6 Common French Foods You Should Stop Mispronouncing
The next time you order at your favourite French bistro, you''ll be ready to order like a pro
23 February 2017
You know French food. You love French food. But admit it, the way it’s pronounced has often resulted in incoherent conversations between you and the serveur.
Now don’t get us wrong here. We’re not saying you need to go all nasal and emphasise on every syllable but hey, it would be nice NOT to butcher this poetic language.
So at the risk of being labelled pretentious by your friends who like to say espresso, here are the 10 most common French food items that you’re probably pronouncing wrong, including the ones you eat all the time (hint: crepe).
1. Bouillabaisse = BOOL-yuh-BAYZ
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With so many syllables in one word, this regional seafood dish probably deserves all the butchery it gets. But a fish stew made with saffron tomato broth and served with piping hot crusty bread is worth learning the diction.
2. Caramel = KEHR-ah-mehl OR KAR-ah-mehl
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If you belong to the stubborn group who insists on calling it KAR-emel, then don’t. Focus on your ahs – French love these!
3. Crêpe = Crehp
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Oh, crepe! You forgot the invisible h. It’s okay, though. A lot of us do. Just say it three times before ordering it the next time — you’ll get the hang of it.
4. Macaron = mah-kah-ROHN (nasal N!)
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It’s high time to set the record straight. Macaroon and Macaron are NOT two different spellings of the same word. They are two distinctive delights. Macaroons are the dense coconut cookies found in bakeries. Macarons, however, are light and airy French sandwiches made with meringue, sugar and egg.
5. Croissant = CWA-sohn
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Granted it spells nothing that it sounds like, you probably still eat these flaky pastries every day so there’s no excuse to pronounce it wrong.
6. Boeuf bourguignon = boof boor-gheen-YOHN
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Remember Julia Child’s show-stopper dish? Boeuf bourguignon is a slow-cooked beef stew with bacon, onion, and mushrooms. Order it the next time you’re in a French restaurant but make sure you pronounce it right.