Foodie Words That Must Be Banished Now (Let's Start With 'Foodie')
Just as various foods come in and out of style, so, too, do the words that describe them. In 2011, the word "taquito" was added to the Oxford English dictionary and "chimichurri" was added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online. In 2012, the online dictionary added "frankenfish," "locavore" and "food desert," while 2013 saw "cake pops," "street food" and "flexitarian."
Illustration by Kaitlin Steinberg Calling yourself a foodie does not mean you actually know anything about food.
As I'm typing these words, little red lines are appearing beneath them. Apparently my computer hasn't yet caught on.
Some words, such as the specific names for ethnic foods (bánh mì was recently added) should definitely be a recognized part of the English language. Other words, like "locavore," make my skin crawl.
Here is some more food-related jargon that needs to go the way of pamphagous, krioboly, lardlet and bromography.
any -arian other than vegetarian
Photo courtesy of Domino's Pizza Sorry, Domino's. Just because you touched it with your hands doesn't make it artisan.
flexitarian - a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish
lacto-ovo vegetarian - a person who eats vegetables, eggs, and dairy products but who does not eat meat
pescatarian - a person who does not eat meat but does eat fish
If you refer to yourself as any of these things, you're a pretentious ass. A flexitarian is an omnivore, which is most of the population, so there's really no point in using a label. A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian. Vegetarians, by definition, eat eggs and milk. If you don't, you're a vegan. A pescatarian is not a thing. You can eat fish but no red meat or poultry, so just explain it like that without making up a stupid word for it. Stop trying to make pescatarian happen. It's not going to happen.
artisanal - (of a product, especially food or drink) made in a traditional or non-mechanized way
This word lost all meaning when Domino's created "artisan" pizza with a box supposedly signed by the person who made it. There's even a blog devoted to items that purport to be "artisanal" but clearly aren't.
chef-driven - there is no established definition for this word
Is it really necessary to describe a restaurant as "chef-driven"? Who else is going to be driving it? The busboy?
farm-to-table/farm-to-fork - used to refer to the various processes in the food chain from agricultural production to consumption
Unless you were one of those lucky (?) people who got to taste the stem-cell burger, chances are your food all originated on a farm at some point (or in the forest, ocean, etc.). Farm-to-table and farm-to-fork are intended to mean (mostly) local and (when possible) organic, so just say that. But also make sure that when you call something organic, it actually is organic.
The list continues on the next page.