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Old 19.04.2012, 15:22
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Meat Translations in French Speaking Switzerland

Here are some tips on meat translations when buying at the grocery store from English to French:

Pork:
• Bacon is EASY to buy in Switzerland - no need to import water-pumped rubbish! As in the UK, it is simply thinly sliced poitrine, or belly, preserved with salt. The French tend to slice their poitrine fairly thickly, in order to make lardons, so you need to ask for the slices to be ‘fine’ (pronounced ‘feen’). Bacon is rarely injected with water in Switzerland, so you get more for your money, it tastes better and crisps-up easily. Do not be fooled by the packets called ‘bacon’ - these are just brined, trimmed pork, and not the same at all.
• Echine - meaning shoulder, encompasses the blade bone and spare ribs.
• Plat de côtes - is from where the hand and belly meet, whereas...
• Côtes - are where the carré comes from, and is made up of loin chops. Basically, rack of pork.
• Filet - in Switzerland, is from the hind loin area of the pig. The English fillet is from the part which the French call jambon, or ‘ham’.
• If you want your joint with crackling, this should be no problem for your local butcher, but you may need to order it in advance. Ask for the joint ‘avec la couenne’ (pronounced la ‘quwen’).
• joues - cheeks.

Chicken, duck and goose etc:
It’s pretty easy to see which bit is which on a small bird, but here is some useful vocab.
• Poulet - chicken (probably ex-layer, and the ‘normal’ age to buy one).
• Poulette - young chicken.
• Coq - cockerel.
• Pintade - guinea fowl.
• Dinde - turkey.
• Volaille - fowl/ poultry.
• Cuisses - thighs.
• Magret - breast.
• Carcasse - carcasse, the same in english, these are the empty remains of a butchered bird, which are sold in Switzerland for making stocks and soups.

Lamb:
• Gigot d’agneau - leg of lamb.
• Echine - shoulder.
• Côtes - chump.
• Collet - scrag (end).
• Poitrine/ poitrail - breast
• Côtelette - chop. usually from the rack of lamb, where the British cutlet comes from.
• Jarret - can mean shank or shin.
• Selle d’agneau - saddle.

Steaks:
• Bifteck/ steak - steak.
• Bavette - undercut -it is cheap and comes from the skirt, which is why it is textured with long muscle fibres. Can be very good, and less tough than one imagines!
• Filet - fillet.
• Faux filet - the same in English.
• Steak à hacher - steak which is lean but not that tender. It is used for steak tartare and steak haché. Steak haché looks like a burger, but is simply this high quality steak minced up and pressed together. it is usually freshly don, which is why people are happy to eat them rare. You cannot compare a steak haché to a beef/ hamburger.
• Romsteak/ rumsteak - rump steak.
• Aloyau - sirloin.
• Entrecôte - ribeye.
• Tournedos/ filet mignon - tenderloin steak usually cut almost as high as it is wide. basically a chunk of tender steak, usually served quite rare unless otherwise requested (see ‘Steak Doneness’) You can get ‘tournedos’ of lamb, too.

Other beef:
• Tête de veau - rolled veal head, including the tongue.
• Langue de bœuf beef tongue.
• Gîte (à la noix) topside.
• Tranche grasse - silverside
pope’s eye

Other body parts (!):
• Cul - tail.
• Cou - neck.
• Tranche - meaning ‘slice’, implies a steak of any meat other than beef.
• Filet/ longue/ aloyau - all words for loin. Loin chop is ‘côte première’.
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