Wild Game Glossary

wild game restaurants paris

Wild game season is upon us, and we’ve put together this little cheat sheet for those of you who don’t know your biche from your bécasse. 

Animals

bécasse – woodcock
biche – doe, young female deer
canard sauvage – wild duck
cerf – stag, older male deer
chamois – mountain goat
chevreuil – young male deer
colvert
– wild mallard duck
faisan
– pheasant
gibier à plumes – could include duck, pheasant or other wild birds
gibier à poils – could include hare, boar or deer
grive – thrush
grouse
– grouse
lièvre
– hare
marcassin
– young wild boar
ortolan
– a songbird similar to a finch*
palombe
– wood pigeon
perdrix, perdreau
– partridge
sanglier
– wild boar
sarcelle
– teal, a species of wild duck

* the consumption of ortolan is now forbidden in France.

Cuts & Preparations

civet – stew, traditionally thickened with blood
crapaudine – grilled game bird with backbone removed
dos – back
gigue – haunch
noisette – a small, round piece
tourte – savory pie, often made with flaky pastry

Want more wild?

6 Comments on Wild Game Glossary

  1. Great article. I love the fact that you posted this. Sometimes it is a great reminder of the terms that are used for meats and cuts. I will be sharing this with some friends that were recently doubting what I was telling them! Keep up the great work.

  2. Hi Kate, I know the Aligre vollaille shop you’re referring to (inside the covered market) and they have a few more things now – wild duck, red and grey partridge, pheasant, hare. I saw a huge cut of deer last week. I think it’s just really variable depending on what day you arrive and what they have in. I’ve also seen a vendor at the outdoor Marché Raspail (not the organic one) who has a ton of stuff in game season. Anyone else have a recommendation?

  3. Any tip-offs as to decent wild game butchers in Paris? My local market (Aligre) has one ‘game butcher’ but it’s mostly actually chicken with the odd scraggy piece of boar or venison. In sixteen years here I have never found a good source.

  4. Awesome list, must admit I have stumbled through those words before, and indeed crapaudine is new to me…

  5. It needs to be flat, which can be accomplished by removing the backbone. Pounding the crap(audine) out of it is then optional 😉

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