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You seem to be misunderstanding and / or you are not expressing yourself clearly:
"I disagree that "mild" refers to the beef. ... 'Mild' has to refer to the flavour of the beef..."
Well, isn't that just what I said?! I wanted to emphasize that it is the strength of flavour of the beef, as distinct from the seasoning of the dish per se.
And even if you haven't personally heard of it (and it's by no means a common term!), as a professional chef myself, I have heard of it — albeit, as I suggested, only ever in US contexts.
So I think we're both saying exactly the same thing, though for some reason you seem to disagree?
I'm not entirely convinced about 'doux,' but it's certainly the best suggestion we have so far, and is used a lot in similar situations, e.g. "le goût de l'agneau est moins fort, plus doux, que celui du mouton"
I disagree that "mild" refers to the beef. I have never heard of mild or strong beef! "Mild" has to refer to the flavour of the beef in a dish as far as I'm concerned and 'doux' seems like the best term for that.
I get your point now but we do not want to fall into the trap of "bland", hence my proposal of "savoureux", which just means that it has a nice flavour, which I agree do not respond exactly to the mild/strong meaning opposition. All the same, we may need more context.
Yes, exactly; but the whole point here in the use of 'mild' is that it inherently opposes 'strong' — hence the term in translation needs to reflect this; and one could hardly put 'peu savoureux' to convey the notion of a flavour that is 'not too strong'!
'mild' here seems to be opposing, say 'strongly-flavoured' — so in the sense of a 'goût pas trop prononcé'.
I think Val"érie's idea of 'savoureux' wouldn't really do here, as that would tend to imply 'avec beaucoup de goût', whereas here, it's almost the opposite.
Is this from the US by any chance?
Je n'ai vu "mild beef" que dans les plats épicés: mild beef curry, mild beef jerky, etc. Ce serait donc un boeuf qui a un goût doux. Pourquoi ne pas s'éloigner un peu du texte et choisir "savoureux".
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bœuf tendre / bœuf doux
S'il s'agit de décrire le goût et l'aspect d'un repas à base de viande de bœuf, j'entrevois deux possibilités, selon le contexte :
- tendre en rapport à sa texture ;
- doux en rapport à son goût, par opposition à pimenté, épicé et à la différence d'assaisonné, "seasoned". La cuisine anglo-saxonne distingue souvent les plats et les sauces en fonction de leur degré de piquant en mild, medium et hot. "mild" signifie qu'un plat, même assaisonné (sel, poivre, herbes aromatiques) n'est pas pimenté.
Ici, un article intéressant sur le sujet :