Vacation in Paris Blog

French Food Expressions

Places To Visit - Posted on Jun 21,2019 by Hampton*Jan

We all know how much the French love food, right? And if you speak French, you’ll likely know that many of their proverbs, idioms and other everyday expressions have something to do with food too. I mean, pourquoi pas? How many of these do you know? And how many of them can you work into your everyday conversations?

Occupe-toi de tes oignons (literally, mind your onions): Mind your own business!

Les carottes sont cuites (literally, the carrots are cooked): It’s too late/nothing can be done.

Avoir la pêche (literally, to have the peach): To be in top form/great spirits.

Ce n’est pas de la tarte (literally, it’s not tart/pie): It’s not easy.

Mettre son grain de sel (literally, to add one’s grain of salt): To add one’s opinion where it’s not wanted/to stick your nose into someone else’s business.

Avoir du pain sur la planche (literally, to have bread on the board): To have a lot to do/a lot on your plate.

En faire tout un fromage (literally, to make a cheese): To make a big deal about something - like a mountain out of a molehill

Haut comme trois pommes (literally, as high as 3 apples): Tiny in height.

La moutarde me monte au nez (literally, the mustard is coming up my nose): I’m getting annoyed.

C’est la fin des haricots (literally, it’s the end of the beans): It’s the last straw/breaking point/there’s no more hope.

What about you – what’s your favourite French food expression?


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About the author
MARDI MICHELS is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of - a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. As part of her job, she runs cooking classes for boys aged 7 to 14. Mardi grew up in Australia, lived and taught in Paris for over five years and now calls Toronto home. In 2014, Mardi and her husband purchased a historic home in southwest France, which they operate as a vacation rental property ( Mardi also French cooking and baking classes for adults and children around Toronto. Her first book, In the French kitchen with kids, was published July 31st 2018 (Appetite by Random House). Read more at:  

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