A list of the 40 most delicious fruits in French
Published on July 4, 2023 / Updated on August 7, 2023
In a land famous for its gastronomy, learning the basic vocabulary around food is not simply a linguistic requirement — it’s a cultural duty. This is true even if you’re a beginner in French. Whether they appear as early as the apéritif or as a meal-capping dessert, fruits are an essential ingredient of French cuisine. You’ll encounter many different kinds of fruit if you’re lucky enough to spend four seasons in France. To help you learn the names for the 40 most common fruits in French, we’ve divided them into categories corresponding to their features and origins.
Les fruits à pépins (seeded fruits) are a type of fruit with seeds inside. Most of the time, the seeds need to be removed before you can eat the fruit. But in some cases, such as grapes, the seeds are edible. Speaking of grapes, you’ll need to watch out for a linguistic pitfall. Aside from being the main ingredient of such famous wines as Bourgogne, Bordeaux and Beaujolais, le raisin (grape) refers to a bunch of grapes. If you wish to talk about one grape only, you need the phrase un grain de raisin.
The table below lists the six main seeded fruits:
Another category of fruits is defined by the stone they contain. In French, these are called fruits à noyau. Here is our list of the seven most common ones:
Alternatively called fruits rouges (red fruits, as per their color) or fruits des bois (wood fruits, due to where they can be found), these are small fruits that often grow in the wild, even though it’s also possible to cultivate them in gardens.
Les agrumes (citrus fruits) are easily recognizable by their thick rind and their pulpy center, which make them ideal for squeezing into fruit juices and lemonades. Since they need a lot of sunshine in order to grow, you’ll often find them in the southern regions of France.
|un citron vert
Rather than housing seeds or stones, les fruits à coque (shelled fruits) have an external shell that protects them. Some, like les noix (walnuts), can appear in a fruit bowl at the end of a meal. Others, such as les pistaches (pistachios) or les noix de cajou (cashew nuts), are a common feature of French apéritifs.
|a sweet chestnut
|une noix de cajou
|a cashew nut
If you fancy something a bit more out of the ordinary, the seven fruits exotiques (exotic fruits) in our table below may be to your taste. Some have graced French tables for decades or even centuries, while others are more recent additions to the French culinary palette.
With our list of 40 words, you’ll know the vocabulary of the main fruits in French, divided by category to make it easier to memorize them. From breakfast to dinner and from the apéritif until dessert, give them a try, linguistically and in the kitchen!