How to Comment About Food in French

Food is often at the very top of French conversations. The French always comment on their food and at home, a cook always expects many compliments. So today, we’ll study how to make positive and negative comments about food.

If you are invited in a French home, you will have to comment on the food. Several times. Just saying “c’est bon” is not going to cut it if you want to follow French etiquette.

Even in a restaurant, it is common to express your satisfaction or disappointment to the waiter, and even sometimes to the chef – in a smaller restaurant, the chef will sometimes come out to talk to his customers. And he is fishing for compliments.

If you have to remember one compliment, I would go with “c’est délicieux” (it’s delicious): simple, yet very effective.

Note that the French comment on everything: the taste of the food and quality of the produce of course, but also the presentation, which is very important as well.

So, here are some useful comments to say about food, pointing out problems, or expressing your satisfaction…

  • Mmmm, c’était absolument délicieux ! Le poulet était tendre, l’assaisonnement très fin et les légumes croquants.
  • Berk, c’était absolument infect ! Le poulet était super dur, l’assaisonnement complètement fade et les légumes beaucoup trop cuits.

Positive Comments About Food In French

  1. La présentation est magnifique /superbe.
    The presentation is gorgeous.
  2. Que/Comme c’est beau. (Note the construction “comme c’est + adjective”)
    How beautiful.
  3. Que/Comme la présentation est belle.
    Difficult to translate literally. But it means “how pretty” , talking about the presentation.
  4. C’est vraiment appétissant.
    It looks tasty/appetising.
  5. J’en ai l’eau à la bouche (idiom).
    It makes my mouth water.
  6. Mmmmmm
    The sound the French will do when something looks appetising / tastes good – you’ll hear a lot of “Mmmm” when the French are eating!
  7. Miam !
    Yum!
  8. Je me régale.
    I am really enjoying it/I love it.
  9. C’est un délice.
    It’s a delight.
  10. C’est vraiment/très bon.
    It’s really/very good.
  11. C’est délicieux.
    It’s delicious.
  12. C’est fameux.
    It’s delicious – a bit more old fashion.
  13. C’est très fin.
    It’s very delicate.
  14. L’assaisonnement est parfait.
    The seasoning is perfect.
  15. La viande est très bien cuite, et tendre.
    The meat is very well cooked, and tender.
  16. Les légumes sont bien croquants.
    The vegetables are nicely crunchy.
food comment learn french
Mmmm ! C’est vraiment délicieux !!

Negative Comments About Food In French

Now for comments you’ll make later, on the way home in your car…

  1. Qu’est-ce que c’était laid (or “moche” in colloquial French)
    It was so ugly.
  2. Berk (or beurk, alternate spelling and pronunciation)
    Yuck.
  3. C’était immangeable.
    It was inedible.
  4. La viande était super dure.
    The meat was super tough.
  5. C’était beaucoup trop cuit.
    It was really over done.
  6. C’était pas assez cuit / c’était cru.
    It was not cooked enough / raw – you may be exaggerating a bit there but it’s OK!
    [Note that in formal French, you would need to say “ce n’était pas assez cuit”. But more and more, we drop the “ne” in spoken French.]
  7. Le poulet était tellement fade.
    The chicken was so bland/tasteless.
  8. La sauce n’avait aucun goût.
    The sauce had no flavor.
  9. Les huîtres n’étaient pas fraîches.
    The oysters were not fresh (you should really have not eaten them! – you might now need to read this)
  10. C’était trop sucré / salé / fort / poivré / épicé – piquant / lourd / brulé / glacé.
    It was too sweet / salty / strong / peppery / spicy / heavy / burnt / very cold.
  11. C’était infect / dégoûtant.
    Or in common slang: c’était dégueulasse (short “dégueu”).
    It was disgusting.

You will find many comments on food used in context in my intermediate level French audiobook À Moi Paris 4, chapter 13 and 14 “Dans Un Grand Restaurant”.

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