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French Restaurant Terms

If asked in a French restaurant how well you like your meat cooked, the standard options (in order of least cooked to most cooked) are:

  • bleu - Literally translates as "blue". This is used to mean VERY rare. Essentially only the surface of the meat is cooked and it is almost raw inside.
  • saignant - Literally translates as "bloody". Most of the inside meat will still be red.
  • à point - About half of the meat inside will still be red. This will be slightly less than what English/Americans would describe as "medium cooked".
  • bien cuit - Literally translates as "well cooked". However, there will still be a bit of red inside. This is slightly less than what English/Americans would describe as "well done".
  • très bien cuit - Literally translates as "very well cooked". The meat will be thoroughly cooked.

In general, the French prefer their steak less cooked than most other nationalities. So, if you like your meat well done, you may need to state this very clearly.

 
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