Visiting a French restaurant? Here are some culinary terms you should know

The French world has immense influence in the cooking industry. French chefs like Georges Auguste Escoffier, Pierre Hermé, and Jean-Christophe Novelli among others have a remarkable influence in the industry.

French restaurants are popular for meals as:

  • Cassoulet: this dish is made up of white beans, duck legs and pork (different kinds).
  • Poulet Basquaise: this dish is spiced with Bayoone ham, peppers, tomatoes and espelette pepper.
  • Escargots au Beurre Persillé: also known as ‘herb buttered snails’.
  • Breton Buckwheat Pancake: this dish is spiced with ham, cheese, and eggs or andouille and onion.
  • Raclette: this dish is made of cheese and eaten with potatoes, cold meat, onions and pickles.
  • Bouillabaisse: a soup with a perfect combo of mustard and egg yolks, best eaten with bread and potatoes.
  • Boeuf bourguignon: slowly cooked beef cuts with red wine, root vegetables and mushrooms.
  • Steak Tartare: for lovers of horse meat. It is made with raw beef or horse meat and spiced with an egg on top.

(French Hotel Guide)

There are over a hundred French restaurants in Nigeria and almost half of these restaurants are in Lagos, Nigeria. Some of these restaurants are: 

  • Le Petit Square (Abuja)
  • Relais Café (Abuja)
  • Maison The Café (Abuja)
  • Samantha’s Bistro and Grill (Lagos)
  • Frenchies Foods Limited (Lagos)
  • Circa (Lagos)
  • La Chaumiere (Lagos)

When visiting a French restaurant, it will be friendly and comforting if you have an idea on French culinary language. Although, waiters in French restaurants in Nigeria are good with the English language, a little bit of French in a French restaurant will be spicy.

Some culinary terms you should know

  • A la diable – devilled, a highly seasoned dish (kidneys)
  • Brioche – a light yeast cake
  • Carte du jour – menu, or bill of fare for the day
  • Champignon – mushroom
  • Compote des poires – stewed fruits
  • Croute – a cushion of fried or toasted bread on which are served various hot foods.
  • Crouton – cubes of fried bread served with soup, also triangular pieces which may be served with spinach and heart-shaped ones which may be served with certain vegetables and entrees.
  • Dejeuner – lunch
  • Dinde – turkey
  • Diner – dinner
  • Du jour (plat du jour) – a special dish of the day
  • Etuvee – cooked in its own juice
  • Friandises – petits fours, sweetmeats, etc.
  • Fricassee – a white stew in which the poultry or meat is cooked in the sauce
  • Gateau – cake; usually a rich sponge cake that may be decorated and flavoured in a wide variety of ways.
  • Genoise – a very rich and light sponge cake made from equal quantities of egg, caster sugar and soft white flour,  plus a small quantity of melted butter.
  • Glace – ice or ice-cream
  • Hors-d’ceuvre – preliminary dishes of an appetizing nature, served hot or cold
  • Le ris – sweetbread.
  • Les – noodles
  • Oeuf ala coque – egg boiled and served in its shell
  • Oeuf brouille – a scrambled egg
  • Paupiettes – a strip of fish, meat or poultry stuffed and rolled
  • Petit-dejeuner – breakfast
  • Pilon – the drumstick of a leg of chicken
  • Poivre – pepper
  • Riz – rice
  • Soubise – a light dish, sweet or savoury, hot or cold
  • Troncon – a slice of fat fish cut with the bone

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