In books: "The Food of France: A Journey for Food Lovers"
croquer (kro-kay) verb
to crunch; to sketch; to devour or eat in a rush
Croquez des pommes, pas des pesticides.
Crunch apples, not pesticides.
--France Nature Environnement (current campaign slogan)
A Day in a French Life...
Just when lunch options are boiling down to canned sardines in lemon juice and a bland ball of mozzarella, Max comes back from the village with two baguettes sliced in half.
"I asked the boulanger* to cut them for me so they would fit in my backpack," my son explains, returning from his jaunt with the fresh baked surprise.
"Sandwiches!" I think, reopening the frigo* and seeing the cheese in another light. That's when I spot the grappe* tomatoes in the tiroir* below. "Perfect!" Out comes the frying pan, in goes a swirl of olive oil and the baguettes, their insides now filled with Italian fromage,* sliced red "fruit," and fresh basil, clipped thin as grass.
I search for something pesant* and find a cast-iron saucepan to weigh down the stuffed bread. I add another pan, and another, and top off the leaning tower of casseroles with an eight-liter cocotte,* flattening the sandwiches into crisp and savory paninis.
At the table, I pass out Sopalins* after handing the kids their plates. Next, I search my children's faces for a verdict. Are the sandwiches any good?
"Ils sont bons tes croque-monsieurs!"* Jackie says, at once frenchifying and formalizing the impromptu meal-in-a-loaf.
References: le boulanger (la boulangère) = baker; le frigo (m) = fridge; la grappe (f) = vine (tomatoes); le tiroir (m) drawer; le fromage (m) = cheese; pesant(e) = heavy; la cocotte (f) = pot; le Sopalin (from "Société du Papier-Linge") = paper towel (such as the term "Kleenex" is used for tissue); Ils sont bons tes croque-monsieurs! = Your croque-monsieurs are good! (a croque-monsieur is, normally, a toasted ham and cheese sandwich)
Listen: hear my son, Max, pronounce the verb croquer: Download croquer.wav
Terms & Expressions:
croquant(e) = crisp, crunchy
croquignolet(te) = cute
joli(e) à croquer = pretty as a picture
un croquis = a sketch
un croqueur (une croqueuse) = an eater, devourer
une croqueese de diamants = "a diamond cruncher" = a gold digger
le croquant (la croquante) = country bumpkin
le croque-madame = toasted ham and cheese sandwich with fried egg on top
croquembouche = pyramid of cream-filled pastry balls
le croque-mitaine = bogeyman (or boogeyman, boogieman)
le croque-monsieur = toasted ham and cheese sandwich
le croquenote (or le croque-note) = a bad musician ("the crunch note")
le croque-mort = undertaker
à croquer = adorable
à la croque au sel = with a sprinkling of salt (something seasoned with salt only i.e. celery)
Verb conjugation: je croque, tu croques, il/elle croque, nous croquons, vous croquez, ils/elles croquent => past participle = croqué
Whether you're learning French for fun, school, or work, 2,000+ Essential French Verbs makes everything simple-conjugations, tenses, irregulars, and even conversation.
Also: 2001 French and English Idioms
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