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Food Guide Paris / French Food Glossary

These commonly used terms in French cooking should help you navigate menus, kitchens and the world of French cuisine!

à la Meuniere

This translates as "in the style of the millers wife", and refers to fish that is floured, sautéed in butter, and then served up with the butter, lemon juice and some parsley.

à Point

A term for the level of 'cookedness' for protein.  'à Pont' is the equivalent to a rosier colored 'medium'

Allumette

The allumette measures approximately ⅛ in/2 mm by ⅛ in/2 mm by 2½ in/6 cm inches. It's also the starting point for the brunoise.

Avec des glacons

With ice

Bain-marie

A roasting pan or baking dish partially filled with water to allow food to cook more slowly and be protected from direct high heat. Used for custards and terrines.

Baguette bien blanc

A Baguette on the 'lighter cooked' side

Baguette bien doré

A Baguette on the 'well cooked' side

Batonnet

Batonnet translates to "little stick". The batonnet measures approximately ¼in/5 mm by ¼in/½ mm x 2½-3 inches or about 8cm. It is also the starting point for the small dice.

Bavarois

A creamy pudding made with cream and eggs, then set using gelatin.

Bien Cuit

A term for the level of 'cookedness' for protein. 'Bien Cuit' is 'well cooked'.  Keep in mind, a restaurant may find in challenging to cook meat to this level.

Bleu

A term for the level of 'cookedness' for protein.  Close to having a heart beat!  Just barely touching the fire, and is closely associate with the term 'Aller-Retour', meaning a quick action of 'To go-To Return', where the meat is just lightly heated on both sides.

Couteaux

Knife

Cuillère

Spoon

du Vin

Wine

Forchette

Fork

Fumé

Smoked

L’addition

The check.  It will not be automatically brought to you at the end of your meal- you MUST ask for it!

La Biere

Beer

La Crêpe

A thin pancake, usually with a sweet filling

La Galette

A thin pancake, usually savory, made with buckwheat flour

L'eau Pétillante / L'eau Gazeuse

Sparkling water

Le Pourboire

A gratuity, or a tip.  This literally translates to “to drink,” and the idea is that by the end of the night, a waiter would have enough change for a glass of wine. 

Les Pâtes

Pasta

Plat du Jour

Plate of the day / Special of the day

Poulet

Chicken

Saignant

A term for the level of 'cookedness' for protein. 'Saignant' is very, very rose (bloody) and cooked just slightly longer than 'Bleu'  

Saignant

A term for the level of 'cookedness' for protein. 'Saignant' is ‘rare’ (bloody) and cooked just slightly longer than 'Bleu'  

Un Pichet

A small glass pitcher of wine.  Usually 1.5-2 glasses

Une Bouteille

A bottle

Une Carafe d'eau

A carafe of tap water (which you have the right to ask for!)

Une Carafe

A glass carafe of house wine.  Usually 3-4 glasses

Une Saucisse/Saucisson

Sausage/cured sausage

Végétarien

Vegetarian

Végétalien

Vegan

Verre

Glass

Volaille

Poultry

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