Order your next French Pastry like a French native

Do you hesitate when ordering your French pastries? Having difficulty pronouncing them all? Here's THE article to learn how to pronounce some of the most popular French pastries!
We love to eat them but do we know how to pronounce them? Here are 10 French pastries with accompanying audio clips on how to pronounce them so you can be ready to order them «en français».

Croissants

Crescent shaped buttery bread made of sweet flaky layered puff pastry.

croissant

Usually eaten for breakfast with coffee. The croissant has its origins in
Viennese cuisine and is said to have been brought to France by Queen Marie Antoinette. Though not originally from France, the croissant we know as of today is uniquely French as the crescent bread roll was re-invented from it's Austrian origin when it used layered puff pastry.

 

Crêpes

Soft, delicate, wafer thin cakes eaten either as a dessert or as part of a meal.

crêpes

Can be eaten by itself but usually accompanied by different fillings. For sweet crepes -  fruits, chocolate, and cream, while for savoury crepes  - cheese, mushrooms, salmon, and other proteins and vegetables. The classic French crêpe however is served simply with caramelized sugar and butter and a sprinkle of lemon juice. Originates from Brittany, France.

 

 

Macaron

Colourful and sweet mini sandwiches made of airy almond meringue cookies, and filled with cream, ganache, or fruit filling.

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Available in a multitude of flavours like chocolate, tea, and fruits. Macarons are of Italian origin and was brought to France by Queen Catherine
de Medici's Italian pastry chefs. Originally served just as almond cookies, the macaron we know as of today, with its filling and different spices, was developed around the 1930s.



Mille feuille

The Mille Feuille, meaning thousand leaves,  is made of layers of puff pastry and rich custard pastry cream and most of the time glazed with icing and a drizzle of chocolate.

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Standard Mille feuilles use only three layers of puff pastry but give the illusion that it has a thousand layers once done. Though its origins are heavily debated, it is very similar and can be considered a close cousin of the Italian pastry known as the Napoleon, which is made of almond paste instead of pastry cream.



Tarte au citron

The classic French lemon tart made with a crispy buttery crust and  smooth tangy lemon custard.

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Though usually seen in patisseries with beautifully torched meringue tops, the traditional tarte au citron is served without the meringue and enjoyed simply with the beautiful lemon custard filling.

 

 

Beignet

Beignets are deep fried golden pastry dough, served warm with a generous amount of confectioners' sugar.

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Usually made from pâte à choux that makes them airy and light, there are also beignets that use yeast and are denser much like the brioche. Beignets are favourite carnival snacks during big festivals like Mardi-Gras. They are also served as children's afternoon snacks.

 

 

Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée or "burnt cream" is a a rich custard dessert topped with torched caramelised sugar.

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The rich smooth custard opposed with the crunchy caramelised sugar makes this one of the favourite French desserts of all time. Splash a bit of rum, brandy or Grand Marnier, before torching the sugar to give it that extra flavour.

 

 

Cannelés

A bite sized pastry with a crispy caramelised outer shell and soft custard-cake like interior.

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Aside from the beautiful texture, the aroma of rum, vanilla, and burnt sugar also makes it difficult to simply just have one. These uniquely shaped heavenly desserts originate from Bordeaux, France 

 

 

Madeleine

Dainty, delicate, finger sized tea cakes, with a distinct sea shell shape, madeleines are the epitome of French culture that French author Marcel Proust wrote about in his 1920s autobiographical novel À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past).

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Originating from the Lorraine region in northeastern France, this has been a favourite by the French since the time of King Louis XV.

 

 

Tarte Tatin

An upside down apple tart made with sticky caramelised apples on top and crispy and buttery tart pastry at the bottom.

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This comforting dessert is attributed to the Tatin sisters, Carolina and Stephine Tatin, who were said to have invented the dessert by accident and served it in their hotel as their signature dish.

Other sources however, like Larousse Gastronomique, say that this style of making upside tarts using apples and pears have been a specialty of Sologne and is found throughout Orléanais. One thing everyone agrees on with the Tarte Tatin is that it must be served warm with a dollop of cold cream slowly melting on top. 


 

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