Ordering Fancy Foods: A Guide for Stupid Americans

Two speech bubbles. Bubble 1: “And for you?” Bubble 2: ”ROCKS“
Two speech bubbles. Bubble 1: “And for you?” Bubble 2: ”ROCKS“

Recently, I was at a restaurant where the menu was mostly French. There was a dish I wanted to order (Oeufs en meurette), but I didn't know how to pronounce it so I had to do that thing where I said the familiar syllables super loud and the mystery syllables in basically a murmur (“I'll have the OOFS EN MeurphmeETTE”).

I had to do that twice so the waiter could hear it and it was utterly humiliating. This can't be the only time a dumb American has to do this song and dance, so I figured I'd compile a list of common fancy words and their proper pronunciations for my fellow idiots.

Fancy Word Pronounce Like…
Sauvignon blanc Southern young blonde
Le Pain Quotidien The Pan Quarter Dan
Crème brûlée Cream broole
Roux Rocks
Sommelier Smiley
Soupçon SoupCon (like the convention)
Plat du jour Plate DiGiorno
Al dente Alf Donkey
Baguette Breddit
Aïoli Açaí
Açaí Aïoli
Croque monsieur Crotch monster

My hope is that you'll put this guide to good use when ordering in the future. If you don't, I'll knock the oui oui out of you.