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Bouffer de la bonne bouffe

There are two new videos dealing with food on Yabla this week. The first is the latest episode of Le Jour où tout a basculé, which focuses on a struggling frozen-food worker and her difficult son. The second is an interview with Christian Le Squer, the head chef at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Cinq. Both videos contain a good number of interesting food-related words, which we'll go over in this lesson. 


1. Des pâtes 

Y a quoi pour le dîner? -Des pâtes.

What's for dinner? -Pasta.

Captions 3-4, Le Jour où tout a basculé - J'ai volé pour nourrir mon fils

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"Pasta" is a singular noun, but when you say you're having pasta for dinner, you don't mean you're just having one piece of pasta, right? That's why you say des pâtes (plural) in French when talking about a pasta meal. Une pâte (singular) refers to one piece of pasta, and it's also the word for "paste," "pastry," and "dough." Don't confuse it with le pâté, which means—you guessed it—"pâté."


2. Bouffer

Pourtant, ça empêche pas mes potes de bouffer de la viande.

Even so, that doesn't stop my buddies from eating meat.

Caption 49, Le Jour où tout a basculé - J'ai volé pour nourrir mon fils

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This is a very common slang word meaning "to eat." You can use it instead of the standard verb manger when speaking informally. And instead of la nourriture (food), you can say la bouffe.


3. Des plats surgelés

Sarah, quarante-cinq ans,

Sarah, forty-five years old,

est secrétaire dans une société de fabrication de plats surgelés.

is a secretary at a frozen-food manufacturing company.

Captions 34-35, Le Jour où tout a basculé - J'ai volé pour nourrir mon fils

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Des plats surgelés are frozen foods, but the term literally means "frozen dishes." Surgelé(e) is mostly used in food contexts and is often interchangeable with the related adjective congelé(e). The more general word for "frozen" is simply gelé(e). 


4. Le couvert 

Une quarantaine de couverts...

About forty place settings...

Caption 9, Christian Le Squer - Je ne fais que goûter!

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Couvert is the past participle of the verb couvrir (to cover), but when used as a noun (le couvert) it means "place setting" or "cutlery." This makes sense if you think about it, since when you set a table, you cover it with plates, glasses, and silverware. In fact, the phrase mettre le couvert means "to set the table," or literally, "to put down the place setting." 


5. Torréfier 

Faut la faire torréfier.

It's got to be roasted.

Caption 23, Christian Le Squer - Je ne fais que goûter!

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Christian Le Squer is referring to a hazelnut (une noisette) that he thinks needs to be roasted. Torréfier is mainly used when talking about roasting nuts or coffee beans. When you're roasting meat or vegetables, you use the verb rôtir or faire rôtir


6. Une entrée

...viande, poisson, entrée, et sucrée.

...meat, fish, starters, and sweets.

Caption 34, Christian Le Squer - Je ne fais que goûter!

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In American English, "entrée" is another word for "main course." But une entrée actually means an "appetizer" or "starter" in French. It also means "an entrance." To remember this difference in meaning, just think of an appetizer as the "entrance" to a meal. If you'd like to learn the history of the word "entrée" in English, check out this interesting blog post.


And for more food-related words, see this Yabla lesson


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