Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Sauté the past participle of the French verb sauter (to jump, hence to fry in shallow fat, while tossing, i.e. making to jump). The word is also a noun in French (meaning a dish thus prepared), and has succeeded in migrating into English in both forms, with the same meanings, and complete with accent. This causes a slight problem, since the infinitive (sauter) has not migrated. Thus in English, when the imperative is required, as often happens in recipes, only the past participle is available. The result looks odd (‘Sauté the mushrooms …’), but works.