We have drawn up this handy French food names list with many ingredients you are likely to see on the menu while Vacationing in France or even on a French menu closer to home. It includes the essential French food words, helping you make the most of your French food and dining experiences. Please let us know if we should add any foods to the list. Bon appétit!

With Cellar Tours, you can experience the best food and wine France has to offer on a French Food & Wine Odyssey.
French AZ Food Name Dictionary

A

  • Abati’s – Giblets
  • Abdelavis – Jerusalem melon
  • Abricot – Apricot
  • Acajou – Cashew
  • Agneau – Lamb
  • Agneau de lait – Baby milk-fed lamb
  • Agrume – citrus
  • Algue – seaweed
  • Aligot – potatoes mashed with fresh mountain cheese
  • Aiglefin – Haddock
  • Aiguillat – Dogfish
  • Aiguillette – breast meat
  • Ail – Garlic
  • Ailloli – Garlicky mayonnaise
  • Algue – Seaweed (often edible)
  • Amande – Almond
  • Amuse-bouche – Appetizer
  • Ananas – Pineapple
  • Anchois – Anchovies
  • Andouillette – Pork sausage
  • Aneth – Dill
  • Anguille – Eel (anguille de mer is a conger eel), a common dish in Bordeaux
  • Apéritif – Pre-dinner drink
  • Arachide – Peanut
  • Araignée de Mer – Spider crab
  • Artichaut – Artichoke
  • Asperge – Asparagus
  • Aubergine – Aubergine, eggplant
  • Autruche – Ostrich
  • Avocat – Avocado
  • Avoine– oat

B

  • Baguette – The culinary symbol of France, a long bread loaf
  • Baba au rhum – Sponge cake (often soaked in rum)
  • Babeurre – Buttermilk
  • Badiane – Star anise
  • Banane – Banana
  • Bar – Sea bass
  • Barbue – Brill
  • Basilic – Basil
  • Baudroie – Monkfish
  • Bavette – Flank steak
  • Beaufort – Cow cheese from French Alps
  • Beignet – Donut
  • Betterave – Beetroot
  • Beurre – Butter
  • Bien cuit – Well done.
  • Bière – Beer
  • Bigorneau – Periwinkle
  • Blanc-manger – Almond milk-based pudding
  • Blanquette – Creamy veal stew
  • Blé – Wheat
  • Boeuf – Beef
  • Boeuf bourguignon – Beef stewed in red wine
  • Bolet – Boletus mushrooms
  • Bonbon – Candy
  • Bouchon – Cork
  • Boudin antillais – Spicy blood sausage
  • Boudin blanc – White blood sausage
  • Boudin noir – Blood pudding
  • Bouillabaisse – Fish and seafood soup
  • Brandade de morue – Salted cod mashed with olive oil and milk
  • Bresaola – Air-dried Italian beef
  • Brick – Wheat dough used in North African cuisine
  • Brioche – Sweet pastry
  • Brochet – Pike
  • Brousse – Cheese from Provence
  • Brugnon – Nectarine

C

  • Caille – Quail
  • Cabillaud – Cod
  • Cacahouète – Peanut
  • Café – Coffee
  • Café crème – Coffee with milk
  • Calamar – Squid
  • Canard – Duck
  • Canard sauvage – Wild duck
  • Canelé – Cake from Bordeaux
  • Cannelle – Cinnamon
  • Câpre – Caper
  • Caquelon – Fondue pot
  • Carambole – Tarfruit
  • Caramel au beurre salé – Salted butter caramel
  • Carbonade flamande – Beef Stew
  • Cari – Créole curry
  • Cassis – Blackcurrants
  • Cassoulet – Stew from the South-West of France
  • Céleri-rave – Celery root
  • Cerf – Venison
  • Cerise – Cherry
  • Champignon – Mushroom
  • Chapelure – Dried breadcrumbs
  • Charcuterie – Meat store
  • Châtaigne – Chestnut
  • Chatini – Spicy chutney
  • Chichi – Donut type sweet
  • Chèvre – Goat’s cheese (and goat)
  • Chevrette – Baby goat (female); prawns
  • Chipiron – Small squid
  • Chocolat – Chocolate
  • Choux– Cabbage
  • Choucroute – Sauerkraut, a traditional dish in Alsace
  • Chou-fleur – Cauliflower
  • Ciboule – Spring onion; Welsh onion
  • Ciboulette – Chive
  • Citron – Lemon
  • Citron vert – Lime
  • Citronnade – Lemonade
  • Citronelle – Lemon grass
  • Citrouille – Pumpkin
  • Cochon – Pig
  • Cochon de lait – Sucking pig
  • Coing – Quince
  • Cointreau – Orange flavored liqueur
  • Compote – a dessert made of fruits
  • Comté – semi-firm cow cheese
  • Concombre – Cucumber
  • Confiture – Jam
  • Coquillage – Shellfish
  • Coquille St Jacques – Scallop
  • Coriandre – Coriander, cilantro
  • Cornichon – Gherkin
  • Côte – Rib
  • Courge – Squash
  • Courgette – Zucchini
  • Couronne – Ring-shaped loaf of bread
  • Crème anglaise – Vanilla custard
  • Crème brûlée – Custard-like dessert
  • Crème de cassis – Blackcurrant liqueur
  • Crème de marron – Chestnut purée
  • Crème fleurette – Whipping cream
  • Crème fraîche – Sour cream
  • Crêpe – pancake
  • Crêperie – Crêpe Restaurant
  • Cresson – Watercress
  • Crevette – Shrimp
  • Croque Monsieur – Glam name for a ham and cheese toastie
  • Cuisse de grenouille – Frog’s legs

D

  • Datte – Date
  • Daurade – Seabream
  • Dégustation – Tasting
  • Digestif – After dinner drink
  • Droit de bouchon – Corkage fee

E

  • Eau – Water
  • Eau du robinet – Tap water
  • Écrivisse – crayfish
  • Échalote – Shallot
  • Entrecôte – Rib steak
  • Entrée – First course
  • Épaule d’agneau – Shoulder of lamb
  • Épeautre – Spelt
  • Épice – Spice
  • Épinard – Spinach
  • Érable – Maple
  • Escargots – Snails (edible)
  • Espadon – Swordfish
  • Estragon – Tarragon

F

  • Faisan – Pheasant
  • Farine – Flour
  • Farci -Stuffed
  • Favouille – Crab
  • Fenouil – Fennel
  • Fève – Broad bean
  • Fécule de maïs – Corn starch
  • Fécule de pomme de terre – Potato starch
  • Filet de boeuf – Beef tenderloin
  • Filet de poulet – Chicken breast
  • Fleur de sel – Sea salt
  • Financier – Almond cake
  • Foie – Liver
  • Foie gras – Goose liver
  • Foie de canard – Duck foie gras
  • Fougasse – Pretzel made with bread dough and often flavored with bacon bits
  • Four – Oven
  • Four à bois – Woodfire oven
  • Fourme d’Ambert Blue cheese from Auvergne
  • Fraises – Strawberries
  • Framboise – Raspberry
  • Frit – Fried
  • Frites – French fries
  • Frisée – Curly lettuce or endives (chicory)
  • Fromage – Cheese
  • Fromage blanc – Fresh white cheese
  • Fromage frais – Fresh cheese
  • Fruits de mer Shellfish
  • Fruits secs – Dried fruits
  • Fumé – Smoked

G

  • Galette – Flat circular savory or sweet pie which is usually stuffed
  • Galette des rois – Puff pastry pie
  • Gambas – Jumbo shrimp
  • Gateau – Cake
  • Gaufres – Waffles
  • Gelée</strong – Jelly
  • Genévrier – Juniper
  • Gésier – Gizzard
  • Gigot d’agneau – Leg of lamb
  • Gingembre – Ginger
  • Giraumon – Pumpkin
  • Girolle – Chanterelle mushroom
  • Glace – Ice cream
  • Gousse d’ail – Garlic clove
  • Graine – Seed
  • Gratin – Casserole
  • Grenade – Pomegranate
  • Grillé – Grilled
  • Groseille – Gooseberry
  • Gruyère – Cow cheese

H

  • Hareng – Herring
  • Haricot blanc – White bean
  • Haricot rouge – Kidney bean
  • Haricot vert – French green bean
  • Harissa – Red chili garlic paste / North Africa
  • Hénon – Cockle
  • Homard – Lobster
  • Homard épineux – Crayfish
  • Huile d’ olive – Olive oil
  • Huître – Oyster

J

  • Jacques – Apple pancakes
  • Jambon – Ham
  • Jambon à l’os Ham on the bone
  • Jambon cru – Cured ham
  • Jambon cuit – Cooked ham
  • Jambon de Bayonne – Cured ham from the Basque town of Bayonne, similar to prosciutto
  • Jarret de veau– Veal shank
  • Jaune d’ oeuf – Egg yolk
  • Jean-Doré – John Dory
  • Joue – Cheek
  • Jus – Juice

K

    • Kaki – Persimmon

L

  • Lait – Milk
  • Lait de coco – Coconut milk
  • Lait ribot – Fermented milk from Brittany
  • Laitue – Lettuce
  • Lamproie – Lamprey
  • Langouste – Spiny lobster
  • Langoustine – Scampi
  • Lapin – Rabbit
  • Lardon – Small strip of bacon
  • Laurier – Laurel, bay leaves
  • Légumes – Vegetables
  • Lentilles – Lentils
  • Lentilles de Puy – Famous green lentils from Puy
  • Levain – Starter
  • Levure chimique – Baking powder
  • Levure de boulanger – Yeast
  • Lieu – Place (fish)
  • Lisette– Mackerel
  • Lièvre – Hare
  • Litchi – Lychee
  • Lotte – Monkfish
  • Loubine – Sea Bass

M

  • Macaron – Macaroon, Bordeaux cookie
  • Mâche – Lamb’s Lettuce
  • Magret – breast of a fattened duck/goose
  • Maigre – Lean
  • Mangue – Mango
  • Maïs – Corn
  • Mandarine – Mandarin
  • Mange-tout – Snow peas
  • Maquereau – Mackerel
  • Marcassin – baby wild boar
  • Marjolaine – Marjoram
  • Marrons – Chestnuts
  • Mélasse Molasses
  • Menthe – Mint
  • Membrillo – Quince
  • Merguez – Lamb sausages with Moroccan spices
  • Merlan – Whiting
  • Merlu – Hake
  • Mérou – Grouper
  • Miel – Honey
  • Mi-cuit – Half-cooked
  • Mille-feuille – Pastry made of layers of pastry and vanilla cream
  • Mimolette – Orange cheese from the North of France
  • Mirabelle – Yellow plum
  • Moelle – Marrow
  • Mont d’Or Cow cheese
  • Morue – Salted cod
  • Moule Mussel
  • Moule à gâteau – Cake tin
  • Moût – Must
  • Moutarde – Mustard
  • Mûr – Ripe
  • Mûre – Blackberry
  • Muscade – Nutmeg
  • Myrtille – Blueberries

N

  • Navet – Turnip
  • Noisette – Hazelnut
  • Noix – Walnut
  • Noix de coco – Coconut
  • Nougatine – Crunchy caramel and chopped almonds

O

  • Oeufs – Eggs
  • Oie – Goose
  • Oignon – Onion
  • Oiseille – Sorrel
  • Onglet – Hanger steak
  • Orge – Barley
  • Origan – Oregano
  • Orti – Nettle
  • Os à moelle – Marrow bone
  • Oseille – Sorrel
  • Oursin – Sea urchin

P

  • Pain – Bread
  • Pain de Campagne figues et noix – Country loaf with figs and walnuts
  • Pain d’épice – Gingerbread
  • Pain perdu – French toast
  • Pain Poilâne – Rustic starter bread
  • Palombe – Wood pigeon
  • Palourde – Clam
  • Pamplemousse – Grapefruit
  • Panais – Parsnip
  • Panisse – Fried chickpea
  • Papillote – cooking technique, meat or fish wrapped in foil and baked in the oven
  • Pâtes – Mixture of finely grounded or chopped meat cooked seasoned with herbs, spices, and brandy
  • Pâte à choux – Pastry dough used in the making of profiteroles
  • Pâte brisée – Shortcrust pastry
  • Pâte d’amande – Marzipan
  • Pâte de fruit – Sugar glassed fruit
  • Pâte feuilletée – Puff pastry
  • Pâte sablée – Shortcrust pastry
  • Pâtisserie – Pastry shop
  • Pâtissier – Pastry chef
  • Pêche – Peach
  • Perche – Perch
  • Perdrix – Partridge
  • Persil – Parsley
  • Persillade – Parsley sauce
  • Pétillant – Sparkling
  • Petit beurre – Shortbread from Nantes
  • Petit déjeuner – Breakfast
  • Petit gris – Small snail
  • Petit pois – Pea
  • Petit suisse – Cheese from Normandy
  • Pétoncle – Scallop
  • Pignon – Pine nut
  • Pieuvre – Octopus
  • Piment – Pepper (vegetable)
  • Pintade – guinea-hen
  • Piperade – Stewed bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions, a specialty from the French Basque region
  • Pissaladière – Onion tart with anchovies and black olives
  • Pistache – Pistachio
  • Pistou – Provençal cold sauce made from basil, olive oil, garlic
  • Plat – Main course
  • Plat du jour – Today’s special
  • Poché Poached
  • Pommes de Terre – Potatoes
  • Pommes Rouges – Red apples
  • Poire – Pear
  • Poireau – Leek
  • Pois chiche – Chickpea
  • Pois gourmand – Snowpea
  • Poisson – Fish
  • Poisson d’eau douce – Freshwater fish
  • Poisson de mer – Saltwater fish
  • Poitrine – Breast of poultry or meat
  • Poitrine fumée – Bacon
  • Poivre – Pepper (spice)
  • Poivron – Bell pepper
  • Porc – Pork
  • Potage – Hearty soup
  • Pot-au-feu – Beef stew
  • Potiron – Pumpkin
  • Poulet – Chicken
  • Poulpe – Octopus
  • Praire – Clam
  • Praline – Paste made from ground caramelized nuts and chocolate
  • Praline rose Sugar-coated almond.
  • Prune – Plum
  • Pruneau – Prune
  • Purée – Mashed potatoes

Q

  • Quenelle – dumpling-like dish, made from puree fish, sometimes includes breadcrumbs, from Lyon.
  • Quetsche – sweet plum with green flesh and purple skin
  • Quiche – pastry crust pie with eggs, cream or milk, cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables. Can be served hot or cold

R

  • Radis – Radish
  • Ragoût – Stew
  • Raie – Ray
  • Raifort – Horseradish
  • Raisin – Grape
  • Râs al hânout – North African spice mix often seen in France
  • Rascasse – Scorpion fish
  • Rascasse – Rockfish
  • Ratatouille – Sautéed and stewed vegetable dish
  • Ratte – Small potato with a nutty flavor
  • Réglisse – Liquorice
  • Reine claude – Greengages / plum
  • Ris – Pancreas
  • Riz – Rice
  • Riz au lait – Rice pudding
  • Rocamadour – Goats cheese from Périgord and Quercy regions
  • Rocher à la noix de coco – Coconut macaroon
  • Rognon – Kidney
  • Roquette – Rocket/rucola
  • Romarin – Rosemary
  • Rouget – Red mullet
  • Rösti – Potato pancake with cheese
  • Rôti – Roasted
  • Rouge – Red
  • Rouget – Red mullet
  • Rouleau – Roll

S

  • Sabayon – Sauce flavored with wine
  • Sablé – Butter biscuit / cookie, grainy texture
  • Sabodet – A sausage made with pig’s head from Lyon
  • Saignant – Cooked rare.
  • Saint-Jacques – Scallop
  • Saint-Pierre – John Dory fish
  • Sanglier – Wild boar
  • Sarrasin – Buckwheat
  • Saucisse / saucisson – Sausage
  • Sauge – Sage
  • Saumon – Salmon
  • Saumon fumé – Smoked salmon
  • Sec – Dry
  • Séché – Dried
  • Seiche – Cuttlefish
  • Seigle – Rye
  • Sirop – Syrup
  • Souris d’agneau – Lamb shank
  • Speculoos – Crunchy cinnamon biscuit/ cookie from Belgium
  • Sel – Salt
  • Sucre – Sugar
  • Supion – Small squid
  • Surgelé – Frozen

T

  • Tapenade – Green or black olive paste
  • Tartare – A dish made with raw ingredients
  • Tarte flambée – Thin tart dressed with crème fraîche and onions
  • Tarte tatin – Fruit pie / tart
  • Terrine – Meat, fish, or vegetables, cooked and pressed
  • Tête de moine – Wheel-shaped Swiss cheese
  • Thyme – Thyme
  • Tiède – Lukewarm
  • Tomate – Tomato
  • Topinambour – Artichoke
  • Tourte – A savory pie
  • Tourteau – Large crab
  • Tourteau fromagé – A cheese cake from the Poitou region
  • Tranche – Slice
  • Tresse – Braid
  • Truffe – Truffle
  • Truite – Trout

V-Z

  • Vanille – Vanilla
  • Veau – Veal
  • Viande – Meat
  • Vinaigre – Vinegar
  • Yaourt – Yogurt

Related Posts:

6 thoughts on “French A-Z Name Food Dictionary / Glossary

  1. bob says:

    what about z
  2. Des Mc Carthy says:

    any suggestions?
  3. Neil Hufton says:

    I think you should include 'bleu' for a very barely cooked steak and the Picardie cheese 'Maroilles'
  4. Geoff says:

    Ris is sweetbread not pancreas
  5. David M Farmbrough says:

    You missed Coq au vin
  6. Imogen says:

    Really useful but needs some on Z an more on Y

Leave a reply

More information

If you would like us to customize an exclusive, luxury tour for you, get in touch with us and let us know your travel plans. We offer luxury food and wine tours for private groups of minimum 2 guests. All of our private, chauffeured tours are available year round upon request.

Contact us for your personalized quote!
Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

Recommended by