What do some of the French words used on menus mean?
Don't make a faux pas by saying fox pass while at a dinner party!
Do you have trouble pronouncing some of the French words commonly used on dinner party or restaurant menus? I know I do! Not quite sure of their meaning when you see or hear them? I have been there myself and have had to ask. For those who said yes, you’re not alone, so I created a little cheat sheet of French words sometimes seen on menus or that you might hear from a waiter or waitress. The words are followed by my own made up words to help you sound it out, as close as possible, along with a short definition.
A la carte –-- ah-la-cart
A separate price for each dish offered on the menu.
Amuse Bouche –-- a-mooze-bush
An appetizer served free according to the chef's selection alone. These are served to prepare guests for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of cuisine.
Charcuterie --- shar- koo-tuh-ree
The art of making sausages and other cured smoked and preserved meats including pâtés.
Crudités --- kroo-di-tey
Pieces of raw vegetables (such as celery, carrots, peppers, radishes) that are served before a meal usually with a dressing or sauce for dipping.
Du jour --- due-zhoo-r
An item of the day not specified on the regular menu.
Hors d’ oeuvres –-- or-derv(s)
Small savory foods that can be enjoyed in one or two bites and usually served before the meal.
Prix Fixe --- pree feeks
A complete meal offered at a fixed price which usually includes an appetizer, meal, and dessert. Wine and cocktails are usually charged separately.
Soirée --- swah-ray
A formal party or social gathering usually held in the evening.
Faux Pas –-- foe-pah
An embarrassing remark or comment in a social situation.