Glossary of French Culinary Terms

Glossary of Traditional French Culinary Terms

A growing collection of terms used in the kitchen, some taught and spoken, some forgotten.

A la carte ~list of food items priced separately
A la mode ~in the fashion
Abaisse ~a piece of dough rolled to required size
Abaitis ~winglets, giblets of poultry, (de Volaille)
Aboyer ~the person who announces orders to the different parts of the kitchen
Agiter ~to stir
Agneau ~lamb
Aigrefin ~haddock
Aiguiller a Larder ~a larding needle
Aiguilletes ~meat of fish cut into strips
Aiguller a Brider ~a trussing needle
Aigullette ~long thin slice of cooked meat, usually from the breast of poultry
Ail ~garlic
Aileron ~winglet of poultry
Airelle Rouge ~cranberry
Al dente ~to the bite
Ala Broche ~roasted on a spit
Ala ~in the style, e.g. a la Francaise
Allumettes ~match stick size, usually potatoes
Aloyau ~sirloin of beef, (contre-filet)
Aloyau ~whole unboned sirloin of beef
Amuse- Guele `name to describe cocktail canapes
Anchois ~anchovy
Ancienne ~a la
Anglaise a la English style, plainly cooked food
Anguille ~eel
Anis ~aniseed
Annoncer ~to announce (to call out orders)
Antipasto ~italian cold appetizer
Appareil ~prepared mixture of food made ready for further processing
Apricot ~apricot
Argentuil ~district in France famous for its asparagus
Aromates ~herbs, spices, flavorings
Aromats ~mixture of vegetables and herbs used to impart flavor
Arrowroot ~starch obtained from the roots of the arrowroot plant
Artichaut ~artichoke
Asperge ~asparagus
Aspic ~savory jelly
Assiette Anglaise ~selection of sliced cold meats
Assiette ~plate or dish
Au Blem ~method of preparing and cooking live trout in court bouillion
Au Blue ~term used to describe of cooking fish when live in court bouillion
Au Four ~bake in the oven
Au Four ~in the oven
Au Jus ~with natural juice
Aubergine ~eggplant

Baba ~small yeast cake soaked in rum flavored syrup and topped with whipped cream
Bain-Marie ~double boiler insert for slow cooking, when direct boiling is to be avoided. Also a steam table in which smaller pans and their contents are kept hot.
Ballotine ~stuffed boneless game or domestic bird
Bar Raye ~rock salmon
Bar ~bass
Barder ~to cover meats with slices of salt pork
Barder ~to cover with thin slices of bacon
Baron of Lamb ~the saddle with legs
Baron ~double sirloin and rumps of beef, the saddle and legs of lamb
Basilic ~basil
Baste ~to moisten meat in the oven, to prevent drying
Baton/Batonnet ~stick, commonly denotes small stick garnish
Batter ~a liquid dough, thin enough to cover
Batterie de Cuisine ~kitchen equipment
Becasse ~woodcock
Becassine ~snipe
Bechamel ~basic milk sauce, white, one of the foundation sauces
Beignets ~fritters
Bettarve ~beetroot
Bien Cuit ~well or thoroughly cooked
Bisque ~a thick cream soup
Blanc d’oeuf ~white of an egg
Blanc ~water with flour and lemon juice
Blanchir ~to blanch by immersing in cold water, bring to boil, drain and refresh by re-immersion in cold water
Blanquette ~ragout of stew made of veal and lamb in rich veloute
Bleu ~blue, applied to very rare broiled meat
Boeuf ~beef
Bombay Duck ~dried fillets of fish used as an accompianment with curry
Bombes ~ice cream dessert
Borfure ~border, usually a bordure of rice
Bouchees ~small puff pastry
Boudin Noir ~blood sausage or black pudding
Bouillabaisses ~fish stew, specialty of southern France
Bouillion ~reduced meat stock
Bouillir ~to boil
Boulanger ~baker
Boulangerie ~the baker department
Bouquet Garni ~combo of herbs: bay leaf, thyme, parsley, tied in celery or leek to flavor soups and sauces
Bourgeoise ~dish prepared in the bourgeois family style, meats served with vegetables
Bourgogne ~burgundy (wine)
Bousisson(en) ~items of food dressed on top of each other in a pile
Boutons (de Bruxelles) ~buttons of Brussels, poetic term for brussel sprouts
Braiser ~to braise
Braisiere ~braising pan or stewing pan
Breme ~bream
Brider ~to truss or tie poultry or meat
Brine ~salted liquid used for preserving meat
Brioche ~yeast leavened sponge dough
Brochette ~a skewer
Broil ~the ancient term for grilling
Buerre Manie ~kneaded butter for thickening sauces

Cabillaud ~codfish
Caille ~quail
Calotte ~cap of prime rib
Canapes ~pieces of toasted bread garnished and served as snack
Canard Sauvage ~wild duck
Canard ~duck
Caneton ~duckling
Cantaloup ~melon
Caramel ~melted sugar in a light brown syrup stage
Caramelizer ~to caramelize, to cook sugar until it reaches a brown color
Carbonnade ~braised steak
Carcasse ~carcass, the bone structure or meat or poultry without the meat on it
Carpe ~carp
Carre ~rack of veal or lamb
Carrelet ~flounder
Cartouche ~a greased round of paper for covering papers during cooking
Casserole ~fireproof dish or names of dishes served and cooked in casserole
Cassis ~black currant
Cassoulet ~earthware dish featuring beans with pork, mutton, goose or duck
Cayenne ~a very hot pepper
Celeri ~celery
Celeri-Rave ~celeriac or celery root, turnip like rooted celery
Cepe ~edible fungus, yellowish flap mushroom
Cerfeuil ~chervil
Cerise ~cherry
Cervelle ~brain
Champignon ~mushroom
Chanterelles ~mushrooms (Cantharellus variety)
Chantilly ~whipped cream sweetened with sugar
Chapalure `bread crumbs
Chapelure ~brown bread crumbs
Chapon ~capon castrated cock
Charcuterie ~items of pork butchery
Charcutier ~butcher and sausage maker
Charcutiere ~butchers shop
Chateaubriand ~double steak cut from the center of the beef filet
Chaufroid ~food coated in cold white sauce
Chef de Cuisine ~chef in charge
Chef de Partie ~chef in charge of one of the sections in the kitchen
Chemise ~to line a mold or to coat an item with jelly
Chevreuil ~Venison
Chicory ~endive
Chiffonnade ~leaf vegetables shredded or cut into ribbons
Chinois ~a conical strainer
Chinois ~cone shaped fine strainer or seive
Chipolate ~type of small sausage
Chou de Bruxelles ~brussel sprouts
Chou de Mer ~sea kale
Chou paste ~eclair batter
Chou ~type of pastry used for eclairs
Choucroute ~sauerkraut, cabbage pickled and fermented
Chou-fleur ~cauliflower
Chou-fris ~curly kale
Ciseler ~to shred finely, or to cut incisions
Clarifier ~to clarify or clear liquids
Clarify ~to clear of impurities and sediment
Clouter ~oignon clout, onion with cloves
Cocotte of Oeuf ~indivisual porcelain dish
Cocotte ~small ovenproof dish
Coeur ~heart, e.g. coeur de laitue — heart of lettuce
Colin ~coal fish
Commis ~an apprentice in the kitchen or dining room
Compote ~stewed fruit
Concasser ~to roughly dice or chop
Concombre ~cucumber
Confiture ~jam
Congre ~conger eel
Contrefilet ~a boned out sirloin
Contre-filet ~sirloin which faces the tenderloin
Coq Au Vin ~chicken stewed in wine sauce
Coquille St. Jacques ~scallop
Coquille ~1. shell shaped dish 2. cooked and served in shell
Corbeille of Fruits ~basket of fruit
Cote ~cut of beef attached to the rib
Cotelette ~cutlet
Coulibiac ~in brioche
Coulis ~essence made from shellfish as a basis for a sauce
Coupes ~small bowls to serve cream or compote
Courgette ~zucchini
Court Bouillion ~water, vinegar and or wine, herbs, seasoning for poaching
Crabe ~crab
Crème Patissiere ~pastry cream
Crème ~cream
Crepes ~thin pancakes
Crepine ~pigs caul used as casing for sausage and forcemeat
Crepinettes ~individual portions of meat, chicken or pork enveloped in crepine or breaded and sautéed and baked
Crevette ~prawn
Croissants ~crescent shaped French rolls
Croquette ~foodstuff, molded, breaded and deep fried
Croute au pot ~beef broth, garnished with vegetables and dried crusts
Croutons ~fried pieces of bread of various sizes and shapes, served as accompianments to soups or used as socle
Cru ~raw
Cuire ~to cook
Cuisiner ~cook
Cuisse, Cuissot ~the leg of veal, beef
Cuit ~cooked
Culotte ~rump of beef
Culotte ~top top butt sirloin
Cuisine Brigade
1. Chef de Cuisine – chef in charge
2. Tournant – rounds cook
3. Saucier- sauce cook
4. Rotisseur – roast cook
5. Entremetier- vegetable cook
6. Potager – soup cook
7. Buffetier – pantry cook
8. Poissonier – fish cook
9. Garde Manger – cold cook
10. Patissier – pastry cook
11. Boucher – butcher
12. Boulanger – baker
Darioles ~small baba mold shape
Darne ~a thick middle cut slice of salmon steak
Darne ~selection of fish cut across and through the bone of a whole round fish
Debarrasser ~to clear away
Debrider ~to remove trussing string after cooking
Decoree ~to decorate platters, cakes
Deglacer ~to dilute roasting plaque with wine, stock, ect
Degraisser ~to skim off grease from stews and sauces
Dejeuner ~luncheon
Demi glace ~half glaze, brown sauce
Demi-tasse `literally half cup, also, small black cup of coffee
Depouiller ~to remove scum from surface of liquid during cooking
Des ~dice
Desosser `to bone out poultry or fish
Diable ~deviled
Diabolitins ~small gnocchi or croutons topped with grated cheese and browned
Dinde ~turkey
Dindonneau ~young turkey
Dredge ~to coat food with flour by rolling or sprinkling
Du Jour ~of the day
Duxelle ~chopped shallots and mushrooms cooked in butter


Echalote ~shallot
Éclairs ~choux pastry baked in thick fingers, filled with cream or pastry cream, iced with fondant or chocolate
Ecrevisse ~crayfish
Egoutter ~to drain, strain off liquid
Emincer ~to mince, to chop as fine as possible
En-Papillote ~mode of cooking in greased paper
En-Tasse ~in cup
Entrecote ~steak cut from sirloin of beef, literally between the ribs
Entrée ~in US, the main dish
Entremets ~sweets, desserts
Entremetier ~cook who prepares vegetables and egg dishes
Enveloper ~to wrap
Epaule ~shoulder
Eperlan ~smelt
Epinards ~spinach
Escalope ~a scallop or slice
Escargot ~edible snail
Espangnole ~basic brown sauce
Estouffade ~brown meat sauce
Estragon ~tarragon
Esturgeon ~sturgeon
Etuver ~to cook slowly under cover with minimum of added liquid
Entremets ~sweet dishes

Fagot ~faggot, bouquet garni
Faisan ~pheasant
Farce ~stuffing or forcemeat
Farcir ~to stuff
Faux-filet ~boned out sirloin
Fecule ~cornstarch or flour used for thickening soups, sauces, ect
Fenouil ~fennel
Feuilletage ~puff pastry
Filet Mignon ~small steak cut from the tenderloin of beef, veal, lamb
Filet ~fillet; thin cut of meat, poultry or skinless flesh of fish removed from bone
Flamber ~to flame
Flan ~open tart
Flanchet ~flank
Fletan ~halibut
Fleurons ~small crescent shape puff pastry
Foie Gras ~fat goose / duck liver
Foie ~liver
Fond blanc ~white stock
Fond brun ~brown stock
Fondant ~thick liquid sugar icing
Fonds de Artichaut ~artichoke bottoms
Fonds de Cuisine ~basic stocks or essences
Fondue ~a cheese dish of melted cheese for dipping bread
Fontaine ~the well or hole made in the dry flour, ect. Before adding liquid to make pastry
Fouetter ~to whip or whisk
Fourre ~stuffed, as when a filling is placed in a omelette
Fraise ~strawberry
Frangipane ~custard like pastry cream
Frappe ~chilled
Frappe ~iced
Frapper ~to ice
Friandise ~small candy-like
Fricandeau ~veal braised until very tender
Fricassee ~a white stew
Frire ~to fry
Frit ~fried
Friture ~deep fat frying
Fumer ~to smoke
Fumet ~concentrated stock or essence from fish or shellfish

Galantine ~stuffed chicken or veal in the form of a large roll, usually glazed with chaud-froid sauce and decorated for cold buffets
Garbure ~a thick vegetable soup
Garde-Mange ~cold kitchen, chef who is in charge of garde-manger
Garnir ~to garnish, garnished, to decorate
Garniture ~the garnish, starches and or vegetables served with the main course
Gateau ~cake
Gelee ~jelly
Gibier ~game
Gigot d’Agneau ~leg of lamb
Glace de Poissan ~fish glaze or extract, made by reducing stock or fumet to the consistency of syrup
Glace de Viande ~meat glaze made by reducing meat stock to a dark thick, semi liquid
Glace ~frozen or glazed
Gnocchi ~dumplings of semolina, flour or potatoes
Goujon ~gudgeon, meat or fish cut into small strips, roughly of gudgeon size
Granite ~water ice
Gratin ~browned surface of foods cooked in hot oven or under salamander
Griller ~to grill, to broil
Groseille ~currant
• to color food under the salamander or hot oven
• to cook in such a way to acquire a shiny surface
• to freeze

Hacher ~to chop finely
Hachis ~hachis de boeuf, minced meat
Hareng ~herring
Haricot Blanc ~bean, white
Haricot Vert ~bean, green
Hatelet ~decorative silver skewer
Haute Cuisine ~the finest of high class cookery
Homard ~lobster
Hors d’Oeuvres ~the first course or appetizer, canapés, served hot or cold at the beginning of the meal
Huitre ~oyster

Jambon ~ham
Jardinière ~fresh mixed vegetables cut into small dice or julienne
Jarret ~knuckle of veal
Jaune d’Oeuf ~egg yolk
Julienne ~meat or vegetable cut into fine strips
Jus Lie ~thickened juice
Jus ~gravy as in jus lie, juice as in jus de citron

Kebab ~skewered and grilled meat, onion, bay leaf
Kirsche ~cherry liquor used to sweeten dishes
Kromeski ~a type of meat croquette

Laitue ~lettuce
Langouste ~spiny lobster
Langue ~tongue
Lapin ~rabbit
Lard ~bacon or salt pork
Larder ~to lard, i.e. to insert strips of fat with a larding needle into lean meat
Liason ~a thickening or binding agent, commonly egg yolk and cream, to thicken soups and sauces
Lie ~slightly thickened
Lier ~to thicken
Lievre ~hare
Limande ~dab, lemon sole

Macedoine ~diced, mixed vegetables or fruits
Maigre ~lean, Lenten meal without meat
Mais ~maize, sweet corn
Maitre d’Hotel ~restaurant manager
Maquereau ~mackerel
Marinade ~blend of liquids and flavorings used in marinating
Marmite (le petite) ~type of consommé cooked and served in small earthenware pot
Marmite ~stockpot
Marron ~chestnut
Masquer ~to coat or mark with sauce or jelly
Medallions ~round pieces of meat
Melanger ~to mix two or more ingredients together
Menthe ~mint
Merlan ~whiting
Merluche ~hake
Meuniere ~method of cooking in which meat of fish is dredged in flour and shallow fried in butter, served with sauce meuniere
Mignonnette ~whole peppercorns roughly ground
Mirepoix ~diced vegetables and herbs sautéed in bacon fat used as flavorings for soups and sauces
Mise en Place ~literally put in place, the kitchen expression for being prepared for cooking and service
Moelle ~marrow from a beef bone
Mollet ~soft boiled egg
Monter au Beurre ~to enrich a sauce or reduction by adding small pieces of butter to blend
Monter ~the beating of cream, egg whites, ect
Morue ~salt cod
Moule ~mussel
Moulin ~hand mill or pepper grinder
Mousse ~applies to sweet or savory dish prepared in molds made on a cream base
Mouton ~mutton
Mulet ~mullet
Mur ~ripe
Mure ~blackberry

Napper ~to coat with sauce, aspic, sugar, ect
Navarin ~a brown stew, lamb or mutton
Navet ~turnip
Noissette ~nut, or in reference to meat, a round piece of veal or lamb tenderloin, also small potato balls
Noques ~flour dumpling
Nature ~cooked plainly
Nouilles ~noodles

Oie ~goose
Oignon ~onion
Oseille ~sorrel

Pailles ~straws (pommes paille – straw potatoes)
Paillettes ~cheese straws
Panada ~a binding agent, usually for forcemeats or stuffing
Paner, pane ~to coat with bread crumbs
Pannequets ~pancakes
Panure ~as chapelure- fine crumbs from dried bread crumbs
Papillotes ~cooking in paper wrapping
Paprika ~Hungarian red pepper
Parer ~to trim meat
Parfumer ~to impart bouquet by addition of aromatic herbs
Partie ~a section of the kitchen responsible for a course of the menu
Parures, ~trimmings, cooked or raw
Passer (a l’etamine) ~to pass through a tammy cloth
Pastillage ~sugar pastes used in molding
Pate ~paste or pastry
Paupiettes ~thin flattened slices of meat, stuffed and rolled
Paysanne ~triangular shaped pieces of mixed vegetables
Peche ~peach
Perdeau ~partridge
Persil Hache ~chopped parsely
Persil ~parsely
Persille ~sprinkled with chopped parsely
Petite Fours ~small fancy cakes or biscuits dipped in icing and decorated
Petite Pois ~peas
Piccata ~small veal cutlets
Piece montee ~centerpiece on a platter or buffet
Pied ~foot
Pieds de bouef ~cow heels
Pieds de Porc ~pork feet
Pilaw, pilaf ~a rice dish without meat
Pimento ~capsicum
Pintade ~guinea fowl
Piquant ~sharp or spicy in flavors
Piquer ~to insert small pieces of fat into lean meat with a needle
Plaque Rotit ~roasting plaque
Plat du Jour ~plate or dish
Plie ~place
Plongeur ~pot washer
Pluvier ~plover
Pocher ~to poach or cook young chickens or fish in liquid, on simmering temperature
Poeler ~a method of oven cooking similar to braising or pot roasting
Pointe ~tip
Poire ~pear
Poireau `leek
Poitrine ~breast (poitrine de volaille – chicken breast)
Poivrade ~flavored with pepper
Poivre ~pepper
Pojarski ~minced cutlet of veal in the shape of a cutlet
Pomme ~apple, also used as short for pommes de terre
Pommes de Terre ~potato
Porc ~pork
Potage ~soup
Pot-au-Feu ~rich soup with meats and vegetables
Potiron ~pumpkin
Poularde, poulardine ~young, fat chicken
Poule ~hen
Poulet d’Inde ~young turkey
Poulet ~young chicken
Poussin ~young, immature chicken
Praline ~toasted almonds and nuts in caramelized sugar
Pre-Sale ~lamb or mutton raised on a French seacoast, a high quality meat
Primeurs ~spring vegetables
Printaniere ~garnish of spring vegetables
Profiteroles ~small or medium balls made out of choux paste
Prune ~plum
Puree ~mashed or sieved potatoes, vegetables, fruit
Quartier ~quarter, to divide or cut into quarters
Quenelles ~dumpling made of meat, poultry, fish, ect
Quiche Lorraine ~savory flan of egg, custard, gruyere cheese in a thick pie dough

Radis ~radish
Ragout ~rich brown stew of meat and poultry
Raifort ~horseradish
Ramequin ~savory tartlet or earthenware dish in which food is baked and served
Ravioli ~an Italian pasta dish
Rechauffe ~reheated
Rechauffer ~to reheat
Reduction ~result of reducing down sauces to increase flavor and richness
Refraichir ~to chill, cool rapidly under cold water
Releve ~braised or roasted joint with garnish
Rennet ~secretion froma calf’s stomach used in cheesemaking
Ris ~sweetbreads
Risotto ~Italian rice dish
Rissole ~deep fried small turnover
Rissole ~to brown
Rognon ~kidney
Rognonnade ~saddle of veal complete with kidneys
Rotir, roti ~to roast, roasted
Rouget ~red mullet
Roux ~thickening agent made of flour and melted butter or other fat used to thicken soups
Royale ~custard cut into various shape and used as garnish
Russe ~stew pan

Sabayon ~French name for Zabaglione, dessert made of eggs, sugar and wine
Saignant ~rare
Saisir ~to sear meat surfaces in hot fat
Salandre ~salamander, top fired grill
Sale ~salted
Salpicon ~mixture of finely diced meat of ham or tongue and mushrooms bound in saucisses
Sauerkraut ~choucroute
Sauge ~sage
Saumon ~salmon
Saute ~to shallow fry, to toss over while frying, to jump
Sauteuse ~shallow pan with sloping sides
Sautoir ~round shallow pan with straight walls and long handle
Savarin ~light yeast dough, usually baked in ring mold
Selle ~saddle (selle d’agneau – saddle of lamb)
Sorbet ~water ice served between courses to stimulate appetite
Soubise ~thick sauce with pureed onions stewed in butter
Soufflé ~light sponge either sweet or savory, made to order
Supreme ~the best part of the game or poultry, e.g. breast of chicken (supreme de poulet)

Table d’Hote ~the set menu for the day at a fixed price
Tamis ~unbleached calico cloth used to strain thick sauces
Tasse ~cup, (en tasse) served in a cup
Terrine ~earthenware casserole, term for pate cooked in a terrine, (terrine de porc)
Tete (de veau) ~head, calf’s head
Thon ~tuna fish
Timbale ~straight sided 2 inch deep dish mold
Tomate ~flavored with tomato product
Topinambour ~Jerusalem artichoke, sunchoke
Tournedos ~small steak cut the center of the tenderloin
Tourner ~to turn, to shape vegetables or potatoes with a tourner knife
Tranche ~a slice
Trancher ~to carve or slice
Trancheur ~carver
Travailler ~to work, manipulate or knead
Troncon ~section of the fish cut on the bone from a large fish
Truffe ~truffle, pungent black fungus which grows underground
Truite ~trout
Truite Saumonee ~salmon trout
Turbotiere ~turbot kettle

Veau ~veal
Veloute ~literally velvet, a thick textured soup or sauce
Venaison ~venison
Viande ~meat
Viennoise ~in Viennese style
Vol – au- Vent ~puff pastryin which ragout or fricassee is served
Volaille ~poultry

Zabaglione ~dessert or sweet sauce
Zeste ~zest, the outer rind of citrus fruit

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