One of our favorite places in the world to visit is France. As you might expect, whenever we go our itinerary pretty much revolves around restaurant reservations and winery visits. Like many of you, we believe there's simply no better way to discover a country than through it's food and wine. I still remember the first time we arrived in Paris. We hurriedly checked into our hotel, dropped off our bags and set off for lunch at the famed Chez Georges, a classic Parisian bistro once frequented by Julia Child herself - swoon!
Stomachs grumbling, ours eyes hungrily scanned the menu of the charming eaterie as we reveled in its authentic ambiance. But there was just one problem. It was a little TOO authentic.The menu was e n t i r e l y in French AND our waiter didn't speak a word. of. English. Mon Dieu!
While we still managed to enjoy a thoroughly delightful meal, I swore on my Baba au Rhum I'd never be caught unprepared again. Thus began my fervent study of a particular subsection of the French language I like to call Foodie French. And after years of enjoying and cooking French cuisine, I'm happy to share these 30 French Food Phrases that are guaranteed to up your fluency in Foodie French and help decode any French menu. So whether it's Blanquette de Veau, Foie Gras de Canard or Saumon Fumé you'll never go hungry deciding on a French meal again!
Simply scroll down to view the entire list. Each entry includes an English translation as well as some corresponding dishes with translations and/or descriptions as well.
30 ESSENTIAL FOODIE FRENCH PHRASES
1.) Artichaut: Artichoke, i.e. poulet aux artichauts= chicken with artichokes
2.) Assiette: Assortment, i.e. assiette de fromage = assortment of cheeses
3.) Beurre: Butter, i.e. beurre noisette = browned butter
4.) Boeuf: Beef, i.e. boeuf haché = ground beef or boeuf tartare = raw beef
5.) Canard: Duck, i.e magret de canard = duck breast
6.) Crevettes: Shrimp, i.e. croquettes de crevettes = shrimp croquettes
7.) Croque Monsieur: a French baked or fried ham and cheese sandwich. A Croque Madame is served with a fried egg on top - delicieux!!!
8.) Entrecôte: A cut of steak often used to make Steak Frites
9.) Épinards: Spinach, i.e. épinards à la crème = creamed spinach
10.) Frites: Fries, i.e. steak frites = steak with french fries
11.) Fromage: Cheese, i.e. artichauts farcis au fromage= artichokes stuffed with cheese
12.) Fumé: Smoked, i.e. saumon fumé = smoked salmon
13.) Grenouille: Frog, i.e. cuisses de grenouilles = frog legs
14.) Homard: Lobster, i.e. homard a l'Américaine = lobster cooked with wine, tomatoes, garlic and herbs
15.) Huitres: Oysters, i.e. huîtres fraîcheur aux trois vinaigrettes = fresh oysters with three dressings
16.) Lapin: Rabbit, i.e. lapin à la moutarde = rabbit with Dijon mustard or lapin a la Bourguignonne = rabbit with red wine sauce.
17.) Moules: Mussels, i.e. moules marinières = mussels cooked in a delightful white wine sauce often served with crusty French bread for dipping.
18.) Oeufs: Eggs, i.e. oeufs brouillés = scrambled eggs, oeufs de caille = quail eggs or oeufs en meurette = a delicious Burgundian dish featuring eggs served in a flavorful Bourguignon sauce.
19.) Champignon: Mushroom
20.) Poisson: Fish
21.) Poivre: Pepper, i.e. steak au poivre= steak with a cracked peppercorn sauce
22.) Porc: Pork, i.e. pork aux champignons = pork with mushrooms
23.) Poulet: Chicken, i.e. poulet rôti au thym= roast chicken with thyme
24.) Rillettes: commonly made from pork or duck, rillettes is a preparation of meat similar to pâté. The meat is cubed or chopped, salted and cooked slowly in fat until it can be easily shredded. It is then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste which is normally spread on bread or toast - HEAVEN!!!
25.) Saumon: Salmon, i.e. saumon en papillote= salmon cooked in parchment paper
26.) Thon: Tuna, commonly seen in the delicious Pan Bagnat sandwich and the classic Salad Niçoise.
27.) Truite: Trout, i.e. trout meunière amandine = trout with brown butter and almonds
28.) Veau: Veal, i.e. rognon de veau = veal kidney or blanquette de veau= veal stew
29.) Viande: Meat, i.e. viande haché = minced meat
30.) Volaille: Poultry, i.e. creme de volaille = cream of chicken soup.
I hope you find this list helpful in mastering Foodie French and if there are any French Food Phrases you think I should add to the list, please let me know in the comments section below.
P.S. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference!