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Seafood is a staple of French cuisine, and although the number of people attending church regularly has dropped over the years it’s still traditional in some areas of France for fish to be served on Friday.

Whether you buy your fish direct from the local fishermen who set up their stalls in the harbours all around the French coast, from your local market, fishmonger, or when trying to navigate your way around a French menu in a restaurant, you may find the following list of the most common  French/English fish names helpful.

 

Abadèche rouge – type of sea bass
Abusseau – type of sea smelt
Aigle de mer – skate
Aiglefin/ Lieu or Haddock (if smoked) – Haddock
Ailes de Raie – Skate wings
Amandes de Mer / Dog Cockle (type of Clam)
Anchois – Anchovies
Anguille – Eel
Araignee de mer – Spider crab
Baleine (the word is used for the species in general) – Whale
Bar or Loup de mer (depends where you are) – Bass / Sea Bass
Barbue – Brill
Brochet – Pike
Brochet de la Mer – Barracuda
Brocheton – young Pike
Bulots – Whelks
Cabillaud – Cod
Calamars – Squid
Carrelet or Plie – Plaice
Couteaux – Razor fish
Coquilles St. Jacques – Scallops
Congre – Conger
Crevette grises – small Shrimp (brown)
Grosses Crevette / Crevettes Royale – large Prawns
Crevettes (roses) – Shrimps – common prawn
Crustacés – Shellfish
Darnes de poisson- Fish steak
Daurade – Sea Bream
Dorade commune – Red Bream
Dorade grise – Black Bream
écrevisse – crayfish
Espadon – Sword Fish
Esturgeon – Sturgeon
Etrilles (small crabs with flat legs) – Velvet swimming crab
Friture – whitebait
Gambas – King Prawn
Homard – Lobster
Huître – Oyster
Julienne – Ling (type of Cod)
Langoustine – Langoustine (Dublin’s Bay Prawns)
Lieu Jaune – Pollack
Lieu Noir – Pollock
Limande – Dab – member of the plaice family
Limande sole – Lemon sole
Lotte – Monkfish
Merlan – Whiting
Merlu/Colin (various names used for the same fish) – Hake
Morue – Salted Cod (fish when fresh is Cabillaud )
Palourdes – Clams
Perche – Perch
Poisson – fish
Requin – Shark
Roussette – Dog Fish
Sandre – Zander
Saumon – Salmon
Seiche – Cuttlefish
Thon – Tuna
Tombe – gunarde (fish)
Tourteaux or Dormeur – Brown Crab
Truite – Trout (as a general term)
Truite Arc-en-Ciel – Rainbow trout
Truite Fario – Brown trout

With thanks to our former FrenchEntrée forum members.

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