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Top 5 French Food Names

March 25, 2016

 madeinfrance1001albumsLe beau logo est par Sarca @ caugtmegaming

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Want to learn some basic French grocery shopping vocabulary?

Look no further than New Zealand.

Or should I say, look as far away from France as you possibly can, as the ocean just east of New Zealand is France’s geographical antipode!

In any event, my personal favourite French vocabulary lesson comes courtesy of Bret & Jemaine, NZ’s own, Flight of the Conchords.

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Borrowed directly from the video’s Supermarché scene, here are 5 of the finest French food names:

5. Poisson (surprisingly, unlike the video, not “Jacques Cousteau”) = Fish

4. Soupe du jour = Soup of the day

3. Ananas = Pineapple

2. Boeuf = Beef

1. Pamplemousse = Grapefruit

Bon appétit!

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35 Comments
  1. I don’t pay attention to the TV much, but I could have sworn that yesterday I overheard there was a singer called Pamplemousse.

    Escargots = mmmmmm.

  2. Love the song…and this post.

    No discussion of French-named foods and recording artists is complete without Steve Martin’s “omelette du fromage.” As Mr. Martin once stated so memorably, “it’s like those French have a different word for everything.”

    • Thanks Rich – I was thinking no trip to France would be complete without stopping for some food. And now I agree, it would also be incomplete without the funny (and talented banjo player) Steve Martin!

  3. This post is delicious! I love “pamplemousse”, though I’m curious about the etymology of “ananas”. Was its big, yellow English fruity rhyming cousin involved by any chance? My personal favourite in French food is obviously, the gateau. I dream of having a gateau in my château. Even better with places that house gateaux themselves – boulangerie, patisserie etc. Also, cabbage, i.e. “chou” must be mentioned!

    • Yes to all of the above – I love how mon petit chou (my little cabbage) becomes sweetheart – not to mention barbe a papa (dad’s beard) becoming cotton candy!
      And some gateau in the chateau surrounded by a moat where you’d need a bateau sounds like a dream!

      • Aw, I love barbe a papa! As for the dream, how about a boathouse that comes with its own bakery? Win win!
        I have to say, these ‘French’ posts are making me want to go back and brush up on my beginner-level lessons. It was taught from a cultural point of view, and there were a ton of cabbage jokes and fromage jokes discussed during the food chapter!

      • That’s the approach schools in Ontario are starting to move towards – instead of aiming for perfect grammar through worksheets, aim for more cultural appreciation and practical use.
        Hopefully still room for fromage jokes though!

  4. In France, hot dog is hot dog. In Quebec it’s chien chaud.
    Yaourt in France is Yogourt in Quebec, which is of course, yogurt.
    Joyeux Anniversaire in France is Bonne Fete in Quebec, which is Happy Birthday.
    These are three things I retained from my French schooling all those years ago…

    • And I learned a new one this year – in Quebec, senior Kindergarten is called “Maternelle” and junior is called “Jardin.”
      In Ontario, just to keep it interesting, it’s the opposite!

  5. Cool post. I took French all the way through high school to my OACs. Then, what I learned about French from living in Quebec for two years is that even if you learn the proper way to say something, that is most certainly NOT how anyone actually says it.

    I worked in an office that had two teams, French and English. When I had to send out mass emails, I would translate the English to French. Invariably, about two minutes after I sent it out to everyone, there would be gales of laughter from the French side about something I wrote.

    They were nice about it, always showed me the right way, but boy did they laugh. I was glad I made their day.

  6. Also, I love the wine. Er, vin.

  7. Also, FotC FTW!

    • Love the Conchords!
      I looked on their site, looks like they’re coming as close as New York on their tour this year, I might have to make the trip!

  8. Eh … where’s the Royale with cheese? 🙂

  9. Holy Crap this is heavy stuff! Learning more here than i did back in HighSchool..

  10. Any meal that included Flight of the Conchords is bellisimo with me!
    Oh, is that a faux pas?

  11. Love Bret McKenzie. He did the music for the new Muppet movies. I’m a big fan.

    I switched from French to Spanish in junior high, so I’m really rusty. I just remember fromage.

    Merci!

    • Haven’t seen the 2nd one yet, but loved the first new Muppets movie, the songs, so Bret, so brilliant!
      Or should I say, magnifique!

  12. Foux de fafa! Foux de fa-fa-fa! J’aime les Conchords.

  13. Hackskeptic permalink

    bon appetit! This tour of French music you’re on is leading to some culturally educational posts. merci monsieur

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