Foolproof Food Pronunciations for Your Valentine’s Day Date

If you want to show your Valentine that you are a dining aficionado, brush up on some of these difficult-to-pronounce words. And, while you are at it, learn their meaning


Sure, confidence is everything, but if you’re sitting across from a potential future boyfriend or girlfriend at a restaurant you want to make sure that what you’re talking about makes sense, right?

Absolutely! With Valentine’s Day come lavish restaurants and sophisticated menus and it’s best to be prepared so you know what to say when you are ready to place your order.

It is true that gusto is half the battle, but think how great the satisfaction will be when you order an amuse-bouche and your date is left sitting there in amazement (and a bit of confusion) at your culinary knowledge.

Here’s your guide to pronouncing the menu on your Valentine’s Day date:

Sommelier: (saw-muh-lyey) A waiter that has an extensive knowledge of wine and can help you make a nice selection. When you don’t know what or how to order, he/she can assist but you must be able to pronounce their name.

Maître D': (may-tra-dee) A person who is in charge of the waiters and oversees the seating of customers.

Amuse-Bouche: (amooz-boosh) A one-bite appetizer that is served at the beginning of the meal to blunt the diner's appetite.

Gratinée: (gratin-ae) A breadcrumb topping of seasonings and cheese that is served over vegetables or seafood.

Ganache: (ganash)  A thick glaze or icing made with heavy cream that can be used on pastry and in fillings.

Foie Gras: (fwah-grah) The literal French translation is "fat liver," a purposefully enlarged duck or goose liver that has been seared and served warm or minced and served chilled.

Pâté: (pat-ay) Liver, meat, or fowl that has been ground fine and seasoned.

Truffles: Either a chocolate confection or an edible fungi that grows under the ground, near the roots of trees; both different but considered a delicacy in their own right.

Escargot: (es-car-go) Edible snails that can be served as either an appetizer or main course.


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