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Jan 27, 2008 05:21 AM

Dumb question on pronunciation...

How n earth do you pronounce Le Crueset? I have a kitchen full of it and have no idea how to pronounce it. I was just at Williams Sonoma and purchased a piece and got a really odd look from the saleswoman when I asked for it... so I'm sure I am pronouncing it wrong!

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  1. Let me try here to spell it out. Lay- Crew-say. There you go! PS-no question is dumb when you ask it.

    16 Replies
      1. re: blondelle

        I guess so! ( I never took French). I guess I was giving her the Americanized french version. LOL.

        1. re: chocchipcookie

          I took French and my teacher would pronounce it:
          Ler Crew-say.

          1. re: Gio

            LOL! Goodness! Well, IMHO, as long as the last part is right I don't care how you say Le. It is the Crew-set that makes me cringe. Also-
            Emile Henry-that is a really funny one. That is even hard to spell out the way to say it. Eeemeal-On-ri.

            1. re: chocchipcookie

              I think it is:

              "Luh Cruhzay" - the "eu" sounds like the "u" in full, or crud, rather than "crew" (it would be "crew" if it were "cruset").


      2. re: chocchipcookie

        One slight emendation: in French, "le" is pronounced something like "luh", with a light, unstressed vowel sound similar to the "a" in "above" or the "e" in "angel." The plural form, "les", sounds like "lay."

        1. re: Miss Priss

          Also know that in French, an «s» that sits between wovels will not be pronouced as an «sss» sound but will be softened to a «z» sound like the «s» in «cruise» (and the correct spelling would be Creuset, not Crueset). Creuset is the generic French name for any crucible.

          1. re: Hákarl Durian

            I don't know if I should be taking French pronounciation lessons from someone who spells vowels with a "w".;-)

            1. re: wolfe

              Oops, seem to have switched the v and w in vowel : ). I don't often write in English, I'm French-speaking,

              I got a Creuset at Christmas this year. I grew up with these, my parents have a huge one that is more than 30 years old. At the time, I doubt there was anything hip or trendy about these. They're only extremely durable (and possibly for the older red ones, cadmium laden, if wikipedia is to be believed) cookware.

              I admit I gasped when I went to shop for one this Fall and saw the price : 300$ for a pot, Ouch !

              1. re: Hákarl Durian

                I have use a Staub, but recently discovered Tramontina (made in China by a Brazilian firm) and for $39.99, they have a 6.5 qt that works just as good as the Lay Crewsay. It isn't as good as the Staub though. I bought the 3.5 qt, and use it all the time (under $30.00)....It's the difference of paying the French's 5 year maternity leaves and pensions for life or Chinese slave labor--hope there's no lead in it.....

          2. re: Miss Priss

            "Le" rhymes more or less with the.

            1. re: masha

              probably should be closer to rhyming with the oo in foot than the e in the.

              1. re: chazzerking

                You are correct. Just want to be sure they don't pronounce it similar to "lay," which is the temptation of those who've studied Spanish, but not French.

                1. re: chazzerking

                  I was going to suggest as the oo in look

                2. re: masha

                  Yes, but "the" has two pronunciations in English.

                  The e in "le" is more or less what English-speakers call a schwa. Never Lay, which sounds like an English-speaker trying to say Les, which is the plural. (for le and la).

                  I also speak Spanish, and Italian.

                  1. re: lagatta

                    Exactly. In my earlier post, I was simply using the examples that my French-English dictionaries give for the schwa sound.

            2. Amblergirl, I don't know about you but from now on I am calling it: the extremely -heavy-brightly-colored cast iron cookware. And now I know why I took Spanish and not French. I'm confused! But then that is to be expected when I learned how to speak french from Pepe Le Pew.

              24 Replies
              1. re: chocchipcookie

                Heck, just go into any cookware store and ask if they have any of that brightly colored, French, overpriced, enameled iron Yuppieware, and they will know exactly the one you mean...LOL! BTW, for us using Staub, that's pronounced Stobe. Just ask for that OTHER overpriced French enameled cookware ;-).

                1. re: blondelle

                  Thanks for that blondelle. I was the one calling it Stawb. After all.. I'm from New England.

                  1. re: blondelle

                    Hmmm...I thought it was overpriced GERMAN enamaled cookware (pronounced "Shtowp"). That would explain the blank stare I got from the salesman! :-)

                    This thread calls to mind a passage in "The Scavenger's Guide To Haute Cuisine" in which author Steven Rinella muses about how to properly pronounce "Le Guide Culinaire" without sounding either too lowbrow or too snobbish.

                    1. re: jzerocsk

                      LOL, I thought the same thing about Staub being Germanic! (German major here--what can I say!)

                      1. re: coney with everything

                        I believe that Staub cookware originates in Alsace, which is a part of France that was once German. Or a part of Germany that's now French. It's been a political football for centuries.

                      2. re: jzerocsk

                        Hmm...Shtowp sounds like something nasty in Yiddish.

                          1. re: Fru

                            I suppose that's how some people feel after paying full price.

                          2. re: jzerocsk

                            Staub is from Alsace, a region of France on the German border, where the native language is a German dialect, obviously with French influences.

                            And the father of the Marx brothers was Alsatian. They picked up Yiddish from Eastern European Jewish kids, in NYC.

                            Stawb is closer to the pronunciation than Stobe.

                            1. re: lagatta

                              Did I miss the previous reference to the Marx brothers?

                                1. re: yayadave

                                  To Yiddish, also to Alsatian and German (Staub).

                                  1. re: lagatta

                                    Which naturally brings us to the Marx brothers and big dogs.

                                    1. re: yayadave

                                      Of course, I missed the clue or did I schipperke connection.

                                      1. re: wolfe

                                        I was thinking "Alsatian", but your move to Belgium brings up good, dark beer, which is excellent for braising chuck roast in a Staub or Le Creuset.

                                        1. re: yayadave

                                          Looking back on this thread, my comments stem from the earlier ones about Staub being Germanic and Shtowp sounding like something nasty in Yiddish.

                                          (Marx Brothers were Alsatian/German speaking but picked up Yiddish from the much larger Eastern European Jewish community in NYC). And I was being a bit silly so as not to be pedantic - for me it is normal to speak French, of course.

                                          Oh yes, our local "St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout" is good for braising anything, but that is very much about food, not cookware!

                                          1. re: lagatta

                                            Umm, I had to look up pendantic...Oy ve!

                                            1. re: Fru

                                              So far we have racked up France, Alsace, Belgium and Canada. Languages mentioned are French, German, Yiddish and English.
                                              Somehow we got to the Marx brothers without mentioning "2 hard boiled eggs" and I'll bet Amber Girl is overwhelmed by our helpfulness. To finish it off I believe there is a Y in ve.

                                              1. re: wolfe

                                                Sorry for the typo. Now, gai avek!

                                                1. re: Fru

                                                  Better still to maintain a food reference, vahksin zuls du vi a tsibeleh, mitten kup in drerd.

                                                  1. re: wolfe

                                                    And I'll put that in my Staub and saute it!

                        1. Click below, and then on "Ecouter la définition".


                          1. It might be helpful to remember when you're shopping or in a restaurant that although your pronunciation may not be spot on, that doesn't mean that the server or salesperson knows any better, even if they're really, really sure they do.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: yayadave

                              Well, I just called Le Creuset about something and the recorded message called it Luh Crew-say. I guess that must be it, but a gal from there once pronounced it Lah Crew-say, but maybe that's just the Tennessee accent...LOL!

                              1. re: blondelle

                                I have written to the company's website, suggesting that they put an audio file, like the one you found, of the correct pronounciation of «Le Creuset» on their English websites (in fact, a friend of mine had the idea, I hadn't seen the audio link on this thread until now).

                                They answered me that they would forward the idea to their international webmaster.

                            2. I pronounce it "the red pot"