Foodie Words That Must Be Banished Now (Let's Start With 'Foodie')

Do-not-think-it-means.jpg
Photo courtesy The Princess Bride and memegenerator.com
No, but really.
street food - prepared or cooked food sold by vendors in a street or other public location for immediate consumption
Unless you're eating it on the street, it's not street food. Most street food here in Houston is served at a table in a restaurant. Let's call it what it is.

superfood - a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being
Scientists and nutritionists are constantly going back and forth about what is and isn't a superfood. And companies have capitalized on the declaration of various things as superfood by juicing them, bottling them and adding a ton of sugar. Not so super anymore.

toothsome - of palatable flavor; temptingly tasty
This word essentially means "good." Stop pretending like it means chewy.

unctuous - fatty, oily; smooth and greasy in texture or appearance
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." 'Cause if you're using it as a synonym for "rich," you're using it incorrectly.

yummy - highly attractive or pleasing
If you're older than 5 years of age and still using this word, I implore you to stop, now. Let's try its grown-up cousin, "delicious," or if you're really going for it, "ambrosial."

Note: All of the definitions in this post came from Oxford Dictionaries Online, Merriam-Webster online or Urban Dictionary. But remember: Just because they're in the dictionary doesn't mean you should use them. After all, "pustule" is in the dictionary, too.



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18 comments
kagan34
kagan34

Must-try! Must-try!

The dish really is a must-try!

Must-try restaurants....


Courtesy, naturally, of CultureMap.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

These words are unacceptable and yet you use the one word that is so played out it should be at the top of any banished word list:  Douchebag.

TimP
TimP

RE: Molecular gastronomy... I was working with liquid nitrogen before it was cool. Of course this was in the mid-nineties in an actual chemistry lab where we used it to cool instruments, but still. 

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

Two words: food porn. Those words do not belong anywhere near each other.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

I've noticed that food critics tend to "tuck into" their food whereas the rest of us simply eat it.

jmacqueen
jmacqueen

How about "shuttered"?

Is saying "closed" not pretentious enough for you? Then let's use "shuttered" to describe EVERY restaurant closing.

flavia
flavia

I've seen "hand-made sandwiches" and "slow-braised" (as opposed to 'flash-braised', I'm guessing), but these are more from the restaurant side....kinda like: "pan seared to perfection!"

paval
paval topcommenter

A few comments to this entertaining and informative list. 

any -arian other than vegetarian

agree on the arians, even though I have caught myself using flexitarian when I reduced my meat consumption. The question planted by another commenter as to when is the threshold reached from being an omnivore to a flexitarian, is very valid.

Artisanal, artesian and such terms are as hollowed out and robbed of significant just as the term natural. Food industry has learned to use these terms suggesting superior quality and we consumers believe these statement and buy.

chef-driven: I believe this term is mostly used to signify that there is still a real chef in the kitchen, that the menu is designed by a chef, instead of a menu written up by Sysco or a R&D department that sits in a far flung location and dictates what will be served. Unfortunately it is a lot of these chains such as Eddie V, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Cheesecake Factory, etc. that get the full house each and every weekend, while the real food restaurants have to close all too often. But as every society gets the politicians it deserves, every market gets the restaurants it deserves. 

But I have also an objection with the term chef. Is chef a title you have to study for, or are you a chef because you run a kitchen, regardless of education and or training? I once had a chef asking me to address him only with Chef in front of his name. I said fine, you address me with my title of M.A. and I will address you with your Chef title.

farm-to-table/farm-to-fork: farm to fork I had never heard (what do they say when referring to a soup in that case, food-to-spoon?). Indeed almost all food will come out of a farm. But there is the difference between a family farm, a co-op or alike versus a farm that rakes in multi-million dollar subsidies and has nothing to do with the romantic picture of a farm we almost all have in our heads.

Foodie: this term without a doubt needs to go, however it is so engrained in the current language use, that unfortunately it should take a long time to do so.

Locavore: should be quite difficult to be a locavore in Texas. No Sea Bass, no salmon, no hazelnuts, no pasta, no velveeta, no rotel tomatoes, etc.

mixologist : similar to the title of chef, it is used to differentiate a simple bartender from one that has had more formal training. It is a phenomenon that is very widespread in the US nowadays. Differentiation through titles. Recently saw a Restaurant Sales Person call herself: Wholesale Consultant/Club (those are the Wholesale Accounts) Sales/Glassware Wholesale Manager (she is the only one selling this product, so she essentially manages herself). But there are soo many more examples of this title craze.

molecular gastronomy: term was coined to describe what Ferran Adria was doing in El Bulli and it goes beyond the use of only nitrogen. It is a whole line of deconstructingdishes and re-doing them in a different state. I personally think this whole school is playing around, but some parts of it are with no doubt interesting

Tom Williams
Tom Williams

Great start, but incomplete without an absolutely meaningless phrase: sushi-grade.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

I have one more. How about if anyone uses the phrase "to die for" then after consuming said food they are executed.  That would deter potential users of the phrase and eliminate those that already use it.


I especially agree with you on the term flexitarian.  Exactly how much meat do you need to eat to be called a flexitarian instead of an omnivore?  And pescatarians are simply picky omnivores--either you kill and eat animals or you don't.

JDewitt
JDewitt

Thanks for this, it got me laughing on a dreary morning.


Please print and nail to the doors of CultureMap, Martin Luther style.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@kagan34  I'm going to start making up my own lingo in place of these words. "This dish really is a bungee-jumping romp in a field of bruléed sugar cane." When I say that, you'll know I mean it's a must-try.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@FattyFatBastard  That was, in fact, some random person on Urban Dictionary who used the word "douchebag," not me. Also, this is a list of food-related words. Last I checked, douchebag doesn't have anything to do with food.

flavia
flavia

@jmacqueen  

....I prefer the restaurant's own euphemism: 'temporarily closed for remodeling'

JDewitt
JDewitt

Not sure that's right Tom.

Sushi grade fish has to be caught, decapitated and gutted right away aboard the boat to greatly lessen the chance of parasites.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Bruce_Are @KaitlinS  I don't think so, actually. I don't recall ever having read that phrase, to be honest. But now I'll look for it, and when I find it, I shall cringe.

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