tuna roe, mashed with oil; specialty of Provence.
Bouton de culotte: “trouser button”; tiny buttons of goat cheese from the Lyon area; traditionally made on farms, aged until rock hard and pungent; today found in many forms, from soft and young to hard and brittle.
Braiser: to braise; to cook meat by browning in fat, then simmering in covered dish with small amount of liquid.
Branche, en: refers to whole vegetables or herbs.
Brandade (de morue): a warm garlicky purée (of salt cod) with milk or cream or oil, and sometimes mashed potatoes; specialty of Provence; currently used to denote a variety of flavored mashed potato dishes.
Brassado: a doughnut that is boiled, then baked, much like a bagel; specialty of Provence.
Brayaude, gigot: leg of lamb studded with garlic, cooked in white wine, and served with red beans, braised cabbage, or chestnuts.
Brebis (fromage de): sheep (sheep’s-milk cheese).
Brési (Breuzi): smoked, salted, and dried beef from the Jura.
Bretonne, à la: in the style of Brittany; a dish served with white beans; or may refer to a white wine sauce with carrots, leeks, and celery.
Bretzel: a pretzel; specialty of Alsace.
Brie de Meaux: “king of cheese,” the flat wheel of cheese made only with raw cow’s milk and aged at least four weeks; from Meaux, just east of Paris; brie made with pasteurized milk does not have the right to be called brie de Meaux.
Brie de Melun: smaller than brie de Meaux, another raw-cow’s-milk cheese, aged at least one month, with a crackly rust-colored rind.
Brillat-Savarin: (1755-1826) famed gastronome, coiner of food aphorisms, and author of The Physiology of Taste; the high-fat, supple cow’s-milk cheese from Normandy is named for him.
Brioche: buttery egg-enriched yeast bread.
Brocciu: soft, young, sheep’s milk cheese from Corsica.
Broche, à la: spit-roasted.
Brochet(on): freshwater pike (small pike).
Brochette: cubes of meat or fish and vegetables on a skewer.
Brouet: old term for soup.
Brouillade: a mixture of ingredients as in a stew or soup; also, scrambled eggs.
Brouillé(s): scrambled, usually eggs.
Brousse: a very fresh and unsalted (thus bland) sheep’s- or goat’s-milk cheese, not unlike Italian ricotta; specialty of Nice and Marseille.
Broutard: young goat.
Brûlé(e): “burned”; usually refers to caramelization.
Brunoise: tiny diced vegetables.
Brut: very dry or sugarless, particularly in reference to Champagne.
Buccin: large sea snail or whelk, also called bulot.
Bûche de Noël: Christmas cake shaped like a log (bûche), a sponge cake often flavored with chest-nuts and chocolate.
Buffet froid: variety of dishes served cold, sometimes from a buffet.
Bugne: deep-fried yeast-dough fritter or doughnut dusted with confectioner's sugar; popular in and around Lyon before Easter.
Buisson: “bush”; generally a dish including vegetables arranged like a bush; classically a crayfish pre-sentation.
Bulot: large sea snail or whelk, also called buccin.
Buron: traditional hut where cheese is made in the Auvergne mountains.
Cabécou(s): small, round goat’s-milk cheese from the southwest, sometimes made with a mix of goat’s and cow’s milk.
Cabillaud: fresh codfish, also currently called morue: known as doguette in the North, bakalua in the Basque region, eglefin in Provence.
Cabri: young goat.
Cacahouète, cacahouette, cacachuète: prepared peanut--roasted, dry roasted, or salted. A raw peanut is arachide.
Cacao: cocoa; powdered cocoa.
Cachat: a very strong goat cheese; generally a blend of various ends of leftover cheese, mixed with seasonings that might include salt, pepper, brandy and garlic, and aged in a crock; specialty of Provence.
Caen, à la mode de: in the style of Caen, a town in Normandy; a dish cooked in Calvados and white wine and/or cider.
Café: coffee, as well as a type of eating place where coffee is served.
allongé: weakened espresso, often served with a small pitcher of hot water so clients may thin the coffee themselves.
au lait or crème: espresso with warmed or steamed milk.
déca or décaféiné: decaffeinated coffee.
express: plain black espresso.
faux: decaffeinated coffee.
filtre: filtered American-style coffee (not available at all cafés).
glacé: iced coffee.
liégeois: iced coffee served with ice cream (optional) and whipped cream; also coffee ice cream with whipped cream.
noir: plain black espresso.
noisette: espresso with tiny amount of milk.
serré: extra-strong espresso, made with half the normal amount of water.
Cagouille: on the Atlantic coast, name for small petit gris land snail, or escargot.
Caillé: clotted or curdled; curds of milk.
Caillette: round pork sausage including chopped spinach or Swiss chard, garlic, onions, parsley, bread, and egg and wrapped in crépine (caul fat); served hot or cold; specialty of northern Provence.
Caisse: cash register; or cash desk.
Caissette: literally, “small box”; bread, brioche, or chocolate shaped like a small box.
Cajasse: a sort of clafoutis from the Dordogne, made with black cherries.
Cajou: cashew nut.
Calisson d’Aix: delicate, diamond-shaped Provençal sweet prepared with almonds, candied oranges, melon or abricots, egg white, sugar, and jam of oranges or apricots.
Calmar: small squid, similar to encornet; with interior transparent cartilage instead of a bone. Also called chipiron in the southwest.
Calvados: a département in Normandy known for the famed apple brandy.
Camembert (de Normandie): village in Normandy that gives its name to a supple, fragrant cheese made of cow’s milk.
Camomille: camomile, herb tea.
Campagnard(e) (assiette): country-style, rustic; (an informal buffet of cold meats, terrines, etc.).
Campagne, à la: country-style.
Canada: cooking apple.
Canapé: originally a slice of crustless bread; now also used to refer to a variety of hors d’oeuvre consisting of toasted or fried bread, spread with forcemeat, cheese, and other flavorings.
Canard à la presse: roast duck served with a sauce of juices obtained from pressing the carcass, combined with red wine and Cognac.
Canard sauvage: wild duck, usually mallard.
Cancoillotte: spreadable cheese from the Jura; usually blended with milk, spices, or white wine when served.
Caneton: young male duck.
Canette: young female duck.
Cannoise, à la: in the style of Cannes.
Canon: the marrow bone
Cantal: large cylindrical cheese made in the Auvergne from shredded and pressed curds of cow’s milk.
Cantalon: smaller version of Cantal.
Cantaloup: cantaloupe melon.
Capilotade: basically any leftover meat or poultry cooked to tenderness in a well-reduced sauce.
Capucine: nasturtium; the leaves and flowers are used in salads.
Carafe (d’eau): pitcher (of tap water). House wine is often offered in a carafe. A full carafe contains one liter; a demi-carafe contains half a liter; a quart contains one-fourth of a liter.
Caraïbes: Caribbean, usually denotes chocolate from the Caribbean.
Caramelisé: cooked with high heat to brown the sugar and heighten flavor.
Carbonnade: braised beef stew prepared with beer and onions; specialty of the North; also refers to a cut of beef.
Carde: white rib, or stalk, portion of Swiss chard.
Cardon: cardoon; large celery-like vegetable in the artichoke family, popular in Lyon, Provence, and the Mediterranean area.
Cargolade: a copious mixed grill of snails, lamb, pork sausage, and sometimes blood sausage, cooked over vine clippings; specialty of Catalan, an area of southern Languedoc.
Carpe à la juive: braised marinated carp in aspic.
Carré d’agneau: rack (ribs) or loin of lamb; also crown roast.
Carré de porc: rack (ribs) or loin of pork; also crown roast.
Carré de veau: rack (ribs) or loin of veal; also crown roast.
Carrelet: see Plaice.
Carte, à la: menu (dishes, which are charged for individually, selected from a restaurant’s full list of offerings).
Carte promotionelle or conseillée: a simple and inexpensive fixed-price meal.
Carvi (grain de): caraway (seed).
Casse-croûte: “break bread”; slang for snack.
Cassis (crème de): black currant (black currant liqueur).
Cassolette: usually a dish presented in a small casserole.
Cassonade: soft brown sugar; demerara sugar.
Cassoulet: popular southwestern casserole of white beans, including various combinations of sausages, duck, pork, lamb, mutton, and goose.
Cavaillon: a town in Provence, known for its small, flavorful orange-fleshed melons.
Caviar d’aubergine: cold seasoned eggplant puree.
Caviar du Puy: green lentils from Le Puy, in the Auvergne.
Cébette: a mild, leek-like vegetable, sliced and eaten raw, in salads; native to Provence, but seen occasionally outside the region.
Cebiche: seviche; generally raw fish marinated in lime juice and other seasonings.
Cédrat: a variety of Mediterranean lemon.
Céleri (en branche): celery (stalk).
Céleri-rave: celeriac, celery root.
Céleri remoulade: popular first-course bistro dish of shredded celery root with tangy mayonnaise.
Cendre (sous la): ash (cooked by being buried in embers); some cheeses made in wine-producing regions are aged in the ash of burned rootstocks.
Cèpe: large, meaty wild boletus mushroom.
Cerdon: sparkling (pétillant) rosé wines made in the Bugey appellation in the southern Jura.
Cerf: stag, or male deer.
Cerise noire: black cherry.
Cerneau: walnut meat.
Cervelas: garlicky cured pork sausage; now also refers to fish and seafood sausage.
Cervelle(s): brain(s), of calf or lamb.
Cervelle de canut: a soft, fresh herbed cheese known as “silkworker’s brains”; specialty of Lyon.
Céteau(x): small ocean fish, solette or baby sole, found in the gulf of Gascony and along the Atlantic coast.
Cévenole, à la: Cevennes style; garnished with chestnuts or mushrooms.
Chalutier: trawler; any flat fish caught with a trawl.
Champêtre: rustic; describes a simple presentation of a variety of ingredients.
à la bague: parasol mushroom with a delicate flavor; also called coulemelle, cocherelle, and grisotte.
des bois: wild mushroom, from the woods.
de Paris: most common cultivated mushroom.
sauvage: wild mushroom.
Champvallon, côtelette d’agneau: traditional dish of lamb chops baked in alternating layers of pota-toes and onions; named for a village in northern Burgundy.
Chanterelle: prized pale orange wild mushroom; also called girolle.
Chantilly: sweetened whipped cream.
Chaource: soft and fruity cylindrical cow’s-milk cheese, with a 50 percent fat content; takes its name from a village in Champagne.
Chapeau: “hat”; small round loaf, topped with a little dough hat.
Chapelure: bread crumbs.
Chapon: capon, or castrated chicken.
Chapon de mer: Mediterranean fish, in the rascasse or scorpion-fish family.
Charbon de bois, au: charcoal-grilled.
Charentais: variety of sweet cantaloupe, or melon, originally from the Charentes, on the Atlantic coast.
Charlotte: classic dessert in which a dish is lined with ladyfingers, filled with custard or other filling, and served cold; in the hot version, the dish is lined with crustless white bread sautéed in butter, filled with fruit compote and baked. Also a potato variety.
Charolais: area of Burgundy; light colored cattle producing high-quality beef; also, firm white cylinder of cheese made with goat’s or cow’s milk, or a mixture of the two.
Chartreuse: dish of braised partridge and cabbage; also herb and spiced-based liqueur made by the Chartreuse monks in the Savoie.
Chasseur: hunter; also, sauce with white wine, mushrooms, shallots, tomatoes, and herbs.
Châtaigne: chestnut, smaller than marron, with multiple nut meats.
Chateaubriand: thick filet steak, traditionally served with sautéed potatoes and a sauce of white wine, dark beef stock, butter, shallots, and herbs, or with a béarnaise sauce.
Châtelaine, à la: elaborate garnish of artichoke hearts and chestnut purée, braised lettuce, and sautéed potatoes.
Chaud(e): hot or warm.
Chaud-froid: “hot-cold”; cooked poultry dish served cold, usually covered with a cooked sauce, then with aspic.
Chaudrée: Atlantic fish stew, often including sole, skate, small eels, potatoes, butter, white wine, and seasoning.
Chausson: a filled pastry turnover, sweet or savory.
Chemise, en: wrapped with pastry.
Cheval: horse, horse meat.
Cheveux d’ange: “angel’s hair”; thin vermicelli pasta.
Chèvre (fromage de): goat (goat’s-milk cheese).
Chevreau: young goat.
Chevreuil: young roe buck or roe deer; venison.
Chevrier: small, pale green, dried kidney-shaped bean, a type of flageolet.
Chichi: doughnut-like, deep-fried bread spirals sprinkled with sugar; often sold from trucks at open-air markets; specialty of Provence and the Mediterranean.
Chicons du Nord: Belgian endive.
Chicorée (frisée): a bitter salad green (curly endive); also chicory, a coffee substitute.
Chicorée de Bruxelles: Belgian endive.
Chiffonnade: shredded herbs and vegetables, usually green.
Chinchard: also called saurel, scad or horse mackerel; Atlantic and Mediterranean fish similar to mackerel.
Chipiron (à l’encre): southwestern name for small squid, or encornet (in its own ink).
Chipolata: small sausage.
Chips, pommes: potato chips.
amer: bittersweet chocolate, with very little sugar.
au lait: milk chocolate.
chaud: hot chocolate.
mi-amer: bittetsweet chocolate, with more sugar than chocolat amer.
noir: used interchangeably with chocolat amer.
Choix, au: a choice; usually meaning one may choose from several offerings.
Chorizo: highly spiced Spanish sausage.
Choron, sauce: béarnaise sauce with tomatoes.
Chou de Bruxelles: brussels sprout.
Chou de mer: sea kale.
Chou de Milan: Savoy cabbage.
Chou frisé: kale.
Chou rouge: red cabbage.
Chou vert: curly green Savoy cabbage.
Choucas: jackdaw; European blackbird, like a crow, but smaller.
Choucroute (nouvelle): sauerkraut (the season’s first batch of sauerkraut, still crunchy and slightly acidic); also main dish of sauerkraut, various sausages, bacon, and pork, served with potatoes; specialty of Alsace and brasseries all over France.
Choux, pâte à: cream pastry dough.
Ciboule: spring onion, or scallion.
Cidre: bottled, mildly alcoholic cider, either apple or pear.
Cigale de mer: “sea cricket”; tender, crayfish-like, blunt-nosed rock lobster.
Cîteaux: creamy, ample disc of cow’s-milk cheese with a rust-colored rind made by the Cistercian monks at the Abbaye de Cîteaux in Burgundy.
Citron, orange, or pamplemousse pressé(e): lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice served with a carafe of tap water and sugar; for sweetening to taste.
Citron vert: lime.
Citronnelle: lemon grass, an oriental herb; also lemon balm (mèlisse).
Citrouille: pumpkin, gourd. Also called courge, potiron, potimarron.
Cive: spring onion.
Civelle: spaghetti-like baby eel, also called pibale.
Civet: stew, usually of game traditionally thickened with blood.
Civet de lièvre: jugged hare, or wild rabbit stew.
Civet de tripes d’oies: a stew of goose innards, sautéed in fat with onions, shallots, and garlic, then cooked in wine vinegar and diluted with water, and thickened with goose blood; from Gascony.
Clafoutis: traditional custard tart, usually made with black cherries; specialty of the southwest.
Claire: oyster; also a designation given to certain oysters to indicate they have been put in claires, or oyster beds in salt marshes, where they are fattened up for several months before going to market.
Clamart: Paris suburb once famous for its green peas; today a garnish of peas.
Clémentine: small tangerine, from Morocco or Spain.
Clouté: studded with.
Clovisse: variety of very tiny clam, generally from the Mediterranean.
Cocherelle: parasol mushroom with a delicate flavor; also called champignon à la bague, coulemelle, and grisotte.
Cochon (de lait): pig (suckling).
Cochonnaille(s): pork product(s); usually an assortment of sausages and/or pâtés served as a first course.
Coco blanc (rouge): type of small white (red) shell bean, both fresh and dried, popular in Provence, where it is a traditional ingredient of the vegetable soupe au pistou; also, coconut.
Coco de Paimpol: Cream-colored shell bean striated with purple, from Brittany, in season from July to November; the first bean in France to receive AOC.
Cocotte: a high-sided cooking pot (casserole) with a lid; a small ramekin dish for baking and serving eggs and other preparations.
Coeur de filet: thickest (and best) part of beef filet, usually cut into chateaubriand steaks.
Coeur de palmier: delicate shoots of the palm tree, generally served with a vinaigrette as an hors d’oeuvre.
Coffre: “chest”; refers to the body of a lobster or other crustacean, or of a butchered animal.
Coiffe: traditional lacy hat; sausage patty wrapped in caul fat.
Col vert: wild (“green-collared”) mallard duck.
Colbert: method of preparing fish, coating with egg and bread crumbs and then frying.
Colère, en: “anger”; method of presenting fish in which the tail is inserted in the mouth, so it appears agitated.
Colin: hake, ocean fish related to cod; known as merluche in the North, merluchon in Brittany, bardot or merlan along the Mediterranean.
Colombo: a mixture of spices, like a curry powder, used to season shellfish, meat or poultry. Like curry, the mix may vary, but usually contains tumeric, rice powder, coriander, pepper, cumin, and fenugreek.
Colza: rape, a plant of the mustard family, colorful yellow field crop grown throughout France, usu-ally pressed into vegetable (rapeseed) oil.
Commander avant le repas, à: a selection of desserts that should be ordered when selecting first and main courses, as they require longer cooking.
Complet: filled up, with no more room for customers.
Compote: stewed fresh or dried fruit.
Compotier: fruit bowl; also stewed fruit.
Compris: see Service (non) compris.
Comté: large wheel of cheese of cooked and pressed cow’s milk; the best is made of raw milk and aged for six months, still made by independent cheesemakers in the Jura mountains.
Concassé: coarsely chopped.
Conférence: a variety of pear.
Confiserie: candy, sweet, or confection; a candy shop.
Confit: a preserve, generally pieces of duck, goose, or pork cooked and preserved in their own fat; also fruit or vegetables preserved in sugar, alcohol, or vinegar.
Confiture de vieux garçon: varied fresh fruits macerated in alcohol.
Congeler: to freeze.
Congre: conger eel; a large ocean fish resembling a freshwater eel (anguille); often used in fish stews.
Conseillé: advised, recommended.
Consommation(s): “consumption”; drinks, meals, and snacks available in a cafe or bar.
Consommé: clear soup.
Contre-filet: cut of sirloin taken above the loin on either side of the backbone, tied for roasting or braising (can also be cut for grilling).
Conversation: puff pastry tart with sugar glazing and an almond or cream filling.
Copeau(x): shaving(s), such as from chocolate, cheese, or vegetables.
Coq (au vin): mature male chicken (stewed in wine sauce).
Coq au vin jaune: chicken cooked in the sherry-like vin jaune of the region, with cream, butter; and tarragon, often garnished with morels; specialty of the Jura.
Coq de bruyère: wood grouse.
Coque: cockle, a tiny, mild-flavored, clam-like shellfish.
Coque, à la: served in a shell. See Oeuf à la coque.
Coquelet: young male chicken.
Coquille Saint-Jacques: sea scallop.
Corail: coral-colored egg sac, found in scallops, spiny lobster, and crayfish.
Corb: a Mediterranean bluefish.
Coriandre: coriander; either the fresh herb or dried seeds.
Corne d’abondance: “horn of plenty”; dark brown wild mushroom, also called trompette de la mort.
Cornet: cornet-shaped; usually refers to foods rolled conically; also an ice cream cone, and a conic al pastry filled with cream.
Cornichon: gherkin; tiny tart cucumber pickle.
Côte d’agneau: lamb chop.
Côte de boeuf: beef blade or rib steak.
Côte de veau: veal chop.
Côtelette: thin chop or cutlet.
Cotriade: a fish stew, usually including mackerel, whiting, conger eel, sorrel, butter, potatoes, and vinegar; specialty of Brittany.
Cou d’oie (de canard) farci: neck skin of goose (of duck), stuffed with meat and spices, much like sausage.
Coulant: refers to runny cheese.
Coulemelle: parasol mushroom with a delicate flavor; also called champignon à la bague, cocherelle, and grisotte.
Coulibiac: classic, elaborate, hot Russian pâté, usually layers of salmon, rice, hard-cooked eggs, mushrooms, and onions, wrapped in brioche.
Coulis: purée of raw or cooked vegetables or fruit.
Coulommiers: town in the Ile-de-France that gives its name to a supple, fragrant disc of cow’s-milk cheese, slightly larger than Camembert.
Courge (muscade): generic term for squash or gourd (bright orange pumpkin).
Couronne: “crown”; ring or circle, usually of bread.
Court-bouillon: broth, or aromatic poaching liquid.
Couscous: granules of semolina, or hard wheat flour; also refers to a hearty North African dish that includes the steamed grain, broth, vegetables, meats, hot sauce, and sometimes chickpeas and raisins.
Couteau: razor clam.
Couvert: a place setting, including dishes, silver, glassware, and linen.
Couverture: bittersweet chocolate high in cocoa butter; used for making the shiniest chocolates.
Crambe: sea kale, or chou de mer.
Cramique: brioche with raisins or currants; specialty of the North.
Crapaudine: preparation of grilled poultry or game bird with backbone removed.
Craquelot: smoked herring.
Crécy: a dish garnished with carrots.
Crémant: sparkling wine.
aigre: sour cream.
anglaise: light egg-custard cream.
brûlée: rich custard dessert with a top of caramelized sugar.
caramel: vanilla custard with caramel sauce.
catalane: creamy anise flavored custard from the southern Languedoc.
chantilly: sweetened whipped cream.
épaisse: thick cream.
fleurette: liquid heavy cream.
fouettée: whipped cream.
fraîche: thick sour; heavy cream.
pâtissière: custard filling for pastries and cakes.
plombières: custard filled with fresh fruits and egg whites.
Crêpe: thin pancake.
Crêpe Suzette: hot crêpe dessert flamed with orange liqueur.
Crépine: caul fat.
Crépinette: traditionally, a small sausage patty wrapped in caul fat; today boned poultry wrapped in caul fat.
Cresson(ade): watercress (watercress sauce).
Crête (de coq): (cock’s) comb.
Creuse: elongated, crinkle-shelled oyster.
Crevette grise: tiny soft-fleshed shrimp that turns gray when cooked.
Crevette rose: small firm-fleshed shrimp that turns red when cooked; when large, called bouquet.
Crique: potato pancake from the Auvergne.
Criste marine: edible algae.
Croque au sel, à la: served raw, with a small bowl of coarse salt for seasoning; tiny purple artichokes and cherry tomatoes are served this way.
Croque-madame: open-face sandwich of ham and cheese with an egg grilled on top.
Croque-monsieur: toasted ham and cheese sandwich.
Croquembouche: choux pastry rounds filled with cream and coated with a sugar glaze, often served in a conical tower at special events.
Croquette: ground meat, fish, fowl, or vegetables bound with eggs or sauce, shaped into various forms, usually coated in bread crumbs, and deep fried.
Crosne: small, unusual tuber; with a subtle artichoke-like flavor; known as a Chinese or Japanese artichoke.
Crottin de Chavignol: small flattened ball of goat’s-milk cheese from the Loire valley.
Croustade: usually small pastry-wrapped dish; also regional southwestern pastry filled with prunes and/or apples.
Croûte (en): crust; (in) pastry.
Croûte de sel (en): (in) a salt crust.
Croûtons: small cubes of toasted or fried bread.
Crudité: raw vegetable.
Cuillière (à la): (to be eaten with a) spoon.
Cuisse (de poulet): leg or thigh (chicken drumstick).
Cuissot, cuisseau: haunch of veal, venison, or wild boar.
Cul: haunch or rear; usually of red meat.
Culotte: rump, usually of beef.
Cultivateur: “truck farmer”; fresh vegetable soup.
Damier: “checkerboard”; arrangement of vegetables or other ingredients in alternating colors like a checkerboard; also, a cake with such a pattern of light and dark pieces.
Darne: a rectangular portion of fish filet; also a fish steak, usually of salmon.
Dariole: truncated cone or oval-shaped baking mold.
Dartois: puff pastry rectangles layered with an almond cream filling as a dessert, or stuffed with meat or fish as an hors-d’oeuvre.
Datte (de mer): date (date-shaped prized wild Mediterranean mussel).
Daube: a stew, usually of beef lamb, or mutton, with red wine, onions, and/or tomatoes; specialty of many regions, particularly Provençe and the Atlantic coast.
Dauphin: cow’s-milk cheese shaped like a dauphin, or dolphin; from the North.
Daurade: sea bream, similar to porgy, the most prized of a group of ocean fish known as dorade.
Décaféiné or déca: decaffeinated coffee.
Décortiqué(e): shelled or peeled.
Dégustation: tasting or sampling.
Demi: half; also, an 8-ounce (250 ml) glass of beer; also, a half-bottle of wine.
Demi-deuil: “in half mourning”; poached (usually chicken) with sliced truffles inserted under the skin; also, sweetbreads with a truffled white sauce.
Demi-glace: concentrated beef-based sauce lightened with consommé, or a lighter brown sauce.
Demi-sec: usually refers to goat cheese that is in the intermediate aging stage between one extreme of soft and fresh and the other extreme of hard and aged.
Demi-sel (beurre): lightly salted (butter).
Demi-tasse: small cup; after-dinner coffee cup.
Demoiselle de canard: marinated raw duck tenderloin; also called mignon de canard.
Demoiselles de Cherbourg: small lobsters from the town of Cherbourg in Normandy, cooked in a court-bouillon and served in cooking juices. Also, restaurant name for Breton lobsters weighing 300 to 400 grams (10 to 13 ounces).
Dentelle: “lace”; a portion of meat or fish so thinly sliced as to suggest a resemblance. Also, large lace-thin sweet crêpe.
Dent, denté: one of a generic group of Mediterranean fish known as dorade, similar to porgy.
Dents-de-lion: dandelion salad green; also called pissenlit.
Dés: diced pieces.
Diable: “devil”; method of preparing poultry with a peppery sauce, often mustard-based. Also, a round pottery casserole.
Dieppoise: Dieppe style; usually white wine, mussels, shrimp, mushrooms, and cream.
Digestif: general term for spirits served after dinner; such as Armagnac, Cognac, marc, eau-de-vie.
Dijonnaise: Dijon style; usually with mustard.
Dinde: turkey hen.
Dindon(neau): turkey (young turkey).
Dîner: dinner; to dine.
Diot: pork sausage cooked in wine, often served with a potato gratin; specialty of the Savoie.
Discrétion, à: on menus usually refers to wine, which may be consumed--without limit--at the customer’s discretion.
Dodine: cold stuffed boned poultry.
Dorade: generic name for group of ocean fish, the most prized of which is daurade, similar to porgy.
Doré: browned until golden.
Dos: back; also the meatiest portion of fish.
Doucette: see Mâche.
Douceur: sweet or dessert.
Douillon, duillon: a whole pear wrapped and cooked in pastry; specialty of Normandy.
Doux, douce: sweet.
Doyenné de Comice: a variety of pear.
Dugléré: white flour-based sauce with shallots, white wine, tomatoes, and parsley.
Dur (oeuf): hard (hard-cooked egg).
Duxelles: minced mushrooms and shallots sautéed in butter, then mixed with cream.
Eau du robinet: tap water.
Eau de source: spring water.
Eau-de-vie: literally, “water of life”; brandy, usually fruit-based.
Eau gazeuse: carbonated water.
Eau minérale: mineral water.
Echalote (gris): shallot (prized purplish shallot), elongated.
Echalote banane: banana-shaped onion.
Echine: pork shoulder, encompassing the blade bone and spare ribs.
Echourgnac: delicately flavored, ochre-skinned cheese made of cow’s milk by the monks at the Echourgnac monastery in the Dordogne.
Eclade de moules: mussels roasted beneath a fire of pine needles; specialty of the Atlantic coast.
Ecrasé: crushed; with fruit, pressed to release juice.
Ecrevisse: freshwater crayfish.
Effiloché: frayed, shredded.
Eglantine: wild rose jam; specialty of Alsace.
Eglefin, égrefin, aiglefin: small fresh haddock, a type of cod.
Elzekaria: soup made with green beans, cabbage, and garlic; specialty of the Basque region.
Embeurré de chou: buttery cooked cabbage.
Emincé: thin slice, usually of meat.
Emmental: large wheel of cooked and pressed cow’s-milk cheese, very mild in flavor, with large interior holes; made in large commercial dairies in the Jura.
Emondé: skinned by blanching, such as almonds, tomatoes.
En sus: see Service en sus.
Enchaud: pork filet with garlic; specialty of Dordogne.
Encornet: small illex squid, also called calmar; in Basque region called chipiron.
Encre: squid ink.
Endive: Belgian endive; also chicory salad green.
Entier, entière: whole, entire.
Entrecôte: beef rib steak.
Entrecôte maître d’hôtel: beef rib steak with sauce of red wine and shallots.
Entrée: first course.
Epaule: shoulder (of veal, lamb, mutton, or pork).
Épeautre: poor man’s wheat from Provence; spelt.
Eperlan: smelt or whitebait, usually fried, often imported but still found in the estuaries of the Loire.
Epi de maïs: ear of sweet corn.
Epigramme: classic dish of grilled breaded lamb chop and a piece of braised lamb breast shaped like a chop, breaded, and grilled; crops up on modern menus as an elegant dish of breaded and fried baby lamb chops paired with lamb sweetbreads and tongue.
Epine vinette: highbush cranberry.
Époisses: village in Burgundy that gives its name to a buttery disc of cow’s milk cheese with a strong, smooth taste and rust-colored rind.
Époisses blanc: fresh white Époisses cheese.
Equille: sand eel, a long silvery fish that buries itself in the sand; eaten fried on the Atlantic coast.
Escabèche: a Provençal and southwestern preparation of small fish, usually sardines or rouget, in which the fish are browned in oil, then marinated in vinegar and herbs and served very cold. Also, raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and herbs.
Escalivada: Catalan roasted vegetables, usually sweet peppers, eggplant, and onions.
Escalope: thin slice of meat or fish.
Escargot: land snail.
Escargot de Bourgogne: land snail prepared with butter; garlic, and parsley.
Escargot petit-gris: small land snail.
Escarole: bitter salad green of the chicory family with thick broad-lobed leaves, found in both flat and round heads.
Espadon: swordfish found in the gulf of Gascony, Atlantic, and Mediterranean.
Espagnole, à l’: Spanish style; with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic.
Esqueixada: in Catalan literally means “shredded”; a shredded salt cod salad.
Estival: summer, used to denote seasonality of ingredients.
Estoficado: a purée-like blend of dried codfish, olive oil, tomatoes, sweet peppers, black olives, potatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs; also called stockfish niçoise: specialty of Nice.
Estofinado: a purée-like blend of dried codfish, potatoes, garlic, parsley, eggs, walnut oil, and milk, served with triangles of toast; specialty of the Auvergne.
Estouffade à la provençale: beef stew with onions, garlic, carrots, and orange zest.
Etoile: star; star-shaped.
Etouffé; étuvé: literally “smothered”; method of cooking very slowly in a tightly covered pan with almost no liquid.
Etrille: small swimming crab.
Express: espresso coffee.
Façon (à ma): (my) way of preparing a dish.
Fagot: “bundle”; meat shaped into a small ball.
Faisandé: game that has been hung to age.
Fait: usually refers to a cheese that has been well aged and has character---runny if it’s a Camembert, hard and dry if it’s a goat cheese; also means ready to eat.
Fait, pas trop: refers to a cheese that has been aged for a shorter time and is blander; also for a cheese that will ripen at home.
Falette: veal breast stuffed with bacon and vegetables, browned, and poached in broth; specialty of the Auvergne.
Fanes: green tops of root vegetables such as carrots, radishes, turnips.
Far: Breton sweet or savory pudding-cakes; the most common, similar to clafoutis from the Dordogne, is made with prunes.
Farigoule(tte): Provençal name for wild thyme.
complète: whole wheat flour.
d’avoine: oat flour.
de blé: wheat flour; white flour.
de maïs: corn flour.
de sarrasin: buckwheat flour.
de seigle: rye flour.
de son: bran flour.
Faux-filet: sirloin steak.
Favorite d’artichaut: classic vegetable dish of artichoke stuffed with asparagus, covered with a cheese sauce, and browned.
Favou(ille): in Provence, tiny male (female) crab often used in soups.
Fer à cheval: “horseshoe”; a baguette that has that shape.
Féra, feret: salmon-like lake fish, found in Lac Léman, in the Morvan, in Burgundy, and in the Auvergne.
Ferme (fermier: fermière): farm (farmer); in cheese, refers to farm-made cheese, often used to mean raw-milk cheese; in chickens, refers to free-range chickens.
Fernkase: young cheese shaped like a flying saucer and sprinkled with coarsely ground pepper; specialty of Alsace.
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.
Feuilletée: puff pastry.
Féves (févettes): broad, fava, coffee, or cocoa beans (miniature beans); also, the porcelain figure baked into the Twelfth Night cake, or, galette des rois.
Fiadone: Corsican flan made from cheese and oranges.
Ficelle (boeuf à la): “string”; (beef suspended on a string and poached in broth). Also, small thin baguette. Also, a small bottle of wine, as in carafe of Beaujolais.
Ficelle picarde: thin crêpe wrapped around a slice of ham and topped with a cheesy cream sauce; specialty of Picardy, in the North.
Financier: small rectangular almond cake.
Financière: Madiera sauce with truffle juice.
Fine de claire: elongated crinkle-shelled oyster that stays in fattening beds (claires) a minimum of two months.
Fines herbes: mixture of herbs, usually chervil, parsley, chives, tarragon.
Flageolet: small white or pale green kidney-shaped dried bean.
Flamande, à la: Flemish style; usually with stuffed cabbage leaves, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and bacon.
Flamber: to burn off the alcohol by igniting. Usually the brandies or other liqueurs to be flambéed are warmed first, then lit as they are poured into the dish.
Flamiche (au Maroilles): a vegetable tart with rich bread dough crust, commonly filled with leeks, cream, and cheese; specialty of Picardy, in the North; (filled with cream, egg, butter, and Maroilles cheese).
Flammekueche: thin-crusted savory tart, much like a rectangular pizza, covered with cream, onions, and bacon; also called tarte flambée; specialty of Alsace.
Flan: sweet or savory tart. Also, a crustless custard pie.
Flanchet: flank of beef or veal, used generally in stews.
Flagnarde, flaugnarde, flognarde: hot, fruit-filled batter cake made with eggs, flour, milk, and butter, and sprinkled with sugar before serving; specialty of the southwest.
Flétan: halibut, found in the English Channel and North Sea.
Fleur (de sel): flower (fine, delicate sea salt, from Brittany or the Camargue).
Fleur de courgette: zucchini blossom.
Fleuron: puff pastry crescent.
Florentine: with spinach. Also, a cookie of nougatine and candied fruit brushed with a layer of chocolate.
Flûte: “flute”; usually a very thin baguette; also, form of champagne glass.
Foie blond de volaille: chicken liver; also sometimes a chicken-liver mousse.
Foie de veau: calf’s liver.
Foie gras d’oie (de canard): liver of fattened goose (duck).
Foin (dans le): (cooked in) hay.
Fond: cooking juices from meat, used to make sauces. Also, bottom.
Fond d’artichaut: heart and base of an artichoke.
Fondant: “melting”; refers to cooked, worked sugar that is flavored, then used for icing cakes. Also, the bittersweet chocolate high in cocoa butter used for making the shiniest chocolates. Also, puréed meat, fish, or vegetables shaped in croquettes.
Fontainebleau: creamy white fresh dessert cheese from the Ile-de-France.
Forestière: garnish of wild mushrooms, bacon, and potatoes.
Fouace: a kind of brioche; specialty of the Auvergne.
Foudjou: a pungent goat-cheese spread, a blend of fresh and aged grated cheese mixed with salt, pepper, brandy, and garlic and cured in a crock; specialty of northern Provence.
Fougasse: a crusty lattice-like bread made of baguette dough or puff pastry often flavored with anchovies, black olives, herbs, spices, or onions; specialty of Provence and the Mediterranean. Also, a sweet bread of Provence flavored with orange-flower water, oil, and sometimes almonds.
Fouchtrou: cow’s milk cheese from the Auvergne, made when there is not enough milk to make an entire wheel of Cantal.
Four (au): (baked in an) oven.
Fourme d’Ambert: cylindrical blue-veined cow’s-milk cheese, made in dairies around the town of Ambert in the Auvergne.
Fourré: stuffed or filled.
Foyot: classic sauce made of béarnaise with meat glaze.
Frais, fraîche: fresh or chilled.
Fraise des bois: wild strawberry.
Française, à la: classic garnish of peas with lettuce, small white onions, and parsley.
Frangipane: almond custard filling.
Frappé: usually refers to a drink served very cold or with ice, often shaken.
Frémi: “quivering”; often refers to barely cooked oysters.
Friandise: sweetmeat, petit four.
Fricadelle: fried minced meat patty.
Fricandeau: thinly sliced veal or a rump roast, braised with vegetables and white wine.
Fricassée: classically, ingredients braised in wine sauce or butter with cream added; currently denotes any mixture of ingredients--fish or meat--stewed ot sautéed.
Fricot (de veau): veal shoulder simmered in white wine with vegetables.
Frisé(e): “curly”; usually curly endive, the bitter salad green of the chicory family sold in enormous round heads.
Frites: French fries.
Fritons: coarse pork rillettes or a minced spread which includes organ meats.
Fritot: small organ meat fritter, where meat is partially cooked, then marinated in oil, lemon juice, and herbs, dipped in batter and fried just before serving; also can refer to any small fried piece of meat or fish.
Friture: fried food; also a preparation of small fried fish, usually white-bait or smelt.
blanc: a smooth low-fat cheese similar to cottage cheese.
d’alpage: cheese made in mountain pastures during the prime summer milking period.
fort: pungent cheese.
frais: smooth, runny fresh cheese, like cottage cheese.
frais, bien égouté: well-drained fresh cheese.
maigre: low-fat cheese.
Fromage de tête: headcheese, usually pork.
Fruit confit: whole fruit preserved in sugar.
Fruits de mer: seafood.
Fumet: fish stock.
Galantine: classical preparation of boned meat or whole poultry that is stuffed or rolled, cooked, then glazed with gelatin and served cold.
Galette: round flat pastry, pancake, or cake; can also refer to pancake-like savory preparations; in Brittany usually a savory buckwheat crêpe, known as blé noir.
Galette bressane, galette de Pérouges: cream and sugar tart from the Bresse area of the Rhône-Alpes.
Galette des rois: puff pastry filled with almond pastry cream, traditional Twelfth Night celebration cake.
Galinette: tub gurnard, Mediterranean fish of the mullet family.
Gambas: large prawn.
Ganache: classically a rich mixture of chocolate and crème fraîche used as a filling for cakes and chocolate truffles; currently may also include such flavorings as wild strawberries and cinnamon.
Garbure: a hearty stew that includes cabbage, beans, and salted or preserved duck, goose, turkey or pork; specialty of the southwest.
Gardiane: stew of beef or bull (toro) meat, with bacon, onions, garlic, and black olives; served with rice; specialty of the Camargue, in Provence.
Gargouillau: pear cake or tart; specialty of northern Auvergne.
Gasconnade: roast leg of lamb with garlic and anchovies; specialty of the southwest.
Gaspacho: a cold soup, usually containing tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and sweet peppers; originally of Spanish origin.
basque: a chewy sweet cake filled with pastry cream or, historically, with black cherry jam; also called pastiza; specialty of the Basque region.
breton: a rich round pound cake; specialty of Brittany.
Opéra: classic almond sponge cake layered with coffee and chocolate butter cream and covered with a sheet of chocolate; seen in every pastry shop window.
Saint-Honoré: classic cake of choux puffs dipped in caramel and set atop a cream-filled choux crown on a pastry base.
Gaude: thick corn-flour porridge served hot, or cold and sliced, with cream.
Gave: southwestern term for mountain stream; indicates fish from the streams of the area.
Gayette: small sausage patty made with pork liver and bacon, wrapped in caul fat and bacon.
Gendarme: salted and smoked herring.
Genièvere: juniper berry.
Génoise: sponge cake.
Gentiane: gentian; a liqueur made from this mountain flower.
Germiny: garnish of sorrel. Also, sorrel and cream soup.
Germon: albacore or long-fin tuna.
Gibassier: round sweet bread from Provence, often flavored with lemon or orange zest, orange-flower water, and/or almonds. Also sometimes called fougasse or pompe à l’huile.
Gibelotte: fricassée of rabbit in red or white wine.
Gibier: game, sometimes designated as gibier à plume (feathered) or gibier à poil (furry).
Gigot (de pré salé): usually a leg of lamb (lamb grazed on the salt meadows along the Atlantic and Normandy coasts).
Gigot de mer: a preparation, usually of large pieces of monkfish (lotte) oven-roasted like a leg of lamb.
Gigue (de): haunch (of) certain game meats.
Gillardeau: prized oyster raised in Normandy and finished in claires, or fattening beds on the Atlantic coast.
Girolle: prized pale orange wild mushroom; also called chanterelle.
Givré; orange givré: frosted; orange sherbet served in its skin.
Glace: ice cream.
Glacé: iced, crystallized, or glazed.
Gnocchi: dumplings made of choux paste, potatoes, or semolina.
Goret: young pig.
Gougère: cheese-flavored choux pastry.
Goujon: small catfish; generic name for a number of small fish. Also, preparation in which the central part of a larger fish is coated with bread crumbs, then deep fried.
Goujonnette: generally used to describe a small piece of fish, such as sole, usually fried.
Gourmandise(s): weakness for sweet things; (sweetmeats or candies).
Gousse d’ail: clove of garlic.
Gousse de vanille: vanilla bean.
Goûter (le): to taste, to try; (children’s afternoon snack).
Graine de moutarde: mustard seed.
Graine de lin: Flax seed
Graisserons: crisply fried pieces of duck or goose skin; cracklings.
Grand crème: large or double espresso with milk.
Grand cru: top-ranking wine.
Grand veneur: “chief huntsman”; usually a brown sauce for game, with red currant jelly.
Granité: a type of sherbet; a sweetened, flavored ice.
Grappe (de raisins): cluster; bunch (of grapes).
Gras (marché au): fatty; (market of fattened poultry and their livers).
Gras-double: tripe baked with onions and white wine.
Gratin: crust formed on top of a dish when browned in broiler or oven; also the dish in which such food is cooked.
Gratin dauphinois: baked casserole of sliced potatoes, usually with cream, milk, and sometimes cheese and/or eggs.
Gratin savoyard: baked casserole of sliced potatoes, usually with bouillon, cheese, and butter.
Gratiné(e): having a crusty, browned top.
Gratinée lyonnaise: bouillon flavored with port, garnished with beaten egg, topped with cheese, and browned under a broiler.
Grattons, grattelons: crisply fried pieces of pork, goose, or duck skin; cracklings.
Grecque, à la: cooked in seasoned mixture of oil, lemon juice, and water; refers to cold vegetables, usually mushrooms.
Grelette, sauce: cold sauce with a base of whipped cream.
Grelot: small white bulb onion.
Grenaille: refers to small, bite-size new potato of any variety.
Grenadin: small veal scallop.
Grenouille (cuisse de): frog (leg).
Gressini: breadsticks, seen along the Côte-d’Azur.
Gribiche, sauce: mayonnaise with capers, cornichons, hard-cooked eggs, and herbs.
Grillade: grilled meat.
Griotte: shiny slightly acidic, reddish black cherry.
Grisotte: parasol mushroom with a delicate flavor; also called champignon à la bague. cocherelle. and coulemelle.
Grondin: red gurnard, a bony ocean fish, a member of the mullet family, used in fish stews such as bouillabaisse.
Groin d’âne: “donkey’s snout”; Lyonnais name for a bitter winter salad green similar to dandelion greens.
Gros sel: coarse salt.
Groseille: red currant.
Gruyère: strictly speaking, cheese from the Gruyère area of Switzerland; in France, generic name for a number of hard, mild, cooked cheeses from the Jura, including Comté, Beaufort, and Emmental.
Gyromite: group of wild mushrooms, or gyromitra, known as false morels.
Hachis: minced or chopped meat or fish preparation.
Haddock: small fresh cod that have been salted and smoked.
Hareng: herring, found in the Atlantic, the English Channel (the best between Dunkerque and Fécamp), and the mouth of the Gironde river.
Hareng à l’huile: herring cured in oil, usually served with a salad of warm sliced potatoes.
Hareng baltique, bismark: marinated herring.
Hareng bouffi: herring that is salted, then smoked.
Hareng pec: freshly salted young herring.
Hareng roll-mop: marinated herring rolled around a small pickle.
Hareng saur: smoked herring.
beurre: yellow bean.
blancs (à la Bretonne): white beans, usually dried; (white beans in a sauce of onions, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs).
de mouton: stew of mutton and white beans (also called halicots).
gris: green string bean mottled with purplish black; also called pélandron: a specialty of the Côte-d’Azur.
rouge: red kidney bean; also, preparation of red beans in red wine.
sec: dried bean.
vert: green bean, usually fresh.
Hâtelet, attelet: decorative skewer; currently used to mean meat or fish cooked on a skewer.
Herbes de Provence: mixture of thyme, rosemary, summer savory, and bay leaf, often dried and blended.
Hochepot: a thick stew, usually of oxtail; specialty of Flanders, in the north.
Hollandaise: sauce of butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice.
Homard (à l’Amoricaine, à l’Américaine): lobster; (a classic dish of many variations, in which lobster is cut into sections and browned, then simmered with shallots, minced onions, tomatoes, Cognac, and white wine; served with a sauce of the reduced cooking liquid, enriched with butter).
Hongroise, à la: Hungarian style; usually with paprika and cream.
Hors-d’oeuvre: appetizer; can also refer to a first course.
Hortillon: picturesque market garden plot built between crisscrossed canals on the outskirts of Amiens, a city in the north.
d’arachide: peanut oil.
de colza: rapeseed oil.
de maïs: corn oil.
de noisette: hazelnut oil.
de noix: walnut oil.
de pépins de raisins: grapeseed oil.
de sésame: sesame oil.
de tournesol: sunflower oil.
d’olive (extra vierge): olive oil (extra virgin, or the first cold pressing).
Hure de porc or de marcassin: head of pig or boar: usually refers to headcheese preparation.
Hure de saumon: a salmon “headcheese,” or pâté, prepared with salmon meat, not actually the head.
Hysope: hyssop; fragrant, mint-like thistle found in Provence, used in salads and in cooking.
Ile flottante: “floating island”; most commonly used interchangeably with oeufs à la neige, poached meringue floating in crème anglaise; classically, a layered cake covered with whipped cream and served with custard sauce.
Impératrice, à l’: usually a rice pudding dessert with candied fruit.
Impériale: variety of plum. Also, a large bottle for wine, holding about 4 quarts (4 liters).
Impériale, à l’: classic haute cuisine garnish of mussels, cockscombs, crayfish, and other extravagant ingredients.
Indienne, à l’: East Indian style, usually with curry powder.
Infusion: herb tea.
Isman bayaldi, imam bayaldi: “the priest fainted” in Turkish; a dish of eggplant stuffed with sautéed onions, tomatoes, and spices; served cold.
Jalousie: “venetian blind”; classic small, latticed, flaky pastry filled with almond paste and spread with jam.
Jambon: ham; also refers to the leg, usually of pork, but also of poultry.
à l’os: ham with the bone in.
blanc: lightly salted, un-smoked or very lightly smoked ham, served cooked; sold, cold, in charcuteries as jambon de Paris, glacé, or demi-sel.
cru: salted or smoked ham that has been cured but not cooked.
cuit: cooked ham.
d’Auvergne: raw, dry, salt-cured smoked ham.
de Bayonne: raw, dry salt-cured ham, very pale in color.
de Bourgogne: see jambon persillé.
de montagne: any mountain ham, cured according to local custom.
de Paris: pale, lightly salted, cooked ham.
de Parme: Italian prosciutto from Parma, air-dried and salt-cured ham, sliced thin and served raw.
de pays: any country ham, cured according to local custom.
de poulet: boned stuffed chicken leg.
de Westphalie: German Westphalian ham, raw, cured, and smoked.
de York: smoked English-style ham, usually poached.
d’oie (or de canard): breast of fattened goose (or duck), smoked, salted, or sugar cured, somewhat resembling ham in flavor.
fumé: smoked ham.
persillé: cold cooked ham, cubed and preserved in parsleyed gelatin, usually sliced from a terrine; a specialty of Burgundy.
salé: salt-cured ham.
sec: dried ham.
Jambonneau: cured ham shank or pork knuckle.
Jambonnette: boned and stuffed knuckle of ham or poultry.
Jardinière: refers to a garnish of fresh cooked vegetables.
Jarret (de veau, de porc, de boeuf): knuckle (of veal or pork), shin (of beef).
Jerez: refers to sherry.
Jésus de Morteau: plump smoked pork sausage that takes its name from the town of Morteau in the Jura; distinctive because a wooden peg is tied in the sausage casing on one end; traditionally, the sausage eaten at Christmas, hence its name; also called saucisson de Morteau.
Jonchée: rush basket in which certain fresh sheep’s- or goat’s-milk cheeses of Poitou (along the Atlantic coast) are contained; thus, by extension, the cheese itself.
Julienne: cut into slivers, usually vegetables or meat.
Jurançon: district in the Béarn, the area around Pau in southwestern France, known for its sweet and spicy white wine.
Kataifi (also kataif): thin strands of vermicelli-like dough, used in Green and Middle Eastern pastries and in some modern French preparations.
Kari: variant spelling of cary.
Kiev: deep-fried breast of chicken stuffed with herb and garlic butter.
Kir: an aperitif made with crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) and most commonly dry white wine, but sometimes red wine.
Kir royal: a Kir made with Champagne.
Kirsch: eau-de-vie of wild black cherries.
Knepfla: Alsatian dumpling, sometimes fried.
Kougelhoph, hougelhof, kouglof, kugelhoph: sweet crown-shaped yeast cake, with almonds and rai-sins; specialty of Alsace.
Kouigh-amann: sweet, buttery pastry from Brittany.
Kummel: caraway seed liqueur.
Lactaire: the edible lactaire pallidus mushroom, also called sanguine. Apricot-colored, with red, blood colored juices when raw.
Laguiole: Cantal cheese from the area around the village of Laguiole, in southern Auvergne, still made in rustic huts.
demi-écremé: semi-skimmed milk.
écremé: skimmed milk.
entier: whole milk.
ribot: from Brittany, buttermilk, served with crêpes.
stérilizé: milk heated to a higher temperature than pasteurized milk, so that it stays fresh for several weeks.
Laitance: soft roe (often of herring), or eggs.
Laitier: made of or with milk; also denotes a commercially made product as opposed to fermier, meaning farm made.
Lait ribot: fermented milk from Brittany, similar to cultured buttermilk.
Lamelle: very thin strip.
Lamproie (à la bordelaise): lamprey eel, ocean fish that swim into rivers along the Atlantic in springtime (hearty stew of lamprey eel and leeks in red wine).
Lançon: tiny fish, served fried.
Landaise, à la: from the Landes in southwestern France; classically a garnish of garlic, pine nuts, and goose fat.
Langouste: clawless spiny lobster or rock lobster; sometimes called crawfish, and mistakenly crayfish.
Langoustine: clawed crustacean, smaller than either homard or langouste, with very delicate meat. Known in British waters as Dublin Bay prawn.
Langres: supple, tangy cylindrical cow’s-milk cheese with a rust-colored rind; named for village in Champagne.
Langue (de chat): tongue (“cat’s tongue”; thin, narrow, delicate cookie often served with sherbet or ice).
Languedocienne: garnish, usually of tomatoes, eggplant, and wild cèpe mushrooms.
Lapereau: young rabbit.
Lapin de garenne: wild rabbit.
Larder: to thread meat, fish, or liver with strips of fat for added moisture.
Lardon: cube of bacon.
Larme: “teardrop”; a very small portion of liquid.
Laurier: bay laurel or bay leaf.
Lavaret: lake fish of the Savoie, similar to salmon.
Léger (légère): light.
Lentilles (de Puy): lentils (prized green lentils from the village of Puy in the Auvergne).
Lieu jaune: green pollack, in the cod family a pleasant, inexpensive small yellow fish; often sold under name colin; found in the Atlantic.
Lieu noir: pollack, also called black cod; in the cod family a pleasant, inexpensive fish found in the English Channel and the Atlantic.
Lièvre (à la royale): hare (cooked with red wine, shallots, onions, and cinnamon, then rolled and stuffed with foie gras and truffles).
Limaces à la suçarelle: snails cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and sausage; specialty of Pro-vence.
Limaçon: land snail.
Limande: lemon sole, also called dab or sand dab, not as firm or prized as sole, found in the English Channel, the Atlantic, and, rarely, in the Mediterranean.
Lingot: type of kidney-shaped dry white bean.
Lisette: small maquereau, or mackerel.
Livarot: village in Normandy that gives its name to an elastic and pungent thick disc of cow’s-milk cheese with reddish golden stripes around the edge.
Lotte: monkfish or angler fish, a large firm-fleshed ocean fish.
Lotte de rivière (or de lac): fine-fleshed river (or lake) fish, prized for its large and flavorful liver. Not related to the ocean fish lotte, or monkfish.
Lou magret: breast of fattened duck.
Loup de mer: wolf fish or ocean catfish; name for sea bass in the Mediterranean.
Louvine: Basque name for striped bass, fished in the Bay of Gascony.
Lucullus: a classic, elaborate garnish of truffles cooked in Madeira and stuffed with chicken forcemeat.
Lumas: name for land snail in the Poitou-Charentes region along the Atlantic coast.
Luzienne, à la: prepared in the manner popular in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a Basque fishing port.
Lyonnaise, à la: in the style of Lyon; often garnished with onions.
Macaron: macaroon, small cookie of almonds, egg whites, and sugar.
Macaronade: a rich blend of wild and domestic mushrooms and chunks of foie gras, smothered in fresh pasta; specialty of the southwest. Also, macaroni with mushrooms, bacon, white wine, and Parmesan cheese; an accompaniment to a beef stew, or daube; specialty of Provence.
Macédoine: diced mixed fruit or vegetables.
Mâche: dark small-leafed salad green known as lamb’s lettuce or corn salad. Also called doucette.
Mâchon: early morning snack of sausage, wine, cheese, and bread; also, the café that offers the snack; particular to Lyon.
Macis: mace, the spice.
Madeleine (de Commercy): small scalloped-shaped tea cake made famous by Marcel Proust; (the town in the Lorraine where the tea cakes are commercialized).
Madrilène, à la: in the style of Madrid; with tomatoes. Classically a garnish of peeled chopped tomatoes for consommé.
Magret de canard (or d’oie): breast of fattened duck (or goose).
Maigre: thin, non-fatty; giant seabass from Mediterranean and Atlantic.
Maison, de la: of the house, or restaurant.
Maître d’hôtel: headwaiter. Also, sauce of butter, parsley and lemon.
Maltaise: orange-flavored hollandaise sauce.
Malvoisie, vinaigre de: vinegar made from the malvasia grape, used for the sweet, heavy Malmsey wine.
Mange-tout: “eat it all”; a podless green runner bean; a sweet pea; a snow pea. Also, a variety of apple.
Manière, de: in the style of.
Maquereau: mackerel; lisette is a small mackerel.
Mara de Bois: small fragrant strawberry, like a cross between a domestic and wild strawberry.
Maraîchèr(e) (à la): market gardener or truck farmer (market-garden style; usually refers to a dish or salad that includes various greens).
Marbré: striped sea bream, Mediterranean fish that is excellent grilled.
Marc: eau-de-vie distilled from pressed grape skins and seeds or other fruits.
Marcassin: young boar. At one year, a wild boar will weight 40 kg, a domesticated boar 120 kg.
Marchand de vin: wine merchant. Also, sauce made with red wine, meat stock, and chopped shallots.
Marée la: literally “the tide”; usually used to indicate seafood that is fresh.
Marennes: flat-shelled green-tinged plate oyster. Also the French coastal village where flat-shelled oysters are raised.
Marinade: seasoned liquid in which food, usually meat, is soaked for several hours. The liquid seasons and tenderizes at the same time.
Marjolaine: marjoram. Also, multilayered chocolate and nut cake.
Marmelade: traditionally a thick purée of fruit, or sweet stewed fruit; today purée of vegetable, or stewed vegetables.
Marmite: small covered pot; also a dish cooked in a small casserole.
Maroilles: village in the north that gives its name to a strong-tasting, thick, square cow’s-milk cheese with a pale brick-red rind.
Marquise (au chocolat): mousse-like (chocolate) cake.
Marron (glacé): large (candied) chestnut.
Matelote (d’anguilles): freshwater fish (or eel) stew.
Matignon: a garnish of mixed stewed vegetables.
Mauviette: wild meadow lark or skylark.
Médaillon: round piece or slice, usually of fish or meat.
Mélange: mixture or blend.
Méli-mélo: an assortment of fish and/or seafood.
Melon de Cavaillon: small canteloupe-like melon from Cavaillon, a town in Provence known for its wholesale produce market.
Ménagère, à la: “in the style of the housewife”; usually a simple preparation including onions, pota-toes, and carrots.
Mendiant, fruits du: traditional mixture of figs, almonds, hazelnuts, and raisins, whose colors suggest the robes of the mendicant friars it is named after.
Merguez: small spicy sausage.
Merlu: hake, a member of the codfish family often sold improperly in Paris markets as colin; found in the English Channel, Atlantic, and Mediterranean.
Mérou: a large grouper, an excellent tropical or near-tropical fish, generally imported from North Africa but sometimes found in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Merveille: hot sugared doughnut.
Mesclum, mesclun: a mixture of at least seven multi-shaded salad greens from Provence.
Mets: dish or preparation.
Mets selon la saison: seasonal preparation; according to the season.
Méture: corn bread from the Basque region.
Meule: “millstone”; name for wheel of cheese in the Jura.
Meunière, à la: “in the style of the miller’s wife”; refers to a fish that is seasoned, rolled in flour, fried in butter; and served with lemon, parsley and hot melted butter.
Meurette: in, or with, a red wine sauce. Also, a Burgundian fish stew.
Mi-cru: half raw.
Mi-cuit: half cooked.
Miche: a large round country-style loaf of bread. Also, Basque name for aniseed cake-like bread.
Mie: interior or crumb of the bread (see Pain de mie).
Mignardise: see Petit-four.
Mignon de canard: see Demoiselle de canard.
Mignonette: small cubes, usually of beef. Also refers to coarsely ground black ot white pepper.
Mijoté(e) (plat): simmered (dish or preparation).
Mille-feuille: refers to puff pastry with many thin layers; usually a cream-filled rectangle of puff pastry, or a Napoleon.
Mimosa: garnish of chopped hard-cooked egg yolks.
Minute (à la): “minute”; something quickly grilled or fried in butter with lemon juice and parsley (prepared at the last minute).
Mique: generally a large breaded dumpling, poached and served with stews and meats; specialty of the Southwest.
Mirabeau: garnish of anchovies, pitted olives, tarragon, and anchovy butter.
Mirabelle: small sweet yellow plum. Also, colorless fruit brandy or eau-de-vie, made from yellow plums.
Mirepoix: cubes of carrots and onions or mixed vegetables, usually used in braising to boost the flavor of a meat dish.
Miroir: “mirror”; a dish that has a smooth glaze; currently a fruit mousse cake with a layer of fruit glaze on top.
Miroton (de): slice (of). Also, stew of meats flavored with onions.
Mitonnée: a simmered, soup-like dish.
Mode de, à la: in the style of.
Moëlle: beef bone marrow.
Mogette, mojette, mougette: a kind of dried white bean from the Atlantic coast.
Moka: refers to Coffee; coffee-flavored dish.
Mont blanc: rich classic pastry of baked meringue, chestnut purée, and whipped cream.
Montagne, de la: from the mountains.
Montmorency: garnished with cherries; historically a village known for its cherries, now a suburb of Paris.
Morbier: supple cow’s-milk cheese from the Jura; a thin sprinkling of ashes in the center gives it its distinctive black stripe and light smoky flavor.
Morceau: piece or small portion.
Morille: wild morel mushroom, dark brown and conical.
Mornay: classic cream sauce enriched with egg yolks and cheese.
Morue: salt cod; also currently used to mean fresh cod, which is cabillaud.
Morvandelle, jambon à la: in the style of the Morvan (ham in a piquant creamy sauce made with white wine, vinegar, juniper berries, shallots, and cream).
Morvandelle, râpée: grated potato mixed with eggs, cream, and cheese, baked until golden.
Mosaïque: “mosaic”; a presentation of mixed ingredients.
Mostèle: forkbeard mostelle; small Mediterranean fish of the cod family.
Mouclade: creamy mussel stew from the Poitou-Charentes on the Atlantic Coast, generally flavored with curry or saffron.
Moufflon: wild sheep.
Moule: mussel. Also a mold.
Moule de bouchot: small, highly prized cultivated mussel, raised on stakes driven into the sediment of shallow coastal beds.
Moule de Bouzigues: iodine-strong mussel from the village of Bouzigues, on the Mediterranean coast.
Moule d’Espagne: large, sharp-shelled mussel, often served raw as part of a seafood platter.
Moule de parques: Dutch cultivated mussel, usually raised in fattening beds or diverted ponds.
Moules marinière: mussels cooked in white wine with onions, shallots, butter, and herbs.
Moulin (à poivre): mill (peppermill); also used for oil and flour mills.
Mourone: Basque name for red bell pepper.
Mourtayrol, mourtaïrol: a pot-au-feu of boiled beef, chicken, ham, and vegetables, flavored with saf-fron and served over slices of bread; specialty of the Auvergne.
Mousse: light, airy mixture usually containing eggs and cream, either sweet or savory.
Mousseline: refers to ingredients that are usually lightened with whipped cream or egg whites, as in sauces, or with butter, as in brioche mousseline.
Mousseron: tiny, delicate, wild mushroom.
Moutarde (à l’ancienne, en graines): mustard (old-style, coarse-grained).
Muge: grey mullet.
Mulard: breed of duck common to the southwest, fattened for its delicate liver, for foie gras.
Mulet: the generic group of mullet, found in the English Channel, Atlantic, and Mediterranean.
Munster: village in Alsace that gives its name to a disc of soft, tangy cow’s-milk cheese with a brick red rind and a penetrating aroma; the cheese is also sometimes cured with cumin seeds.
Mûre (de ronces): blackberry (bush).
Muscat de Hambourg: variety of popular purple table grape, grown in Provence.
Museau de porc (or de boeuf): vinegared pork (or beef) muzzle.
Myrtille: bilberry (bluish black European blueberry).
Mystère: truncated cone-shaped ice cream dessert. Also, dessert of cooked meringue with ice cream and chocolate cake.
Nage (à la): “swimming”; aromatic poaching liquid (served in).
Nantua: sauce of crayfish, butter, cream, and, traditionally truffles; also garnish of crayfish.
Nappé: covered, as with a sauce.
Natte: woven loaf of bread.
Nature: refers to simple, unadorned preparations.
Navarin: lamb or mutton stew.
Navarraise, à la: Navarre-style, with sweet peppers, onions, and garlic.
Navette: “little boat”; small pastry boats.
Nèfle: medlar; also called Japanese loquat; tart fruit that resembles an apricot and taste like a mango.
Neufchâtel: white, creamy, delicate (and often heart-shaped) cow’s-milk cheese, named for village in Normandy where it is made.
Newburg: lobster preparation with Madeira, egg yolks, and cream.
Nivernaise, à la: in the style of Nevers; with carrots and onions.
Noilly: a vermouth-based sauce.
Noisette: hazelnut; also refers to small round piece (such as from a potato), generally the size of a ha-zelnut, lightly browned in butter. Also, center cut of lamb chop. Also, dessert flavored with hazelnuts.
Noix: general term for nut; also, walnut. Also, nut-size, typically une noix de beurre, or lump of butter.
Noix de veau: round fillet of veal
Non compris: see Service (non) compris.
Nonat: small river fish in Provence, usually fried. Also known as poutine.
Normande: in the style of Normandy; sauce of seafood, cream, and mushrooms. Also refers to fish or meat cooked with apple cider or Calvados; or dessert with apples, usually served with cream.
Note: another word for addition, bill or tab.
Nougat: candy of roasted almonds, egg whites, and honey; specialty of Montélimar.
Nougat glacé: frozen dessert of whipped cream and candied fruit.
Nouveau, nouvelle: new or young.
Nouveauté: a new offering.
à la coque: soft-cooked egg.
brouillé: scrambled egg.
dur: hard-cooked egg.
en meurette: poached egg in red wine sauce.
mollet: egg simmered in water for 6 minutes.
poché: poached egg.
sauté à la poêle or oeuf sur le plat: fried egg.
Oeufs à la neige: “eggs in the snow”; sweetened whipped egg whites poached in milk and served with vanilla custard sauce.
Offert: offered; free or given.
Olive noire (verte): black olive (green olive).
Olives cassées: fresh green olives cured in a rich fennel-infused brine; specialty of Provence.
Olive de Nyons: wrinkled black olive, first olive in France to receive AOC. Also used for oil.
Omble (ombre) chevalier: lake fish, similar to salmon trout, with firm, flaky flesh varying from white to deep red. Found in lakes in the Savoie.
Omelette norvegienne: French version of Baked Alaska; a concoction of sponge cake covered with ice cream and a layer of sweetened, stiffly beaten egg whites, then browned quickly in the oven.
Onglet: cut similar to beef flank steak; also cut of beef sold as biftek and entrecôte, usually a tough cut, but better than flank steak.
Oreille de porc: cooked pig’s ear; served grilled, with a coating of egg and bread crumb.
Oreillette: thin, crisp rectangular dessert fritters, flavored with orange-flower water; specialty of Pro-vence.
Orge (perlé): barley (pearl barley).
Orientale, à l’: general name for vaguely Eastern dishes cooked with saffron, tomatoes, and sweet red peppers.
Osso bucco à la niçoise: sautéed veal braised with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and orange zest; spe-cialty of the Mediterranean.
Ostréiculteur: oyster grower.
Oursin: sea urchin.
Oursinade: creamy sea urchin soup.
Pageot: a type of sea bream or porgy. The finest is pageot rouge, wonderful grilled. Pageot blanc is drier and needs to be marinated in oil before cooking.
Paillarde (de veau): thick slice (of veal); also, piece of meat pounded flat and sauteéed.
Pailles (pommes): fried potato sticks.
Paillette: cheese straw, usually made with puff pastry and Parmesan cheese.
Pain: bread. Also, loaf of any kind.
aux cinq céréales: five-grain bread.
aux noix (aux noisettes): bread, most often rye or wheat, filled with walnuts (hazelnuts).
aux raisins: bread, most often rye or wheat, filled with raisins.
azyme: unleavened bread, matzoh.
bis: brown bread.
brié: very dense, elongated loaf of unsalted white bread; specialty of Normandy.
complet: bread made partially or entirely from whole-wheat flour, with bakers varying proportions according to their personal tastes.
cordon: seldom-found regional country loaf decorated with a strip of dough.
d’Aix: variously shaped sourdough loaves, sometimes like a sunflower, other times a chain-like loaf of four linked rounds.
de campagne: country loaf; can vary from a white bread simply dusted with flour to give it a rustic look (and fetch a higher price) to a truly hearty loaf that may be a blend of white, whole wheat, and perhaps rye flour with bran added. Comes in every shape.
de fantaisie: generally any odd or imaginatively shaped bread. Even baguette de campagne falls into this category.
de Gênes: classic almond sponge cake.
de mie: rectangular white sandwich loaf that is nearly all mie (interior crumb) and very little crust. It is made for durability, its flavor and texture developed for use in sandwiches. Unlike most French breads, it contains milk, sugar, and butter, and may contain chemical preservatives.
d’épices: spice bread, a specialty of Dijon.
de seigle: bread made from 60 to 70 percent rye flour and 30 to 40 percent wheat flour.
de son: legally a dietetic bread that is quality controlled, containing 20 percent bran mixed with white flour.
paillé: country loaf from the Basque region.
sans sel: salt-free bread.
viennois: bread shaped like a baguette, with regular horizontal slashes, usually containing white flour, sugar, powdered milk, water, and yeast.
Paleron: shoulder of beef.
Palette: upper shoulder of pork.
Palestine: classically a garnish of Jerusalem artichokes.
Palmier: palm leaf-shaped cookie made of sugared puff pastry.
Palmier, coeur de: heart of palm.
Palombe: wood or wild pigeon, or dove.
Palourde: prized medium-size clam.
Pan bagna: large round bread roll, split, brushed with olive oil, and filled with a variable mixture including anchovies, onions, black olives, green peppers, tomatoes, and celery; cafe specialty from Nice.
Panaché: mixed; now liberally used menu term to denote any mixture.
Panade: panada, a thick mixture used to bind forcemeats and quenelles, usually flour and butter based, but can also contain fresh or toasted bread crumbs, rice, or potatoes. Also refers to soup of bread, milk, and sometimes cheese.
Panisse: a thick fried pancake of chickpea flour, served as accompaniment to meat; specialty of Provence.
Pannequet: rolled crêpe, filled and/or covered with sweet or savory mixture.
Panoufle: Generally discarded belly flap from saddle of lamb, veal, and beef; sometimes grilled.
Pantin: small pork pastry.
Papeton: eggplant, fried, puréed, and cooked in a ring mold; specialty of Provence.
Papillon: “butterfly”; small crinkle-shelled creuse oyster from the Atlantic coast.
Papillote, en: cooked in parchment paper or foil wrapping.
Paquet (en): (in) a package or parcel.
Parfait: a dessert mousse; also, mousse-like mixture of chicken, duck, or goose liver.
Paris-Brest, gâteau: classic, large, crown-shaped choux pastry filled with praline butter cream and topped with chopped almonds.
Parisienne, à la: varied vegetable garnish which generally includes potato balls that have been fried and tossed in a meat glaze.
Parmentier: dish with potatoes.
Passe Crassane: flavorful variety of winter pear.
Passe-Pierre: edible seaweed.
Pastis: anise-flavored alcohol that becomes cloudy when water is added (the most famous brands are Pernod and Ricard). Also, name for tourtière, the flaky prune pastry from the southwest.
Pastiza: see gâteau basque.
Pata Négra (jambon): prized ham from Spain, literally “black feet.”
Pâte: pastry or dough.
brisée: pie pastry
d’amande: almond paste.
sablée: sweeter, richer, and more crumbly pie dough than pâte sucrée, sometimes leavened.
sucrée: sweet pie pastry.
Pâté: minced meat that is molded, spiced, baked, and served hot or cold.
Pâtes (fraîches): pasta (fresh).
Patte blanche: small crayfish no larger than 2 1/2 ounces (75 g).
Patte rouge: large crayfish.
Pauchouse, pochouse: stew of river fish that generally includes tanche (tench), perche (perch), brochet (pike), and anguille (eel); specialty of Burgundy
Paupiette: slice of meat or fish, filled, rolled, then wrapped; served warm.
Pavé: “paving stone”; usually a thick slice of boned beef or calf’s liver. Also, a kind of pastry.
Pavé d’Auge: thick, ochre colored square of cow’s-milk cheese that comes from the Auge area of Normandy.
Pavot (graine de): poppy (seed).
Paysan(ne) (à la): country style; (garnish of carrots, turnips, onions, celery and bacon).
Pèbre d’ail: see Poivre d’âne.
Pêche: peach. Also, fishing.
Pêche Alexandra: cold dessert of poached peaches with ice cream and puréed strawberries.
Pêche Melba: poached peach with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.
Pêcheur: “fisherman”; usually refers to fish preparations.
Pélandron: see haricot gris.
Pélardon: small flat, dried, pungent disc of goat’s milk cheese; specialty of the Languedoc.
Pèlerine: another name for scallop or coquille Saint-Jacques.
Péptie (au chocolat): nugget; (chocolate chip).
Pequillo: small red Spanish pepper, usually stuffed with salt cod purée.
Perce-pierre: samphire, edible seaweed.
Perdreau: young partridge.
Périgourdine, à la, or Périgueux: sauce, usually with truffles and foie gras, named for the Périgord in southwestern France.
Persil (plat): parsley (flatleaf).
Persillade: blend of chopped parsley and garlic.
Persillé: “parsleyed”; describes certain blue-veined cheeses. See also Jambon persillé.
Pet de nonne: “nun’s fart”; small, dainty beignets, or fried pastry.
Pétale: “petal”; very thin slice.
Petit-beurre: popular tea cookie made with butter.
Petit déjeuner: breakfast.
Petit-four (sucré or salée): tiny cake or pastry (sweet or savory); in elegant restaurants, served with cocktails before dinner or with coffee afterward; also called mignardise.
Petit-gris: small land snail.
Petit-pois: small green pea.
Petit salé: salt-cured portions of lean pork belly, often served with lentils.
Petite marmite: earthenware casserole; the broth served from it.
Pétoncle: tiny scallop, similar to American bay scallop.
Pibale: tiny eel, also called civelle.
Picholine, pitchouline: a variety of green olive, generally used to prepare olives casseés; specialty of Provence.
Picodon (méthode Dieulefit): small disc of goat’s-milk cheese, the best of which (qualified as méthode Dieulefit) is hard, piquant, and pungent from having soaked in brandy and aged a month in earthenware jars; specialty of northern Provence.
Pièce: portion, piece.
Piech: poached veal brisket stuffed with vegetables, herbs, and sometimes rice, ham, eggs, or cheese; specialty of the Mediterranean.
Pied de cheval: “horse’s foot”; giant Atlantic coast oyster.
Pied de mouton: meaty cream-colored wild mushroom. Also, sheep’s foot.
Pieds et paquets: “feet and packages”; mutton tripe rolled and cooked with sheep’s feet, white wine, and tomatoes; specialty of Provence and the Mediterranean.
Pierre-Qui-Vire: “stone that moves”; a supple, tangy, flat disc of cow’s-milk cheese with a reddish rind, made by the Benedictine monks at the Abbaye de la Pierre-Qui Vire in Burgundy.
Pigeon (neau): pigeon or squab (young pigeon or squab).
Pignons: pine nuts, found in the cones of pine trees growing in Provence and along the southwestern Atlantic coast.
Pilau, pilaf: rice sautéed with onion and simmered in broth.
Pilchard: name for sardines on the Atlantic coast.
Piment: red pepper or pimento.
Piment (or poivre) de Jamaïque: allspice.
Piment d’Espelette: slender, mildly hot chile pepper from Espelette, a village in the Basque region.
Piment doux: sweet pepper.
Pimenté: hot, peppery, spicy.
Pimpernelle: salad burnet, a salad green with a somewhat bitter taste.
Pince: claw. Also, tongs used when eating snails or seafood.
Pineau des Charentes: sweet fortified wine from the Cognac region on the Atlantic coast, served as an aperitif.
Pintade(au): (young) guinea fowl.
Pipérade: a dish of pepper; onions, tomatoes, and often ham and scrambled eggs; specialty of the Basque region.
Piquant(e): sharp or spicy tasting.
Piqué: larded; studded.
Piquenchagne, picanchagne: a pear tart with walnut or brioche crust; specialty of the Bourbonnais, a province in Auvergne.
Pissaladière: a flat open-face tart like a pizza, garnished with onions, olives, and anchovies; specialty of Nice.
Pissenlit: dandelion green.
Pistache: pistachio nut.
Pistil de safran: thread of saffron.
Pistou: sauce of basil, garlic, and olive oil; specialty of Provence. Also a rich vegetable, bean, and pasta soup flavored with pistou sauce.
Pithiviers: a town in the Loire valley that gives its name to a classic large puff pastry found filled with almond cream. Also, lark pâté.
Plaice: a small, orange-spotted flounder or fluke, a flat ocean fish; also known as plie franch or carrelet. Found in the English Channel.
Plat cuisiné: dish containing ingredients that have cooked together, usually in a sauce.
Plat du jour: today’s special.
Plat principal: main dish.
Plate: flat-shelled oyster.
Plateau de fruits de mer: seafood platter combining raw and cooked shell-fish; usually includes oys-ters, clams, mussels, langoustines, periwinkles, whelks, crabs, and tiny shrimp.
Plates côtes: part of beef ribs usually used in pot-au feu.
Pleurote: very soft-fleshed, feather-edged wild mushrooms; also now being cultivated commercially in several regions of France.
Plie: see Plaice.
Plombière: classic dessert of vanilla ice cream, candied fruit, kirsch, and apricot jam.
Pluche: small sprig of herbs or plants, generally used for garnish.
Pochouse: see Pauchouse.
Pogne: brioche flavored with orange-flower water and filled with fruits; specialty of Romans-sur--Isère, in the Rhône-Alpes.
Point(e) (d’asperge): tip (of asparagus).
Point (à): ripe or ready to eat, the perfect moment for eating a cheese or fruit. Also, cooked medium rare.
Poire William’s: variety of pear; colorless fruit brandy, or eau-de-vie, often made from this variety of pear.
Pois (chiche): pea (chickpea).
d’eau douce: freshwater fish.
de lac: lake fish.
de mer: ocean fish.
de rivière: river fish.
de roche: rock fish.
fumé: smoked fish.
noble: refers to prized, thus expensive, variety of fish.
Poitrine: breast (of meat or poultry).
Poitrine demi-sel: unsmoked slab bacon.
Poitrine d’oie fumée: smoked goose breast.
Poitrine fumée: smoked slab bacon.
Poivrade: a peppery brown sauce made with wine, vinegar, and cooked vegetables and strained before serving.
d’ain: Provençal name for wild savory. Also, small goat cheese covered with sprigs of savory. Also known as pèbre d’ail and pèbre d’ase.
en grain: peppercorn.
frais de Madagascar: green peppercorn.
gris: black peppercorn.
moulu: ground pepper.
noir: black peppercorn.
rose: pink peppercorn.
vert: green peppercorn.
Poivron (doux): (sweet bell) pepper.
Pojarski: finely chopped meat or fish shaped like a cutlet and fried.
Polenta: cooked dish of cornmeal and water, usually with added butter and cheese; also, cornmeal.
Pommade (beurre en): usually refers to a thick, smooth paste; (creamed butter).
Pommes de terre: potatoes.
à l’anglaise: boiled.
allumettes: “match-sticks”; fries cut into very thin julienne.
boulangère: potatoes cooked with the meat they accompany. Also, a gratin of sliced potatoes, baked with milk or stock and sometimes flavored with onions, bacon, and tomatoes.
darphin: grated potatoes shaped into a cake.
dauphine: mashed potatoes mixed with choux pastry, shaped into small balls and fried.
dauphinoise: a gratin of sliced potatoes, baked with milk and/or cream, garlic, cheese, and eggs.
duchesse: mashed potatoes with butter, egg yolks, and nutmeg, used for garnish.
en robe des champs, en robe de chambre: potatoes boiled or baked in their skin; potatoes in their jackets.
frites: French fries.
gratinées: browned potatoes, often with cheese.
lyonnaise: potatoes sautéed with onions.
macaire: classic side dish of puréed potatoes shaped into small balls and fried or baked in a flat cake.
mousseline: potato purée enriched with butter, egg yolks, and whipped cream.
paillasson: fried pancake of grated potatoes.
pailles: potatoes cut into julienne strips, then fried.
Pont-Neuf: classic fries.
sarladaise: sliced potatoes cooked with goose fat and (optionally) truffles.
soufflées: small, thin slices of potatoes fried twice, causing them to inflate so they resemble little pillows.
sous la cèndre: baked under cinders in a fireplace.
vapeur: steamed or boiled potatoes.
Pommes en l’air: caramelized apple slices, usually served with boudin noir (blood sausage).
Pompe à l’huile, pompe de Noël: see Gibassier.
Pompe aux grattons: bread containing cracklings.
Pont l’Evêque: village in Normandy that gives its name to a very tender, fragrant square of cow’s-milk cheese.
Porc (carré de): pork (loin).
Porc (côte de): pork (chop).
Porcelet: young suckling pig.
Porchetta: young pig stuffed with offal, herbs, and garlic, and toasted; seen in charcuteries in Nice.
Porto (au): (with) port.
Portugaise: elongated, crinkle-shell oyster.
Pot-au-feu: traditional dish of beef simmered with vegetables, often served in two or mote courses; today chefs often use it to mean fish poached in fish stock with vegetables.
Pot bouilli: another name for pot-au-feu.
Pot-de-crème: individual classic custard dessert, often chocolate.
Potée: traditional hearty meat soup, usually containing pork, cabbage, and potatoes.
Potimarron: see Citrouille.
Potiron: see Citrouille.
Potjevleisch: a mixed meat terrine, usually of veal, pork, and rabbit; specialty of the North.
Poularde: fatted hen.
Poule au pot: boiled stuffed chicken with vegetables; specialty of the city of Béarn in the southwest.
Poule d’Inde: turkey hen.
Poule faisane: female pheasant.
Poulet (rôti): chicken (roast).
basquaise: Basque-style chicken, with tomatoes and sweet peppers.
de Bresse: high-quality chicken raised on farms to exacting specifcations, from the Rhône-Alpes.
de grain: corn-fed chicken.
fermier: free-range chicken.
Poulette: tiny chicken.
Pouligny-Saint-Pierre: village in the Loire valley that gives its name to a goat’s-milk cheese shaped like a truncated pyramid with a mottled, grayish rind and a smooth-grained, ivory-white interior.
Pounti: (also spelled pounty) a pork meat loaf that generally includes Swiss chard or spinach, eggs, milk, herbs, onions, and prunes; specialty of the Auvergne.
Pousse-en-claire: oysters that have been aged and fattened in claire, or oyster beds, for four to eight months.
Pousse-pierre: edible sea weed; also called sea beans.
Poussin: baby chicken.
Poutargue, boutargue: salted, pressed, and flattened mullet roe, generally spread on toast as an appetizer; specialty of Provence and the Mediterranean.
Poutine: see Nonat.
Praire: small clam.
Pralin: ground caramelized almonds.
Praline: caramelized almonds.
Pré-salé (agneau de): delicately salted lamb raised on the salt marshes of Normandy and the Atlantic coast.
Presskoph: pork headcheese, often served with vinaigrette; specialty of Alsace.
Primeur(s): refers to early fresh fruits and vegetables, also to new wine.
Printanière: garnish of a variety of spring vegetables cut into dice or balls.
Prix fixe: fixed-price menu.
Prix net: service included.
Profiterole(s): classic chou pastry dessert, usually puffs of pastry filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with hot chocolate sauce.
Provençale: in the style of Provence; usually includes garlic, tomatoes, and/or olive oil.
Prune (d’ente): fresh plum; (variety of plum grown in the famed Agen region of the southwest).
Puits d’amour: “wells of love”; classic small pastry crowns filled with pastry cream.
Quasi (de veau): standing rump (of veal).
Quatre épices: spice blend of ground ginger, nutmeg, white pepper, and cloves.
Quatre-quarts: “four quarters”; pound cake made with equal weights of eggs, flour, butter, and sugar.
Quenelle: dumpling, usually of veal, fish, or poultry.
Quetsche: small purple Damson plum.
Queue (de boeuf): tail (of beef; oxtail).
Quiche lorraine: savory custard tart made with bacon, eggs, and cream.
Râble de lièvre (lapin): saddle of hare (rabbit).
Raclette: rustic dish, from Switzerland and the Savoie, of melted cheese served with boiled potatoes, tiny pickled cucumbers, and onions; also, the cheese used in the dish.
Radis: small red radish.
Radis noir: large black radish, often served with cream, as a salad.
Rafraîchi: cool, chilled, or fresh.
Ragoût: stew; usually of meat.
Raie (bouclée): skate or ray, found in the English Channel, Atlantic, and Mediterranean.
Raisin: grape; raisin.
de Corinthe: currant.
de Smyrne: sultana.
Raïto: red wine sauce that generally includes onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, olives, and capers, usually served warm over grilled fish; specialty of Provence.
Ramequin: small individual casserole. Also, a small tart. Also, a small goat’s-milk cheese from the Bugey, an area in the northern Rhône valley.
Ramier: wood or wild pigeon.
Râpé: grated or shredded.
Rascasse: gurnard, or scorpion fish in the rockfish family; an essential ingredient of bouillabaisse, the fish stew of the Mediterranean.
Ratafia: liqueur made by infusing nut or fruit in brandy.
Ratatouille: a cooked dish of eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and olive oil, served hot or cold; specialty of Provence.
Ratte: small, bite-size potatoes, often used for purées.
Ravigote: classic thick vinaigrette sauce with vinegar, white wine, shallots, and herbs. Also, cold mayonnaise with capers, onions, and herbs.
Raviole de Royans: tiny ravioli pasta filled with goat cheese, from the Rhône-Alpes.
Ravioli à la niçoise: square or round pasta filled with meat and/or swiss chard and baked with grated cheese.
Reblochon: smooth, supple, creamy cow’s-milk cheese from the Savoie in the Alps.
Reine-Claude: greengage plum.
Reinette, reine de: fall and winter variety of apple, deep yellow with a red blush.
Religieuse, petite: “nun”; a small version of a classic pastry consisting of two choux puffs filled with chocolate, coffee, or vanilla pastry cream, placed one on top of another, and frosted with chocolate or coffee icing to resemble a nun in her habit.
Rémoulade (céleri): sauce of mayonnaise, capers, mustard, herbs, anchovies, and gherkins; (dish of shredded celery root with mayonnaise).
Rigotte: small cow’s-milk cheese from the Lyon region.
Rillettes (d’oie): minced spread of pork (goose); can also be made with duck, fish, or rabbit.
Rillons: usually pork belly, cut up and cooked until crisp, then drained of fat; also made of duck, goose, or rabbit.
Ris d’agneau (de veau): lamb (veal) sweetbreads.
Rissolé: browned by frying, usually potatoes.
à l’impératrice: cold rice pudding with candied fruit.
complet: brown rice.
de Camargue: nutty, fragrant rice grown in the Camargue, the swampy area just south of Arles in Provence.
sauvage: wild rice.
Rizotto, risotto: creamy rice made by stirring rice constantly in stock as it cooks, then mixing in other ingredients such as cheese or mushrooms.
Robe des champs, robe de chambre (pommes en): potatoes boiled or baked in their skin; potatoes in their jackets.
Rocamadour: village in southwestern France which gives its name to a tiny disc of cheese, once made of pure goat’s or sheep’s milk, now generally either goat’s milk or a blend of goat’s and cow’s milk. Also called cabécou.
Rognonnade: veal loin with kidneys attached.
Rollot: spicy cow’s-milk cheese with a washed ochre-colored rind, in small cylinder or heart shape; from the North.
Romanoff: fruit, often strawberries, macerated in liqueur and topped with whipped cream.
Rondelle: round slice--of lemon, for example.
Roquefort: disc of blue veined cheese of raw sheep’s milk from southwestern France, aged in village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
Roquette: rocket or arugula, a spicy salad green.
Rosé: rare; used for lamb, veal, duck, or liver. Also, rose-colored wine.
Rosette (de boeuf): large dried pork (beef) sausage, from area around Lyon.
Rôti: roast; meat roast.
Rouelle: slice of meat or vegetable cut at an angle.
Rouennaise (canard à la): in the style of Rouen; (classic dish of duck stuffed with its liver in a blood-thickened sauce).
Rouget barbet, rouget de roche: red mullet, a prized, expensive rock-fish, with sweet flesh and red skin; its flavorful liver is reserved for sauces.
Rouget grondin: red gurnard, a large, common rockfish, less prized than rouget barbet. A variety of galinette. An ingredient in bouillabaisse.
Rougette: a small red-leafed butterhead lettuce, specialty of Provence.
Rouille: mayonnaise of olive oil, garlic, chile peppers, bread, and fish broth; usually served with fish soups, such as bouillabaisse.
Roulade: meat or fish roll, or rolled-up vegetable soufflé; larger than a paupiette, and often stuffed.
Roussette: dogfish, also called salmonette because of its pinkish skin, found on the Atlantic coast. Good when very fresh.
Roux: sauce base or thickening of flour and butter.
Rove: breed of goat; also small round of Provençal soft goat’s cheese, fragrant with wild herbs.
Royale, à la: “royal-style”; rich classic preparation, usually with truffles and a cream sauce.
Rumsteck: rump steak.
Sabayon, zabaglione: frothy sweet sauce of egg yolks, sugar, wine, and flavoring that is whipped while being cooked in a water bath.
Sabodet: strong, earthy pork sausage of pig’s head and skin, served hot; specialty of Lyon.
Saignant(e): cooked rare, for meat, usually beef.
Saindoux: lard or pork fat.
Saint-Germain: with peas.
Saint-Hubert: poivrade sauce with chestnuts and bacon added.
Saint Jacques, coquille: sea scallop.
Saint-Marcellin: small flat disc of cow’s-milk cheese (once made of goat’s milk) made in dairies in the Isère, outside Lyon. The best is well aged and runny. Found in Paris, the Lyons area, and northern Provence.
Saint-Nectaire: village in the Auvergne that gives its name to a supple, thick disc of cow’s-milk cheese with a mottled gray rind.
Saint-Pierre: John Dory, a prized mild, flat, white ocean fish. Known as soleil and Jean Doré in the North, and poule de mer along the Atlantic coast.
Saint-Vincent: moist, buttery, thick cylinder of cow’s-milk cheese from Burgundy with a rust-colored rind; similar to Époisses, but aged a bit longer, therefore stronger.
Sainte-Maure: village in the Loire valley that gives its name to a soft, elongated cylinder of goat’s-milk cheese with a distinctive straw in the middle and a mottled, natural blue rind.
Salade: salad; also, a head of lettuce.
folle: mixed salad, usually including green beans and foie gras.
lyonnaise: green salad with cubed bacon and soft-cooked eggs, often served with herring and anchovies, and/or sheep’s feet and chicken livers; specialty of Lyon; also called saladier lyonnais.
niçoise: salad with many variations, but usually with tomatoes, green beans, anchovies, tuna, potatoes, black olives, capers, and artichokes.
panachée: mixed salad.
russe: cold mixed salad of peas and diced carrots and turnips in mayonnaise.
verte: green salad.
Saladier (lyonnais): see Salade lyonnaise.
Salers: Cantal-type cheese, made in rustic cheese-making houses only when the cows are in the Auvergne’s mountain pastures, from May to September.
Salicorne: edible seaweed, sea string bean; often pickled and served as a condiment.
Salmis: classic preparation of roasted game birds or poultry, with sauce made from the pressed carcass.
Salpicon: diced vegetables, meat, and/or fish in a sauce, used as a stuffing, garnish, or spread.
Salsifis: salsify, oyster plant.
Sandre: pickerel, perch-like river fish, found in the Saône and Rhine.
Sanglier: wild boar.
Sangue: Corsican black pudding usually with grapes or herbs.
Sanguine: “blood” orange, so named for its red juice.
Sansonnet: Starling or thrush.
Sar, sargue: blacktail, a tiny flat fish of the sea bream family best grilled or baked.
Sarcelle: teal, a species of wild duck.
Sardine: small sardine. Large sardines are called pilchards. Found year-round in the Mediterranean, from May to October in the Atlantic.
Sarladaise: as prepared in Sarlat in the Dordogne; with truffles.
Sarriette: summer savory. See poivre d’ain.
Saucisse: small fresh sausage.
Saucisse chaude: warm sausage.
Saucisse de Francfort: hot dog.
Saucisse de Strasbourg: redskinned hot dog.
Saucisse de Toulouse: mild country-style pork sausage.
Saucisson: most often, a large air-dried sausage, such as salami, eaten sliced as a cold cut; when fresh, usually called saucisson chaud, or hot sausage.
Saucisson à l’ail: garlic sausage, usually to be cooked and served warm.
Saucisson d’Arles: dried salami-style sausage that blends pork, beef and gentle seasoning; a specialty of Arles, in Provence.
Saucisson de campagne: any country-style sausage.
Saucisson de Lyon: air-dried pork sausage, flavored with garlic and pepper and studded with chunks of pork fat.
Saucisson de Morteau: see Jésus de Morteau.
Saucisson en croûte: sausage cooked in a pastry crust.
Saucisson sec: any dried sausage, or salami.
Saumon (sauvage): salmon (“wild,” to differentiate from commercially raised salmon).
Saumon d’Ecosse: Scottish salmon.
Saumon de fontaine: small, commercially raised salmon.
Saumon fumé: smoked salmon.
Saumon norvégien: Norwegian salmon.
Saumonette: see Roussette.
Saupiquet: classic aromatic wine sauce thickened with bread.
Sauté: browned in fat.
Savarin: yeast-leavened cake shaped like a ring, soaked in sweet syrup.
Savoie (biscuit de): sponge cake.
Savoyarde: in the style of Savoy, usually flavored with Gruyère cheese.
Schieffele, schieffala, schifela: smoked pork shoulder, served hot and garnished with pickled turnips or a potato and onion salad.
Sec (sèche): dry or dried.
Seigle (pain de): rye (bread).
Sel gris: salt, unbleached sea salt.
Sel marin: sea salt.
Sel (gros): coarse salt.
Selle: saddle (of meat).
Selles-sur-Cher: village in the Loire valley identified with a small, flat, truncated cylinder of goat’s-milk cheese with a mottled blueish-gray rind (sometimes patted with powdered charcoal) and a pure-white interior.
Selon grosseur (S.G.): according to size, usually said of lobster or other seafood.
Selon le marché: according to what is in season or available.
Selon poid (S.P.): according to weight, usually said of seafood.
Semoule: semolina or crushed wheat. Also used in France as a savory garnish, particularly in North African dishes such as couscous.
Serpolet: wild thyme.
Service: meal, mealtime, the serving of the meal. A restaurant has two services if it serves lunch and dinner; a dish en deux services, like canard pressé. is served in two courses.
Service (non) compris: service charge (not) included in the listed menu prices (but invariably included on the bill).
Service en sus: service charge to be made in addition to menu prices. Same as service non compris.
Simple: simple, plain, unmixed. Also, a single scoop of ice cream.
Smitane: sauce of cream, onions, white wine, and lemon juice.
Socca: a very thin, round crêpe made with chickpea flour, sold on the streets of Nice and eaten as a snack.
Soissons: dried or fresh white beans, from the area around Soissons, northeast of Paris.
Soja (pousse de): soy bean (soy bean sprout).
Soja, sauce de: soy sauce.
Solette: small sole.
Sommelier: wine waiter.
Sot l’y laisse: Poultry oysters; translates literally as the 'fool leaves it there'
Soubise: onion sauce.
Soufflé: light, mixture of puréed ingredients, egg yolks, and whipped egg whites, which puffs up when baked; sweet or savory, hot or cold.
Soumaintrain: a spicy, supple flat disc of cow’s-milk cheese with a red-brown rind; from Burgundy.
Soupir de nonne: “nun’s sighs”; fried choux pastry dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Created by a nun in an Alsatian abbey. Also called pet de nonne.
Souris: “mouse”; muscle that holds the leg of lamb to the bone; lamb shanks.
Spätzel, spaetzle, spetzli: noodle-like Alsatian egg and flour dumpling, served poached or fried.
Spoom: wine or fruit juice mixed with egg whites, whipped, and frozen to create a frothy iced dessert.
Steak-frites: classic French dish of grilled steak served with French-fried potatoes.
Stockfish, stocaficada, estoficada, estoficado, morue plate: flattened, dried cod found in southern France. Also, a purée-like blend of dried codfish, olive oil, tomatoes, sweet peppers, black olives, potatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs; specialty of Nice. Sometimes served with pistou.
Strasbourgeoise, à la: ingredients typical of Strasbourg including sauerkraut, foie gras, and salt pork.
Succès à la praline: cake made with praline meringue layers, frosted with meringue and butter cream.
Supion, supioun, suppion: cuttlefish.
Suprême: a veal- or chicken-based white sauce thickened with flour and cream. Also, a boneless breast of poultry or a filet of fish.
Table d’hôte: open table or board. Often found in the countryside, these are private homes that serve fixed meals and often have one or two guest rooms as well.
Tablette (de chocolat): bar (of chocolate).
Tablier de sapeur: “fireman’s apron”; tripe that is marinated, breaded, and grilled; specialty of Lyon.
Tacaud: pour or whiting-pour, a small, inexpensive fish found in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, usually fried.
Tagine: spicy North African stew of veal, lamb, chicken, or pigeon, and vegetables.
Talmouse: savory pastry triangle of cheese-flavored choux dough baked in puff pastry.
Tamié: Flat disc of cheese, made of cow’s milk at the Trappist monastery in the Savoie village of Tamié. Similar to Reblochon.
Tanche: tench, a river fish with a mild, delicate flavor; often an ingredient in matelote and pauchouse, freshwater fish stews.
Tapenade: a blend of black olives, anchovies, capers, olive oil, and lemon juice, sometimes with rum or canned tuna added; specialty of Provence.
Tarama: carp roe, often made into a spread of the same name.
Tarbas: variety of large white bean, usually dried.
Tartare (de poisson): traditionally chopped raw beef, seasoned and garnished with raw egg, capers, chopped onion, and parsley; (today, a popular highly seasoned raw fish dish).
Tarte: tart; open-face pie or flan, usually sweet.
Tarte encalat: name for cheesecake in the Auvergne.
Tarte flambée: thin-crusted savory tart, much like a rectangular pizza, covered with cream, onions, and bacon; specialty of Alsace; also called Flammekueche.
Tarte Tatin: caramelized upside-down apple pie, made famous by the Tatin sisters in their hotel in Lamotte-Beuvron, in the Sologne; a popular dessert, seen on menus all over France.
Tartine: open-face sandwich; buttered bread.
Tasse: cup; a coffee or tea cup.
Telline: a tiny violet-streaked clam, the size of a fingernail, seen in Provence and the Camargue; generally seared with a bit of oil in a hot pan to open the shells and seasoned with parsley and garlic.
Tendron: cartilaginous meat cut from beef or veal ribs.
Teurgoule: a sweet rice pudding with cinnamon; specialty of Normandy.
Terrine: earthenware container used for cooking meat, game, fish, or vegetable mixtures; also the pâté cooked and served in such a container. It differs from a pâté proper in that the terrine is actually sliced out of the container, while a pâté has been removed from its mold.
Tête de veau (porc): head of veal (pork), usually used in headcheese.
Tétragone: spinach-like green, found in Provence.
Thermidor (homard): classic lobster dish; lobster split lengthwise, grilled, and served in the shell with a cream sauce.
Thon (blanc) (germon): tuna (white albacore).
Thon rouge: bluefin tuna.
Tian: an earthenware gratin dish; also vegetable gratins baked in such a dish; from Provence.
Tilleul: linden tree; linden-blossom herb tea.
Timbale: small round mold with straight or sloping slides; also, a mixture prepared in such a mold.
Tomates à la provençale: baked tomato halves sprinkled with garlic, parsley, and bread crumbs.
Tomme: generic name for cheese, usually refers to a variety of cheeses in the Savoie; also, the fresh cheese used to make Cantal in the Auvergne.
Tomme arlésienne: rectangular cheese made with a blend of goat’s and cow’s milk and sprinkled with summer savory; also called tomme de Camargue; a specialty of the Languedoc and Arles, in Provence.
Tomme fraîche: pressed cake of fresh milk curds, used in the regional dishes of the Auvergne.
Topinambour: Jerusalem artichoke.
Torréfiée: roasted, as in coffee beans and chocolate.
Toro (taureau): bull; meat found in butcher shops in the Languedoc and Pays Basque, and some-times on restaurant menus.
Torteau au fromage: goat cheese cheesecake from the Poitou-Charentes along the Atlantic coast; a blackened, spherical loaf found at cheese shops throughout France; once a homemade delicacy, today prepared industrially.
Toucy: village in Burgundy that gives its name to a local fresh goat cheese.
Tourain, tourin, tourrin: generally a peasant soup of garlic, onions (and sometimes tomatoes), and broth or water, thickened with egg yolks and seasoned with vinegar; specialty of the southwest.
Tournedos: center portion of beef filet, usually grilled or sautéed.
Tournedos Rossini: sautéed tournedos garnished with foie gras and truffles.
Touron: marzipan loaf, or a cake of almond paste, often layered and flavored with nuts or candied fruits and sold by the slice; specialty of the Basque region.
Tourte (aux blettes): pie (common Niçoise dessert pie filled with Swiss chard, eggs, cheese, raisins, and pine nuts). Also, name for giant rounds of country bread found in the Auvergne and the southwest.
Tourteau: large crab.
Tourtière: shallow three-legged cooking vessel, set over hot coals for baking. Also, southwestern pas-try dish filled with apples and/or prunes and sprinkled with Armagnac.
Train de côtes: rib of beef.
Traiteur: caterer; delicatessen.
Trappiste: name given to the mild, lactic cow’s-milk cheese made in a Trappist monastery in Echourgnac, in the southwest.
Travers de porc: spareribs.
Trévise: radicchio, a bitter red salad green of the chicory family.
Tripes à la mode de Caen: beef tripe, carrots, onions, leeks, and spices, cooked in water, cider, and Calvados (apple brandy); specialty of Normandy.
Triple crème: legal name for cheese containing more than 75 percent butterfat, such as Brillat-Savarin.
Tripoux: mutton tripe.
Tripoxa: Basque name for sheep’s or calf’s blood sausage served with spicy red Espelette peppers.
Trompettes de la mort: dark brown wild mushroom, also known as “horn of plenty.”
Tronçon: cut of meat or fish resulting in a piece that is longer than it is wide; generally refers to slices from the largest part of a fish.
Trouchia: flat omelet filled with spinach or Swiss chard; specialty of Provence.
Truffade: a large layered and fried potato pancake made with bacon and fresh Cantal cheese; spe-cialty of the Auvergne.
Truffe (truffé): truffle (with truffles).
Truffes sous la cendre: truffles wrapped in pastry or foil, gently warmed as they are buried in ashes.
Truite (au bleu): trout (a preferred method of cooking trout, not live, as often assumed, but rather in a “live condition.” The trout is gutted just moments prior to cooking, but neither washed nor scaled. It is then plunged into a hot mixture of vinegar and water, and the slimy lubricant that protects the skin of the fish appears to turn the trout a bluish color. The fish is then removed to a broth to finish its cooking.)
de lac: lake trout.
de mer: sea trout or brown trout.
de rivière: river trout.
saumoneé: salmon trout.
Ttoro: fish soup from the Basque region. Historically, the liquid that remained after poaching cod was seasoned with herbs and used to cook vegetables and potatoes. Today, a more elaborate version includes the addition of lotte, mullet, mussels, conger eel, langoustines, and wine.
Tuile: literally, “curved roofing tile”; delicate almond-flavored cookie.
Tulipe: tulip-shaped cookie for serving ice cream or sorbet.
Turban: usually a mixture or combination of ingredients cooked in a ring mold.
Turbot(in): turbot (small turbot), prized flatfish found in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Vacherin: dessert of baked meringue, with ice cream and whipped cream. Also a strong, supple winter cheese encircled by a band of spruce, from the Jura.
Vallée d’Auge: area of Normandy. Also, garnish of cooked apples and cream or Calvados and cream.
Vapeur, à la: steamed.
Velouté: classic sauce based on veal, chicken, or fish stock, thickened with a roux of butter and flour; also, variously seasoned classic soups thickened with cream and egg yolks.
Ventre: belly or stomach.
Ventrèche: pork belly. American clam.
Verdure (en): garnish of green vegetables.
Verdurette: herb vinaigrette.
Vernis: large fleshy clam with small red tongue and shiny varnish-like shell.
Verjus: the juice of unripe grapes, used to make a condiments used much like vinegar in sauces.
Véronique, à la: garnish of peeled white grapes.
Vert-pré: a watercress garnish, sometimes including potatoes.
Verveine: lemon verbena, herb tea.
Vessie, en: cooked in a pig’s bladder (usually chicken).
Vichy: with glazed carrots. Also, a brand of mineral water.
Vichyssoise: cold, creamy leek and potato soup.
Viennoise: coated in egg, breaded, and fried.
Vierge (sauce): “virgin”; term for the best quality olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives; (sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh herbs.)
Vieux (vielle): old.
Vieux Lille: thick, square cheese named for the old part of the north’s largest city, made in the same way as Maroilles, with cow’s milk, only salted more, then aged six months until stinking ripe. Also called vieux puant, or “old stinker.”
Vin jaune: an amber yellow wine made in the Jura with late harvested grapes. Stored in oak casks, it can last up to a century.
Vinaigre (vieux): vinegar (aged).
Vinaigre de xérès: sherry vinegar.
Vinaigrette: oil and vinegar dressing.
Viognier: increasingly popular white grape of the Rhône, used for the famed Condrieu .
Violet or figue de mer: unusual iodine-strong, soft-shelled edible sea creature, with a yellowish in-terior. A delicacy along the Mediterranean, particularly in Marseille.
Violet de Provence: braid of plump garlic, a specialty of Provence and the Côte-d’Azur.
Violette: violet; its crystallized petals are a specialty of Toulouse.
Viroflay: classic garnish of spinach for poached or soft-cooked eggs.
Vive or vipère de mer: weever; a small firm-fleshed ocean fish used in soups, such as bouillabaisse, or grilled. The venomous spine is removed before cooking.
Vol-au-vent: puff pastry shell.
Volonté (à): at the customer’s discretion.
Vonnaissienne, à la: in the style of Vonnas, a village in the Rhône-Alpes. Also, crêpes made with potatoes.
Waterzooi: Flemish chicken stew cooked with aromatic herbs and vegetables in a sauce of cream and chicken broth.
Xérès (vinaigre de): sherry (vinegar).
Yuzu: A pungent, fragrant citrus fruit used in East Asian cooking, particularly Japanese.
Za’tar: Middle Eastern seasoning mix of ground sesame seeds, sumac berrries, thyme and salt.
Zeste: zest, or citrus peel with white pith removed.
Zewelmai, zewelwai: Alsatian onion tart.
Zingara, à la: gypsy style; with tomato sauce. Also classically, a garnish of ham, tongue, mushrooms, and truffles.
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