Do you eat something if you can’t pronounce it?
When I am out with friends or family, I am the one explaining terms.
When I write stories about exotic foods, I assume my readers would like to know more what they could be eating–delicious delicacies that aren’t apparent due to the language barrier. I describe the food and its preparation in English, followed by the foreign word in parentheses (just so it’s a little more familiar.)
For Bastille Day, I thought I would make a translated alphabet of French food-words diners may encounter. For extra fun, I thought I’d rhyme the end of each sentence with the French word.
A is for aubergine: but if I say eggplant you’ll know what I mean.
B is for bouillabaisse: a brothy, herbed seafood soup will bring a smile to your face.
C is for croquette: a potato dumpling you can’t forget.
D is for du jour: it means of the day with much allure.
E is for eau: it means water, just so you know.
F is for fraise: it means strawberry, a summery craze
G is for gâteau: it means cake, add glacé for ice cream also.
H is for haricot: means beans, and now you know.
I is for ignames, but that’s yams where I’m from.
J is for jambon: it means ham—I won’t go on and on.
K is for kumquat: a small citrus fruit–you know what? Nous Americains also say Kumquat.
L is for Lyonnaise, a hearty, meat-n-potatoes dish that’s sure to amaze.
M is for macaron, meringue, and madeleines, different cookies worth trying when you get the time.
N is for neufchâtel: a soft cream cheese that puts you under its spell.
O is for oeuf: it means egg, do you need proof?
P is for poulet: means chicken, cooked in many delicious ways.
Q is for quiche: It’s an egg-based, veggie and/or meat pie that never contains peach.
R is for roux: a flour and fat base for sauce? ‘Now that’ll do.
S is for serviette: it means napkin, now don’t forget!
T is for tartare: raw chopped beef, herbs and raw egg not for the faint of heart.
U is for ustensiles, as in utensils: when cooking for friends, you find they’re indispensable.
V is for vichysoisse: a classic potato-leek soup that hits the spot.
W is for Wallons*: their must-try Liége waffles are powdered sugar-festooned.
X is for xeres: a vinegar made from sherry.
Y is for yaort: is yogurt, so tasty with chopped fruit.
Z is for Z de la Arjolle: the only Zinfandel made in the whole (of France, that is. This once thought all-American grape is actually related to one grown in Italy and Croatia.)
Have a great Bastille Day 2013. Hopefully I didn’t drive anyone ‘mad’ with this post.
*okay, this was a stretch. “Wallon” is the word for a person from Wallonia, or the French part of Belgium. It’s a rare “W-word” in the French language (if you’re ever playing French Scrabble). If you’re ever in Wallonia, no waffling, just try the waffles. Chocolate syrup probably ‘festoons’ better than powdered sugar, but I digress.
NOTE: In 2015, I recalled this food rhyme and how much fun I had writing it. I fine-tuned some the rhymes that weren’t that great. There will be a French in the Americas poem.