Did you know that the french don’t really have one word in their vocabulary for nuts?

The lonely peanut, By Ruth HolroydMany people mistakenly think the word noix or noisettes is the word for nuts.

Indeed this might be just the word you’re looking for if you’re allergic to certain types of nuts only, but if you’re allergic to peanuts or all nuts you need to use a completely different phrase and approach in France.

What do the french call nuts?

Fruits secs is the term used in France to describe dry fruit. Note that is DRY fruit not dried fruit. The dictionary meaning explains it as food that is naturally dry and contains a kernel.

They also say fruits a coque and the word coque means shell or husk which when explained, does make sense, but caused us endless confusion on our holiday skiing in France earlier this year.

The words for other nuts are as follows:

  • Almond – l’amande (Pronounced: lah mahnd)
  • Cashew – l’anacarde (pronounced: lah-nah-card)
  • Chestnut – le marronnier or la châtaigne (pronounced: leh mah-rohn, lah shah-tay-nhy)
  • Hazelnut – la noisette (pronounced: lah nwah-zeht)
  • Walnut – la noix (pronounced: lah nwah)
  • Peanut – l’arachide or la cacahouète (pronounced: lah-rah-sheed, lah kah-kah-wayt)
  • Pecan – noix de pécan (pronounced: Nwah de paycan)

So how have you found eating out in France?

Have you tried it? Do you find it easy? I am lucky to have a husband who speaks very good French so this does help but it is very scary and difficult even for him and I wonder how we would have survived without his knowledge of the language.

If you can communicate that you wish your steak to be cooked just in oil because you cannot eat any butter due to an allergy there is usually something. I do pity the vegan person with allergies – the French are not that kind to anyone who doesn’t want to eat their delicious meat. I find I order steak medium rare they breath a sigh of relief the the English tourist at least understand how meat should be cooked.

Allergy thankfully is a very similar word in french – allergie.

I’d love to hear how you have got on eating out on holiday and in particular how you manage the language barrier? The translation cards need to get a little complicated when you have multiple allergies…


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