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Pas de Choux? Pate de Choux! [moved from General Chowhounding board]

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FrenchSoda Jan 30, 2012 02:49 PM

I've just noticed that Alton Brown calls pate de choux - 'Pas' de Choux on Iron Chef. I am normally a big Alton Brown fan, is this an internal joke? Or an American thing, to call it 'Pas" de Choux instead of Pate?

I'm not sure if this is the right board, but I am sure those eagle-eyed moderators will have my post down in no time if it's not!

  1. s
    sandylc Jan 31, 2012 06:42 PM

    Yeah, I have a love-hate relationship with Alton. I have gotten a lot of great ideas from his shows. On the other hand, he is so arrogant that I love it when I catch him in a mistake, which is surprisingly often!

    1. c
      cheesemaestro Jan 31, 2012 01:40 PM

      The correct term is "pâte à choux." The preposition "à" in this case means "for." So pâte à choux translates literally as dough for cabbage-shaped pastries. "Choux" means cabbages in French. Pâte à choux got its name from a old type of pastry or bun shaped like a cabbage.

      "Pâte de choux" means something completely different. It would be a paste or dough made from actual cabbages. Cabbage-flavored cream puffs, anyone?

      "Pas de choux" if that's in fact how Alton Brown mispronounces it, means "no cabbage(s)." If someone has braised some cabbage and wants to pass the plate to me, but I don't want any, I'll shake my head and say (if I'm speaking French), "Merci, pas de choux." No thanks, no cabbage for me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cheesemaestro
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        FrenchSoda Feb 1, 2012 10:44 AM

        Exactly. I'm also French and that's exactly what it sounds like he's saying! I was wondering if it was actually an inside joke...

        1. re: FrenchSoda
          c
          cheesemaestro Feb 2, 2012 06:58 AM

          I'm not French, but thanks for the compliment!

      2. f
        freia Jan 31, 2012 01:12 PM

        Pas de Choix avec le "Pas" de Choux? :)

        1. chowser Jan 31, 2012 10:28 AM

          I haven't heard it but I assume he's saying "pate" as in podt au choux and eliding the dt sound into the au.

          1. p
            piano boy Jan 30, 2012 04:03 PM

            He's rolling the T of pate into the D of De.

            Phonetically he's pretty close to what it sounds like in French. I much prefer it to Choux Paste.

            Normally it's pate a choux which would be pronounced "pat a shoe".

            2 Replies
            1. re: piano boy
              h
              Harters Jan 31, 2012 09:36 AM

              I'm not French and prefer to use English rather than French phrases when possible. Therefore, I'm happy to call this "choux pastry". If I was French, it'd be pate de choux.

              1. re: Harters
                e
                escondido123 Jan 31, 2012 09:53 AM

                I'm looking at " Larousse Gastronomique" right now and they either call it choux pastry or pâte à choux.

            2. e
              escondido123 Jan 30, 2012 03:56 PM

              I believe it is pate a choux, with the first word pronounced more or less "pat" or "pot"--if I'm remembering my French. I too like Alton, but his pronunciation of non-English words can be painful at times.

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