A Soupçon of Mustard

I don’t know if you know it, but I love the word soupçon. Long before I knew what it meant in French, I just loved the sound of it, and its general cheeky French air.

If you’ve never come across it before, in English it’s usually used to refer to a small amount (e.g. a pinch) of an ingredient in a recipe: Add just a soupçon of mustard, something like that. Even without knowing what its original meaning, I just liked the sound of it. And yes, it’s quite pretentious to use it, but then it is French after all.

So what does it mean in French?

A suspicion.

That’s great, isn’t it? In fact, now that I think about it, suspicion would work well in English too. Add just a suspicion of mustard. But of course soupçon is better. And it’s pretentiousness and Frenchness is really suited to talking about cooking.

They use it that way in French too by the way, basically meaning a touch or a pinch, but I think using it in English gives a little exotic spice.

5 thoughts on “A Soupçon of Mustard

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