70+ Foods And Ingredients In French That You Should Know

  • Adrien Renault
    Written byAdrien Renault
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70+ Foods And Ingredients In French That You Should Know

How delicious do those ingredients smell? Tempted by a sweet poached poire?

What if you could make those sweet desserts, knew what they were called in French and could buy the ingredients at the supermarket?

You just need to know how to identify the names of food and ingredients in French.

The list you’ve been looking for is just below.

Take a look at this list of foods and ingredients in French to widen your vocabulary and help you revise what you’ve learned in your French course.

How do you say “food” and “drink” in French?

The French words for “food” are la nourriture and l’alimentation.

You’ll notice the word l’alimentation on grocery or food shops, helping you recognise that food and ingredients can be bought there.

The French word for “drink” is une boisson.

If you put this through a translator, you’ll see that it gives you the word “beverage”.

Is there a slang or colloquial way to say “food” in French?

There is a slang way to say “food” in French.

The colloquial phrase you’ll hear on the streets of France is la bouffe.

In its verb form, bouffer can be used to describe the action of eating – it means “to eat” and is a casual way to say manger.

What are the main food groups in French?

There are five French words used to identify the main food groups:

  • des fruits
  • des legumes
  • protéines
  • les glucides
  • les produits laitiers

These words mean “fruits”, “vegetables”, “proteins”, “carbohydrates” and “dairy products” respectively.

Names of foods and ingredients in French

Take a look at the list below to find the names of food and ingredients in French to help you build your vocabulary.

🥩 Meats in French

Let’s start with the essential kinds of meat that you’ll find in French speaking countries and across the globe.

1. Le jambon

Jambon means “ham” in English and, if you’re learning Spanish, you’ll notice that it’s similar to the Spanish food noun jamón.

Jambon de pays means cured ham, and you can also get jambon cuit, which means “cooked ham” in French.

2. Le boeuf

Boeuf is “beef” when translated to English. There are different types of boeuf, such as boeuf haché (minced beef), and veau.

3. Le poulet

Poulet means “chicken” when translated to English. There are different types of poulet, such as blanc de poulet (chicken breast) and ailes de poulet, meaning “chicken wings” (which is similar to the Spanish translation of this part of the chicken “alitas de pollo”).

4. La saucisse

Saucisse means “sausage” when translated to English.

5. Le canard

Canard means “duck” when translated to English. You may have tried magret de canard, which is “duck breast”, or cuisse de canard, which translates to “duck leg” in English.

6. Le veau

Veau translates to “veal” in English. Veau is a type of beef, normally meat from a young cow that is less than a year old.

7. Le lapin

Lapin translates to “rabbit”. This dish isn’t normally consumed in many English countries, but lapin is enjoyed in France.

8. Le porc

Similar to the English word “pork”, this French food refers to meat from a pig. There are different types of tasty porc dishes, such as fillet de porc (pork tenderloin), porc braise (pulled pork) and poitrine de porc (pork belly).

9. Le dinde

Dinde is “turkey” in English. Not only can you get dinde farcie (stuffed turkey), but you can also get jambon de dinde, which is “turkey ham”. You might have also tried escalope de dinde, which is “turkey escalope”.

🥬 Vegetables in French

Now, let’s have a look at some of the main vegetables, known as des legumes in French, that are eaten in French speaking countries and in other countries.

1. Les asperges

There are different types of asperge. You can buy asperge verte, which is green asparagus, and asperge blanche, which is white asparagus when translated to English.

2. Les betteraves

This plural feminine noun translates to “beets” or “beetroot” when translated to English. They can be eaten in a salad.

3. Les poivrons

Poivrons translates to “peppers” in English. There are different types of poivrons, such as the sweet bell peppers that come in three colours. The slightly different version of this French noun, poivre, refers to the spicy black pepper that is added to chicken and meat.

4. Le artichaut

This masculine, singular noun, artichaut means “artichoke” when translated to English.

5. L’avocat

Avocat is a masculine, singular noun that translates to “avocado” in English. An avocatier is the tree that avocat fruit grows from.

6. Le brocoli

It’s easy to guess what vegetable brocoli is in English. It translates to English as “broccoli” and the word is a cognate, making it easy to remember.

7. Le chou

Chou means “cabbage” when translated to English. You can get a few different types of chou, including chou vert (green cabbage), chou blanc (white cabbage) and chou rouge (red cabbage).

8. La carotte

This partial cognate translates to English as “carrot”. Carotte comes in different forms. You can grate it and have carotte râpée, or you can extract the juice from it, or blend it, and have jus de carotte.

9. Le chou-fleur

Chou-fleur means “cauliflower” when translated to English. It’s a type of vegetable or légume.

10. Le concombre

Eaten in a salad, sometimes with chou or salade, concombre translates to English as “cucumber”.

11. L’ail

Ail means “garlic” when translated to English, and it takes many forms. For example, you can get gousse d’ail, which is a garlic clove, or ail haché, which is garlic that has been chopped finely.

12. Les oignons

Oignons are “onions” when translated to English. There are a few different types of oignons, such as oignons nouveaux or spring onions, verts or green onions, and onions that have been cooked in oil on a high heat oignons frit.

13. Les poireaux

Poireaux is a masculine plural noun that means “leeks” in English. Eat them in a soupe aux poireaux et pommes de Terre (that’s “leek and potato soup”). In the singular form, poireaux is poireau.

14. Le piment

Piment can mean “pepper”, “chilli” or “spice”.

15. La pomme de Terre

Although translating the word pomme will give you “apple” pommes de Terre means potatoes when translated to English.

16. Les éspinards

Espinards means “spinach” when translated to English

17. La tomate

Just like the Spanish translation of this type of food, which is used in many Spanish speaking countries, tomate is French for “tomato”. In the supermarket, you can get different types of tomates, including tomates cerises (cherry tomatoes).

18. L’aubergine

Aubergine is a cognate, so remembering this vegetable, or légume isn’t too difficult. It means “aubergine” or “eggplant” when translated to English.

19. La patate douce

Patate douce, which contains the French word douce or “sweet” in English, means “sweet potato”.

20. Les champignons

Champignons are “mushrooms”. Button mushrooms are known as champignon de Paris io bouton champignon.

21. Les petits pois

Petits pois are “peas” when translated to English. You can use petits pois to make a sauce aux petit poi, which means “green pea sauce”.

22. La laitue

This word translates to English as “lettuce” which can be used in a salad with other veggies.

23. Le fenouil

Fenouil translates to English as “fennel”.

🦐 Seafoods in French

Known as le fruits de mer, let’s turn our attention to some of the delicious seafoods and ingredients in French, eaten in France, Spain and other countries in the world.

1. Le crabe araignée de mer

Since it contains the French word araignée meaning spider, this might help you remember what araignée de mer means when translated to English, which is “spider crab”.

2. Le cabillaud

Le cabillaud is a French masculine, singular noun and type of fish that means “cod” when translated to English. You can roast it to get cabillaud roti. Cod can also be referred to as la morue in French.

3. La langoustine

Langoustine is a French food that translates to English as “lobster”.

4. Les cuisses de grenouille

Although not eaten widely in English-speaking countries, this type of food is eaten in France and parts of Asia. Cuisses de grenouille are “frog’s legs”.

5. La crevette

Crevette means “shrimp” or “prawn”. You can get many different types of crevette, including crevette grise, crevette rose and crevette nordique, which mean “brown”, “rose” and “northern” shrimp respectively.

6. Le maquereau

Maquereau is a tasty fish known as “mackerel” when translated to English

7. La lotte

You’ll find lotte in French restaurants, and it’s a very tasty type of fish. Lotte means “monkfish” when translated to English.

8. Les moules

Moules is a feminine plural French noun that means “mussels” when translated to English.

9. Le poulpe

Similar to the Spanish word pulpo, and eaten in Spain and parts of France (though not in many English-speaking countries) poulpe means “octopus” when translated to English.

10. Le saumon

Saumon is a type of fish. This masculine singular noun means “salmon” when translated to English. You can get saumon in different forms, such as saumon fumé, tartare de saumon, and filet de saumon, meaning smoked salmon, salmon tartar and salmon fillets.

11. La sardine

This cognate should be recognisable to you if you’re an English speaker. Sardine means “sardine” in English.

12. Le calamar

Identical to the Spanish word calamar, this type of food is eaten in France and Spain. Calamar means squid.

13. La truite

Truite is a type of fish that you’ll find in French and Spanish restaurants. It translates to English as “trout”, and you can get truite arc-en-ciel, truite de lac, and truite brune, which mean rainbow trout, lake trout and brown trout respectively.

14. Le thon

Thon means “tuna” when translated to English. It’s a tasty, meaty fish, and you can get different types such as thon rouge, thon blanc and thon albacore, meaning red tuna, white tuna and yellowfin tuna respectively.

🍞 Carbohydrates in French

Carbohydrates are known as les glucides in French. Let’s explore 9 of the main carbohydrate foods that are commonly eaten across the world.

1. La poudre d’amandes

Although it literally translates to English as “powder of almond”, Poudre d’amandes means “almond flour” in English.

2. Le sucre

The word sucre means “sugar” when translated to English. You can get cassonade, which is brown sugar that has been refined once, or sucre blanc, which is white sugar that has been completely refined.

3. La fécule de mais

Fécule de mais means “cornstarch”, with the word mais meaning “corn” in the culinary sense.

4. La farine

Farine means “flour” – specifically plain flour. You can get farine de maïs, which is corn flour, or farine de blé, which is wheat flour in the supermarkets.

5. Le pain de mie

Pain de mie translates to English as “white bread”. The texture of pain de mie is soft.

6. Le riz

The masculine singular noun riz means “rice” when translated to English. Not only can you make riz au lait with riz (a dessert known as “rice pudding” in English), but you can also get different types of riz, such as riz complet or riz pilaf.

7. Les pâtes

Pâtes means “pasta” when translated to English. Use it to make salade de pâtes – that is a pasta salad – or eat it with thon – which is tuna.

8. Les céréales

This is a cognate word that shouldn’t be too difficult to remember. Céréale means “cereal” when you translate it to English.

9. Des biscuits

Another cognate that you won’t find difficult to remember, des biscuits means “the biscuits”.

🍇 Fruits in French

Here are 13 kinds of fruit names, or noms de fruit to add to your vocabulary of food and ingredients in French.

1. La banane

Banane means “banana” when translated to English. You can get banana plantain, which is a slightly bigger banana that should be cooked.

2. La fraise

Fraise means “strawberry” when translated to English.

3. La mûre

While mûre without the e can mean “mature” or “ripe”, mûre is French for blackberry.

4. La pomme

Pomme means “apple” when you translate this word into English. Don’t confuse this fruit with the pomme de terre, which means “potato” when translated into English.

5. La poire

Poire means “pear” when it is translated to English.

6. L’orange

This cognate is not too difficult to remember. It is a masculine noun used to refer to the fruit – the orange, or the colour orange.

7. Les raisins

This masculine plural noun means “grapes” when it is translated into English. But since raisins are raisins secs, or “dried grapes” don’t get confused between these two words.

8. La myrtille

La myrtille is a French noun that means “blueberry” when translated to English. The plural form is les myrtilles, meaning “the blueberries”.

9. Le melon

This is another cognate. Le melon translates to English as “the melon”, which shouldn’t be too difficult to remember. Just keep in mind that it is a masculine noun.

10. Le citron

Le citron is a masculine noun that means “the lemon” in English.

11. La pêche

La pêche is the name of a French fruit which is called a “peach” in English. You can also get a similar fruit named l’abricot, which is “apricot” when translated to English.

12. L’ananas

Ananas is a masculine singular noun that means “pineapple” when translated to English.

13. La prune

Be careful with this one. La prune means “the plum” in English. If you want to say “prune” in French, you would say la pruneau.

🥛 Dairy products in French

Let’s finally look at 4 kinds of produits laitiers, or dairy products to further expand your vocabulary related to the names of foods and ingredients in French.

1. Le yaourt

Le yaourt translates to English as “the yogurt”. It’s a dairy product or produit laitier and there are other forms of yaourt such as yaourt glacé and yaourt grec, meaning “frozen yougurt” and “Greek yogurt” respectively.

2. Le lait

Le lait is a masculine singular noun that means “the milk” when translated to English. In the supermarket, you’ll find lait demi-écremé, lait écrémé and lait entier, so you can choose between semi-skimmed, skimmed and full fat milk.

3. La fromage

Fromage is a feminine noun that means “cheese” when it’s translated to English. There are several types of fromage, such as fromage bleu known as “blue cheese”, and the fromage made in Camembert.

4. Le beurre

Le beurre is a French noun that means “butter” when translated to English.

Learn the names of foods and ingredients in French

So now you’ve got all the crucial names of food and ingredients in French, what’s next?

You’ll just need to memorise them and practice them next time you go to buy food.

Keep this guide handy to learn and identify the names of food and ingredients in French.

You’ll soon be ordering food in a French restaurant or making that delicious poached poire with the required ingredients.


Any foods or ingredients I missed?

Mention them in the comments section!

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
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