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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Common ENGLISH VOCABULARY & EXPRESSIONS from French cooking

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Welcome to

I'm Adam.

In today's video, I want to look at ten words and expressions from the French culinary world.


These are French culinary words; means they're talking about cooking, and eating, etc.

But the reason that I chose these ten is because they are very commonly used in everyday English,

and not only to talk about food; they have very different contexts... excuse me.

Very different contexts as well.

So, we're going to look at "� la carte".

Oh, and by the way, for the French speakers watching this video, if I butcher the language,

I apologize in advance.


"� la carte", "piquant", "prix fixe", "savour/savor".

Now, we have with the "u" and without the "u", so British Canadian spelling, American


"Menu", which a lot of you already know.

"Du jour", "� la mode", "pice de rsistance", "caf�", and "cuisine".


Now, we're going to go one by one, and I'll show you in what other contexts they can be


Now, "� la carte" basically means according to the menu, but what it does is it allows

you to order things individually as opposed to a set or a package.


So, if you go to a restaurant, they have a meal plan, like a set meal; all these things

are included.

For example, you have appetizer, main course, dessert.

You can also order other items on the menu individually and pay for them separately.

So, whatever is in the menu...

In the set, in the dinner set, for example, comes with it.

If you want to add anything, you order it separately and pay for it on top of the meal


But we also use this to talk about any package deal.


So, for example, you go buy a smartphone, a mobile phone and the company offers you

a full package with all the features that are available for this phone.

Now, you don't need all...

For example, if you don't need all these features, you can buy a basic plan and then choose your...

The features you wantla carte.


So, we don't only use it for food; we use it for any situation where you can pick individual

features to...

And pay for each one separately.



"Piquant" means spicy, but not spicy like burn your head off; spicy in a good way, like,

just enough of a sting on the tongue to make it enjoyable.


So that's when we're talking about food.

We can also use "piquant" to talk about a person.

You could say: "The woman is dressed in a piquant way."

Or somebody speaks with a little bit of a piquant attitude.

Basically, he means with a little bit of attitude; a little bit risky, a little bit racy, but

in a way that has a good effect.

It's a bit charming, you could even say.

It's piquant; it's not...

It's not bland, it's not boring.

It has a little bit of flavour, even though you're talking about a person or something

a person says or does, etc.

"Prix fixe", so again, let's go back to the restaurant.

You go to a restaurant and they have a prix fixe - means they have a set price.

It means fixed price and you pay this much...

You pay $50 and these are all the things you get.


You don't...

You can't add anything; there's nola carte menu.

There's one set, one price - that's what you pay.

Again, going back to the mobile phone, you can buy a package and it's a fixed price;

you can't make any changes to it, no substitutions, no add-ons, no extra features, etc.

Or you can just buy thela carte items as you need them.



Now, "savour" basically means to really feel or really enjoy the flavour of something.


And when you talk about "savour" as a noun, it has that special flavour that makes a dish

really good.

And many of you might know "savoury".

Savoury or sweet.

You can have, like, a savoury crepe or a sweet crepe.

"Savoury" means more of the salty flavour.

But when we savour something...

We can savour anything.

You can savour the sunset, you can savour a book, you can savour a good wine or food,

and you can savour something.

It means you take the time to really, really enjoy it, and appreciate everything that it

has to offer.


I think everybody...

Well, most people know "menu", but "menu" is not only in a restaurant.

You can go into a store and you want to buy something, and you want to know all the products

they have available - they show you a menu of items.

So, basically, a "menu" is just a list of available products for purchase, or available

services for purchase.

So, many companies just use the word "menu" because everybody understands it; they know

it's a list of available things to buy, and you choose your items.

Now, "du jour".

Some of you may have seen my older video about foreign words commonly used in English, and

I already spoke about "du jour", but again, it's very relevant to this lesson, but you

can also watch that lesson to get other foreign words that are used in English.

"Du jour" means "of the day".

So, the most common use is "soup du jour", "soup of the day".

But we talk about all kinds of other kinds.

So, anything that is du jour is what is popular today.

You can talk about general things.

So, for example, even in politics, the scandal du jour.

There are so many scandals lately that you don't know how to keep up, so the scandal

du jour is what is happening today.

Tomorrow there'll be a new scandal, last week there was a new scandal.

Today's scandal, the one that is most popular, the one that is on the news is the scandal

du jour.


Of the day.

Related, but different: "� la mode" means of the fashion.

"Mode" is fashion.

So, something that isla mode is what is fashionable today.

And, again, it doesn't have to be food.

Now, if you go to the US, for example, or even in Canada, and you go to a restaurant

and you order piela mode, for some reason, that means pie with ice cream.

"� la mode" has been...

Somehow translated into "with ice cream", if you go to a restaurant.

But "� la mode" means of the fashion.

So, basically, what is trendy.


So, you're going to wear something, like if you're talking about clothes...

It could be food, whatever is trendy in food, or it could be fashion.

You have to dressla mode; you have to dress according to the fashion.

You have to speak according to the fashion.

You have to write booksla mode; according to the fashion, according to what is popular

and trendy today.

"Pice de rsistance", so this is the main feature, like, when you're talking about

food, you have your appetizer, your salad, your soup, your entre, your dessert, but

then the pice de rsistance usually is the one dish that is the most amazing; the

most beautiful, the most delicious.


But we also use this for anything that is the main feature.

So, if you go to a conference and there's a...

You know, a whole list of speakers giving speeches or keynote addresses, and then you

have the pice de rsistance; like, the main speaker.

The main event of the night, we also call it the pice de rsistance.

"The thing that is hard to resist", you can say it in that way.

Everybody knows "caf�".

You go to a caf�, you have a coffee.


Or you go to a cafand you have...

You sit down, you order something to eat and a little coffee, but this word has become

so common in so many different contexts; we have internet cafs, we have...

Sorry, we have a fly in my face.

That's not in a caf�, though.

Internet cafs.

We have all kinds of cafs that specialize in something.

So, a cafused to specialize in coffee; now you have cafs for anything...

Any boutique store.

And "boutique" is also a French word, by the way.

So, anything that is boutique, anything that is specialized, we just call it a cafthese


Now, "cuisine".

In French, "cuisine" means kitchen, but now "cuisine" basically means anything to do with

cooking or food.

All right?

So we...

If you like to eat French cuisine, you like to eat French dishes; if you like Italian

cuisine, Chinese cuisine, if you like Portuguese cuisine...

We use "cuisine" for anything to do with cooking and the style of cooking.

So, it's not only French anymore; it belongs to everybody.

It's a very common word in English.


So, there you go.


You've learned more vocabulary.

Even though you didn't learn English words, you learned French words, but again, used

in everyday English as well, and not only about food, lots of different contexts.

So, if you want to make sure you understand all these words, go to and

take the quiz, test your knowledge of these words.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments section below.

And please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Don't forget that in engVid, you can go to the search box, you can click on my name there

as well.

I have lots of different videos; lots of other teachers with lots of other videos to help

you improve your English.

Don't be shy, look around, watch the videos, come back for even more videos to help you

improve your English.

I'll see you again very soon with something new.


The Description of Common ENGLISH VOCABULARY & EXPRESSIONS from French cooking