Copeaux on a French Menu? Copeaux means shavings or slivers.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman



Green asparagus spears
served with shavings of Parmesan Cheese.
Photograph by MonkeyBusiness through
On French menus, the word copeaux will indicate flakes, shavings, slivers, thin cuts or very thin slices from cured ham, foie gras, vegetables, truffles, as well as hard cheeses.  For desserts, the shavings may be chocolate added to a cake.   

Breakfast in France.
Œufs aux plat aux truffe - Fried eggs with truffle shavings
To see what happened when I ordered œufs aux plat in France click here.
Shavings are an integral part of many recipes and create the contrasting tastes that are at the heart of many dishes. 
Copeaux on French menus:
Carpaccio de Boeuf de Fin Gras du Mézenc, Copeaux de Foie Gras – Beef Carpaccio from the Fin Gras du Mézenc, AOP cattle, served with shavings of foie gras, fattened duck's liver.
Ravioles de Shiitake Parfumées à l’Huile de Truffe, Copeaux de Parmesan – Ravioli stuffed with shiitake mushrooms flavored with truffle oil and served with shavings of parmesan cheese.

Dried eye fillet, compressed braised beef cheek,
dashi, bitter orange preserve, and horseradish shavings.
Salade d'Asperges, Œuf Poché, Copeaux de Parmesan – Asparagus salad served with a poached egg and slivers of parmesan cheese.
Salade Mêlée aux Copeaux de Truffes – A mixed salad with shavings or flakes of truffle. When the menu does not note the name of the truffle, will not the most expensive; it will be best when there are plenty of flakes.
A cup of chocolate with whipped cream
and shavings of chocolate on top.
Photograph by elanthewise through
Saint-Jacques Snackées, Copeaux de Truffe Noire, Risotto au Jus de Crustacés Lightly seared king scallop meat served with shavings of black truffle and accompanied by a risotto flavored with the juices from the shells of crustaceans.

Velouté de Butternut, Brisures de Châtaignes et Copeaux de Foie Gras de Canard – A velvety butternut pumpkin soup with small pieces or flakes of chestnuts and slivers of fattened duck's liver. (Brisures de chocolat are chocolate chips).

Beef carpaccio with shavings of Parmesan
Truffles can be incredibly flavorsome, and the best will be very expensive.  Unfortunately, often too little truffle is used while the cost of the dish offered may still be relatively high. More to the point all truffles are not equal and not all truffles influence flavor in small quantities.  Less flavorsome truffles may be unique and special, but then they should be part of dishes where these truffles are the centerpiece and not just a shaving. Ask questions when truffle shavings are on the menu and for expensive truffles chose dishes where the shavings are added in front of the diner.
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Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman


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