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Culinary Terms that Should be Banned!


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There are certain words and expressions which are commonly used in describing culinary matters - here on eG, on television, in the press, in books, on YouTube etc. Most of these are relatively innocuous, but there are a few that annoy the heck out of me! Illogical, inaccurate, pretentious, childish and BLOODY IRRITATING!


(Please do not get offended if these are words you use. This is  meant to be somewhat tongue in cheek*)


* No is isn't! (editor)


So, here are my top ten, in reverse order of exasperation.


10. 'Off' and other prepositions.


Why is that suddenly no one "cooks" anymore? Why don't they "fry" anymore? They suddenly have to "cook off" and "fry off" instead.  At first, I thought maybe it meant completely cook or fry until the dish is done. But, then I heard some clown on YouTube frying something "off until nearly done." Grrrrr!


The "off" adds nothing to the meaning, but just sounds more technical? A certain Mr. G. Ramsay is a serial offender, but it seems to be coming ubiquitous.


And it isn't confined to "off". I hear "cook out", "fry up".  I even heard one YouTuber, who thought he could cook, suggesting that I "wash over" my mushrooms! What the hell does that mean?

 

"Fry off"? "F  Off!"


9. Chef


No one is a cook anymore. They are all chefs! Except, very few really are. I am particularly exasperated by the donkeys on YouTube who call themselves "Chef". Always with a capital C. They've never actually been inside a commercial kitchen, never mind head of the brigade.

 

"Chef Brian here with my latest how to boil an egg video! Please hit subscribe!"


"Chef" is a job description; not a royal title. Use it in your kitchen by all means, if you realy are a chef, but you come across as an idiot when you do it at home. I don't go around introducing myself as "Plumber Dave" (partly because I'm not a plumber and my name isn't Dave, but you get my meaning).  I don't even use the titles I am entitled to use.


8. In a timely manner


Another video cliché. 99% of the time it just means "quickly" but they find a slower way to say it! Duh!


7. Bánh Mi


I'm sorry, but bunging random ingredients into a baguette does not make a bánh mi in my book. I frequently have bacon, lettuce and tomato (BLT) sandwiches for breakfeast using baguettes, but would never call them bánh mi as some idiot did on a YouTube video I unfortunately stumbled upon recently.

 

I am all for variation, but at least stick with something that may be vaguely recognisable to a passing Vietnamese person.


6. Entrée


As a Francophone, if I ever find out what idiot mistranslated the French and decided that it meant the main course of a meal, I will personally send him or her to the guillotine. Not that they are still alive but I do know where there is a guillotine.


According to "Le Littré", the French "entrée" means "mets qui se servent au commencement du repas" which translates as "dishes that are served at the beginning of the meal".


If you really want to be French, the main course is the 'plat'.

 

menu.thumb.jpg.64410ba83c2468f3bf37e8f6574b9904.jpg

 

This travesty has been until recently an American abberation, but recently creeping into the UK, too.

 

Merde!


5. Flavour/Flavor Profile


However you spell flavour is of no concern to me. "Flavour profile" on the other hand is a perfectly useful expression to describe something quite specific.

 

But now, writers and YouTubers cannot bring themselves to write or say "flavour" without adding "profile". Most of the time they just mean flavour.


4. Prep


I am constantly amazed by chefs who take up half a page of a menu to describe a starter of dazzling simplicity in 300 words, but are far too busy to say "prepare". Then every YouTube idiot follows them.


3. Authentic
Utterly meaningless. Food, like language, is constantly evolving we don't say Italian food is inauthentic because it contains tomatoes which they didn't have until the Americas were "discovered". We don't say Sichuan food is in authentic because they use chillies which they didn't have until the Portuguese brought them in the 17th century.

 

But I still say a BLT is not a bánh mi!

 

2. Foodie


This obnoxious, unnecessary word is relatively new. First recorded in print in 1982 in "Harpers & Queen" whatever that might be.


Ugly, condescending and intolerable!

 

I am always amused by people who use it to self-describe. What are they thinking?


1. Yummy


Seriously, I am a strong opponent of capital punishment but will happily make an exception for anyone using this after their thirteenth birthday. It is so childish and makes me want to scream and scream and scream!


Deep breath!


What rattles your cage?

 

 

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3 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Fridge, veggies.

 

 

Fridge doesn't bother me. It has been around around a hundred years. It ain't going nowhere. Veggies originally meant 'vegetarians' but now seems to be attached to the victims of the vegetarians' food lust! I'd just ban vegetarians! 😁

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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5 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Fridge doesn't bother me. It has been around around a hundred years. It ain't going nowhere. Veggies originally meant 'vegetarians' but now seems to be attached to the victims of the vegetarians food lust! I'd just ban vegetarians! 😁

 

Fridge, really a hundred years?  When I was growing up the appliance was called the ice box.

 

 

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On 11/23/2020 at 4:01 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Fridge, really a hundred years?  When I was growing up the appliance was called the ice box.

 

 

Yup. First mention in writing was 1926. Which means it was used colloquially for some time before that.

When I was was growing up we never had one! That wasn't the 1920s though!

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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Gourmet!

it's OVERUSED!

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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2 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

Gourmet!

it's OVERUSED!

...and pretty meaningless, especially in the role of adjective (ie, "gourmet" processed cheese product..

 

(I know it once actually *had* a specific meaning, but that has long since been shed)

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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As I read the title before opening the thread, I thought "I'm definetely going to rant about this":

 

5 hours ago, liuzhou said:

9. Chef


No one is a cook anymore. They are all chefs! Except, very few really are. I am particularly exasperated by the donkeys on YouTube who call themselves "Chef". Always with a capital C. They've never actually been inside a commercial kitchen, never mind head of the brigade.

 

"Chef Brian here with my latest how to boil an egg video! Please hit subscribe!"


"Chef" is a job description; not a royal title. Use it in your kitchen by all means, if you realy are a chef, but you come across as an idiot when you do it at home. I don't go around introducing myself as "Plumber Dave" (partly because I'm not a plumber and my name isn't Dave, but you get my meaning).  I don't even use the titles I am entitled to use.

 

but you preceded me, so I saved some time. I subscribe every single word, except it's my #1 not #9.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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5 minutes ago, teonzo said:

As I read the title before opening the thread, I thought "I'm definetely going to rant about this":

 

but you preceded me, so I saved some time. I subscribe every single word, except it's my #1 not #9.

 

Teo

 

 

My numbering is a bit random and changes from day to day.

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5 hours ago, liuzhou said:

The "off" adds nothing to the meaning, but just sounds more technical? A certain Mr. G. Ramsay is a serial offender, but it seems to be coming ubiquitous.

 

 

5 hours ago, liuzhou said:

What rattles your cage?

 

You mean other than you, right? Tongue in cheek, tongue in cheek...I'm kidding!

 

You've hit the nail on the head with many of these words/terms. And it all started with not only the Food Network, but food competitions, and bringing professional, real chefs and professional kitchens into the home. So it sounds cool to people to say stuff like blanch, shock, cook off, etc. etc. - all terms that are used in professional settings.

 

Now pardon me - I have to break down a chicken.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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4 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Fridge, really a hundred years?  When I was growing up the appliance was called the ice box.

 

 

And here I thought they were harvesting ice from a mountain top!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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5 hours ago, liuzhou said:

2. Foodie


This obnoxious, unnecessary word is relatively new. First recorded in print in 1982 in "Harpers & Queen" whatever that might be.


Ugly, condescending and intolerable!

 

I am always amused by people who use it to self-describe. What are they thinking?

 

This is wrong, by the way.  First used, 1980, in New York Magazine, by Gael Greene...

 

 

Quote

 

If you're wondering whom to thank or blame for its coinage, look no further. According to etymologist Barry Popik, former New York magazine food critic Gael Greene appears to have used it in print first in 1980:

Gael Greene of New York magazine used the word “foodie” in a story on June 2, 1980, and then used “foodie” several times in 1982 and 1983. There were several London-based citations of “foodie” in 1982 and 1983. It appears that Gael Greene’s 1980 “foodie” and [U.S./British author and food journalist] Paul Levy’s 1982 “foodie” were independent coinages.

 

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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7 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

This is wrong, by the way.  First used, 1980, in New York Magazine, by Gael Greene...

 

 

 

 

Well, whenever it was first used, and opinions clearly vary, it doesn't change that it is a relatively recently invention and remains a most unwelcome one!

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8 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Well, whenever it was first used, and opinions clearly vary, it doesn't change that it is a relatively recently invention and remains a most unwelcome one!

Opinions may vary, but does evidence? Not arguing against the use of the term, which I first hated on June 2, 1980! 

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This isn't quite a peeve of the same order, but I'll add it just because it's explicitly a "venting" thread. Although I seldom watch it, my GF likes to have the Food Network running as the background to her day, so - as she puts it - "I don't watch it all the time, but when I *do* look up I see something tasty."

 

Often, this involves a whole day of those road-food shows, which seem to revolve primarily around examples of artery-clogging excess. Truthfully, if I ever again hear a grinning host use the phrase "...this over-the-top burger..." it will be too soon.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Curate. Like "this menu has been curated by... "  NO!! Art curators curate. Menu writers, sommeliers, et al. just do their jobs.

 

Now pardon me, while I go butcher some strawberries and a banana.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

Curate. Like "this menu has been curated by... "  NO!! Art curators curate. Menu writers, sommeliers, et al. just do their jobs.

 

Now pardon me, while I go butcher some strawberries and a banana.

 

Curate this!

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OK. If you don’t like foodie, and I’m happy to call myself one, what do you offer to replace it?

 

 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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