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French Food Glossary

Navigate French menus and cookbooks with confidence and ease.

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Mastering French Cooking Terms

Want to brush up on French culinary knowledge? Here are 41 terms, dishes and techinques to know. Since so many cuisines take inspiration from classical French cooking, you'll find many of these used across diverse recipes and menus.

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A la Meuniere

Meaning "in the style of the miller's wife" (who presumably had easy access to flour), this technique applies to fish that is floured, then sautéed in butter, and served with brown butter, lemon juice and parsley.

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Aioli

A garlic flavored mayonnaise popular in Provence, in the south of France; aioli is traditionally served as an accompaniment to vegetables and fish.

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Bain-marie

The French name for a water bath, a technique by which delicate foods such as custards are baked at a gentle, controlled heat: the food is placed, in its container, into a larger pan into which boiling water is poured. Then the pan is either placed in the oven, or on top of the stove. Bains-marie are also used in restaurant kitchens to keep foods warm.

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