HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Dumb question on pronunciation...

AmblerGirl Jan 27, 2008 05:21 AM

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!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. chocchipcookie RE: AmblerGirl Jan 27, 2008 05:45 AM

    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: chocchipcookie
      blondelle RE: chocchipcookie Jan 27, 2008 05:51 AM

      Isn't it Luh- Crew-say?

      1. re: blondelle
        chocchipcookie RE: blondelle Jan 27, 2008 05:55 AM

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

        1. re: chocchipcookie
          Gio RE: chocchipcookie Jan 27, 2008 05:58 AM

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

          1. re: Gio
            chocchipcookie RE: Gio Jan 27, 2008 06:05 AM

            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
              MMRuth RE: chocchipcookie Jan 27, 2008 06:23 AM

              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
        Miss Priss RE: chocchipcookie Jan 27, 2008 06:16 AM

        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
          Hákarl Durian RE: Miss Priss Jan 27, 2008 06:35 AM

          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
            wolfe RE: Hákarl Durian Jan 27, 2008 10:55 AM

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

            1. re: wolfe
              Hákarl Durian RE: wolfe Jan 27, 2008 05:55 PM

              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
                hankstramm RE: Hákarl Durian Jan 27, 2008 07:20 PM

                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
            masha RE: Miss Priss Jan 27, 2008 12:59 PM

            "Le" rhymes more or less with the.

            1. re: masha
              chazzerking RE: masha Jan 29, 2008 06:29 AM

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

              1. re: chazzerking
                masha RE: chazzerking Jan 29, 2008 07:59 AM

                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
                  toodie jane RE: chazzerking Feb 8, 2008 10:00 AM

                  I was going to suggest as the oo in look

                2. re: masha
                  lagatta RE: masha Feb 8, 2008 03:37 PM

                  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
                    Miss Priss RE: lagatta Feb 10, 2008 12:26 PM

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

            2. chocchipcookie RE: AmblerGirl Jan 27, 2008 06:50 AM

              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
                blondelle RE: chocchipcookie Jan 27, 2008 07:25 AM

                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
                  Gio RE: blondelle Jan 27, 2008 03:55 PM

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

                  1. re: blondelle
                    jzerocsk RE: blondelle Jan 28, 2008 07:29 AM

                    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
                      coney with everything RE: jzerocsk Jan 29, 2008 05:10 AM

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

                      1. re: coney with everything
                        texanfrench RE: coney with everything May 21, 2014 08:40 PM

                        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
                        Fru RE: jzerocsk Jan 30, 2008 05:52 PM

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

                        1. re: Fru
                          coney with everything RE: Fru Feb 1, 2008 10:33 AM

                          As in Lily von schtupp?

                          1. re: coney with everything
                            Fru RE: coney with everything Feb 2, 2008 07:25 AM


                          2. re: Fru
                            foiegras RE: Fru May 22, 2014 07:44 PM

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

                          3. re: jzerocsk
                            lagatta RE: jzerocsk Feb 8, 2008 03:40 PM

                            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
                              wolfe RE: lagatta Feb 8, 2008 04:46 PM

                              Did I miss the previous reference to the Marx brothers?

                              1. re: wolfe
                                yayadave RE: wolfe Feb 8, 2008 07:52 PM

                                The reference was to Yiddish.

                                1. re: yayadave
                                  lagatta RE: yayadave Feb 9, 2008 03:53 AM

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

                                  1. re: lagatta
                                    yayadave RE: lagatta Feb 9, 2008 04:44 AM

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

                                    1. re: yayadave
                                      wolfe RE: yayadave Feb 9, 2008 06:49 AM

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

                                      1. re: wolfe
                                        yayadave RE: wolfe Feb 9, 2008 08:39 AM

                                        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
                                          lagatta RE: yayadave Feb 9, 2008 03:52 PM

                                          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
                                            Fru RE: lagatta Feb 9, 2008 04:11 PM

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

                                            1. re: Fru
                                              wolfe RE: Fru Feb 9, 2008 07:03 PM

                                              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
                                                Fru RE: wolfe Feb 9, 2008 07:45 PM

                                                Sorry for the typo. Now, gai avek!

                                                1. re: Fru
                                                  wolfe RE: Fru Feb 9, 2008 08:03 PM

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

                                                  1. re: wolfe
                                                    Fru RE: wolfe Feb 9, 2008 09:22 PM

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

                                                    1. re: Fru
                                                      yayadave RE: Fru Feb 10, 2008 06:59 AM

                                                      But, will it play in Peoria?

                                          2. re: yayadave
                                            toodie jane RE: yayadave Feb 10, 2008 08:57 AM

                                            "I like Alsatian wine...."

                        2. r
                          RicRios RE: AmblerGirl Jan 27, 2008 06:05 PM

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


                          1. yayadave RE: AmblerGirl Jan 27, 2008 06:31 PM

                            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
                              blondelle RE: yayadave Jan 29, 2008 06:20 AM

                              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
                                Hákarl Durian RE: blondelle Jan 30, 2008 05:35 PM

                                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. l
                              LabRat RE: AmblerGirl Feb 1, 2008 11:00 AM

                              I pronounce it "the red pot"

                              1. wolfe RE: AmblerGirl Feb 10, 2008 07:42 AM

                                Please remember that the nonmetal parts of the Le Creuset do not do well at the oven temperature needed to make the famous "no knead bread". At 450 degrees the knobs should be wrapped in foil for protection.

                                1. j
                                  Jules86 RE: AmblerGirl Feb 16, 2009 04:59 PM

                                  Just came across your Le Crueset question............if I'm not mistaken, LES is prononced LAY but LE is just LERR.............singular, LES, plural Crew-zay is on the money.

                                  1. m
                                    mitosys RE: AmblerGirl May 21, 2014 09:48 AM

                                    I think you mean "Le Creuset". I would agree with Miss Priss and Masha about the "Le" (i.e. unstressed, rhyming more or less with an unstressed "the" in English) and with Hakari about the the "s" (pronounce as English Z), but there seem to be a lot of misfires in this discussion about the "eu". It's not like "oo" or "ew" or "uh" in English. It should be more or less like the vowel in "Bert", particularly for RP or Southern English speakers who don't pronounce that R. The "t" is not pronounced.The R in "Creuset" is tricky for an English speaker and is best approximated by your normal R, at least in your local W&S, if not in Galeries Lafayette!

                                    BTW, the Wikipedia article seems to have it right, if you can deal with the IPA notation.

                                    1. kaleokahu RE: AmblerGirl May 21, 2014 10:27 AM

                                      You could just say you want that mediocre, expensive painted iron stuff from France that comes in all those many appetite-suppressing temporary colors...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                        Miss Priss RE: kaleokahu May 21, 2014 09:00 PM

                                        You mean those durable, easily-cleaned, heat-retaining, relatively lightweight (for cast iron) pots in a cheerful, nostalgic, appetite-stimulating flame color that I purchased years ago at Zabar's at a substantial discount?

                                        1. re: Miss Priss
                                          kaleokahu RE: Miss Priss May 21, 2014 09:35 PM

                                          Hi, MP:

                                          That was then (inexpensive), this is now ($$$, no Flame).

                                          Don't get me wrong. I've had quite a number of LC pieces for quite a long time (Cobalt, here). There are some pieces that are better than mediocre, e.g. the ovens, gratins and terrines. But if you average them with the stovetop pieces, it's always been mediocre stuff. Other than being of low reactivity, I find that the linings are more trouble than they're worth, e.g., fat runs through the jus.

                                          As for durable, I'm pretty easy on my batterie, but
                                          I have too many chips and more than a few cracks in my pieces. Wahine ruined a 9Q oven in circumstances where even a tinned copper piece would have survived her inattention.

                                          But I was mostly trying to humorously help the OP and others identify LC to the clerks at Williams-Sonoma without hazard of mispronunciation.


                                      2. a
                                        AmyLearnsToCook RE: AmblerGirl May 22, 2014 01:22 PM

                                        You can hear the pronunciation from the CEO himself:


                                        or this one:


                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: AmyLearnsToCook
                                          foiegras RE: AmyLearnsToCook May 23, 2014 11:19 AM

                                          He may pronounce Le Creuset like a Frenchman, but he admits he can't cook ;)

                                          1. re: foiegras
                                            lagatta RE: foiegras May 25, 2014 02:51 AM

                                            He has a slight Dutch accent pronouncing it (actually, he is South African), but that is not a problem.

                                            1. re: lagatta
                                              foiegras RE: lagatta May 25, 2014 03:08 PM

                                              In that case, I'm going straight back to Lay Crewsay.

                                              1. re: foiegras
                                                lagatta RE: foiegras May 25, 2014 05:27 PM

                                                No, his pronunciation is fine. Lay Crewsay is incomprehensible in French and "Lay" sounds a bit like the plural "Les". A slight accent is not a mispronunciation.

                                        2. s
                                          swoll50 RE: AmblerGirl May 23, 2014 06:47 AM

                                          This is why I just say "Lodge"

                                          1. k
                                            kagemusha49 RE: AmblerGirl May 23, 2014 12:56 PM

                                            MMRuth has ze correct pronunciation

                                            Show Hidden Posts