Sea fruits / fruits of the sea

Discussion in 'English Only' started by silver frog, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Hello. :) Could you please tell me if the expression "sea fruits" or "fruits of the sea" exists in English? In languages like French or Italian this expression refers to seafood (usually shellfish) in the context of gastronomy.

    I have seen the French expression, "fruits de mer" used in English occasionally, as well as literal translations such as "sea fruits" and "fruits of the sea". Could you please tell me if these are common/correct?

    For example, could I say something along the line of: "contrary to popular belief sea fruits (?) aren't vegetables, but shellfish!" ?

  2. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    We don't use that term in the U.S. "Sea food" is what we call anything edible caught in the ocean.
  3. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    We don't use that term in Britain either.
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Fruits de mer is an exotic (and rare) term for seafood, perhaps on a fancy menu, but literal translations of it look plain wrong.
  5. djmc Senior Member

    English - United Kingdom
    In England at least one could say shellfish which could refer to molluscs like oysters or mussels but also to crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters.
  6. Thanks for the answers!

    I found a book published by BBC that has "fruits of the sea" in the title. I also found the same expression in this news article. But maybe it is only used in the context of fancy gastronomy and even then in an abscure way. :confused: When I searched "fruits de mer" in English sites I got many more results.

    The expression is widely known in other languages such as Spanish, Italian, French... probably it is more of a Mediterranean dish I guess.
  7. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    We do use "fruits of ..." to mean the "results of ...".

    The beautifully carved desk and matching chair were the fruits of six months labor.

    As this is the more common usage of "fruits of..." the "fruits of the sea" would sound a bit odd to Americans (and perhaps to Englishmen too).
  8. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Titles of books are often playful. In this case, Rick Stein is a well-known seafood chef and cookbook writer. I think he already has a book entitled 'Seafood' something or other, so he needed some clever variation. 'Fruits of the sea' would be understood even by those not familiar with French and other languages with that expression, but is not something that would come trippingly out of the mouths of English speakers.

  9. I see! Thank you! :)

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