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Food Terms We Loathe/Misuse


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The word 'Supper' used to describe an evening meal conjures images of dry meat, sloshy overcooked vegetables from a can served with floury gravy and probably on a plate that is sectioned into different compartments.

Dinner sounds much nicer.

Also, I defy anybody to use the word 'goopy' to describe food in a positive light.

Pierre A. Lamielle

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Calgary, Alberta

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The word 'Supper' used to describe an evening meal conjures images of dry meat, sloshy overcooked vegetables from a can served with floury gravy and probably on a plate that is sectioned into different compartments.

Dinner sounds much nicer.

Also, I defy anybody to use the word 'goopy' to describe food in a positive light.

Yeah, or 'gloppy'. And yet I love 'gooey'! :laugh:

Supper will depend on your geographic location, I guess. To me (living in VA and growing up summers in NC) supper just means the evening meal. Dinner was the meal that my Yankee friends called 'lunch'.

I keep a food/kitchen/entertaining journal and I know I overuse 'delicious', 'really good' and 'tasty'!

Kim

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's a fun topic: now that we have enough data, annoyances can now be categorized

* overused/misused (organic, molten)

* abbreviations/diminutives (veggies, yummo)

* invented words (gravylious, foodie)

* hyperbole (authentic, world's best)

* pretentious/obscure (unctuous)

Flavor profile I found delightful until I heard it 15 times every single top chef show.

And I am fond of "food porn" when used accurately.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193363318...id=W2BSNZ9TV7JN

"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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Nothing really wrong with the word "supper" when used correctly. Throughout Europe and at least since the days of Queen Victoria dinner refers to the main meal of the day, no matter at what time it is held and supper to a lighter meal, always served after dinner and often quite late in the evening.

As to "din-din", "goopy" and the such (and with no apologies for snobbery) - those are terms used only by those who have no concept at all that dining is a social-cultural and gastronomic set of events.

Edited by Daniel Rogov (log)
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It's a fun topic: now that we have enough data, annoyances can now be categorized

* overused/misused (organic, molten)

* abbreviations/diminutives (veggies, yummo)

* invented words (gravylious, foodie)

* hyperbole (authentic, world's best)

* pretentious/obscure (unctuous)

Flavor profile I found delightful until I heard it 15 times every single top chef show.

And I am fond of "food porn" when used accurately.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193363318...id=W2BSNZ9TV7JN

I would eliminate all menu adjectives that are not descriptive of a cooking technique i.e. braised, broiled, sauteed are all OK, but sinful, decadent, gooey are not.

"Flavor profile" is the worst. It implies a knowledge that doesn't exist; as though there is a flavor analysis instrument that generates a print-out of the tastes in a dish. It is pretentious and BS-y. I suspect that the refined nonsense of wine tasting is seeping into food writing

The wine argot has long been over the top in terms of BS. In rebellion, I have taken to describing wines in terms of zoo animals. No more "notes of tobacco and granite with an asphalt finish" for me. Now I say "an elephant of a wine" (lots of trunk, big body but only a short tail); or "a giraffe" (big neck, spindly legs and spotty) or "skunky".

Edited by gfweb (log)
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Just thought of another one:

"aromatize"....as in "I'm going to aromatize this stock with a bay leaf and some star anise".

Ummmmmmm, flavor the stock? Maybe. Fragrance the stock? Probably. Aromatize???? Nope. Made up words do not convey any more meaning than ones that already, legitimately exist.

Aromatize sounds like a bad Richard Simmons excersize plan, or an evil spell cast by a wizard. KA-POW, you've been AROMATIZED !

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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along with all the childish things like "OMG that is so YUM!!!" grating on me (there you go that is probably annoying to some folks the word "grating" used as annoying instead of for cheese!!! )

I kind of cringe when food is referred to as "brilliant" ...how can a food be brilliant it does not think or create it self..call me brilliant if you want but not the food! ...or "sublime" I have seen that word used so many times but can not wrap my brain around how this can make me want to eat something ..if you look at what the word means it just does not inspire me to try something because my mind can not feel how the word sublime and food relate...

I like people to tell me what they are tasting when they take a bite..not just add a childish or pretentious word to it and expect me to understand why what I am feeding them is any better than a bag of fries at a fast food joint ..

I am guilty of saying words that even annoy me ..like "awesome" I don't even like the word but use it all the time ...

I will type "veggies" with out even realizing I have done it ...but never say it out loud it sounds silly ...but sometimes typing in a hurry trying to get a thought down I catch myself

now if you relate food to sex and mean it ..I do get it!

for example.. ..I made a simple blackberry pie brought it to work ..when I went into the break room everyone's lips were purple and they were moaning with pleasure....one of the nurses I work with took a huge bite her eyes rolled back and like no one else was in the room she uttered "Oh my God Heidi this is fking orgasmic!!!" another said "wow I am almost embarrassed to have this much pleasure with my clothing on!"

that I understood, appreciated and was flattered by it ...I knew at that instant my pie was a complete success .. .the feeling in the room was sexual, sensual, a tiny bit shameful and fun! ....what an amazing complement to me to hear/feel and enjoy the pleasure I was bringing to a room full of tired cranky people... my food held in the same high esteem as a sexual encounter..

so for me and my understanding of the pleasures of eating something wonderful ...Hell yes relate food to sex!

my desired effect is achieved if someone tells me ..with meaning that my food is "orgasmic"..an orgasm is the ultimate whole body experience ...who would not want the food they prepare to be on that level of pleasure!!!

I guess maybe if you have never had an orgasm ....

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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This entry contains a few I find particularly chilling:

MENU: The printed list of a restaurant's offerings and prices. Frequent restaurant-goers learn to spot common indicators of inferior quality, upselling, and/or overpricing on menus. Some of these are merely cautionary, while others are the equivalent of bold red flags: For example, customers encountering items labeled “served with au jus” or “A classic—Enjoy!” should simply avoid them, whereas the phrase “cooked to perfection” is grounds for immediately exiting the restaurant. Leave your coat behind if you have to.

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Now that you mention it: "au jus" as in "with an au jus sauce."

"As jus" means "with the juice!" it is the sauce! Just say "the roast beef is served au jus" and leave it at that. This is more annoyingly redundant than shrimp scampi.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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"Famous," especially when used by ordinary home cooks to refer to some decidedly not famous dish of theirs. "I'll be making my famous wild rice soup." "Try one of my famous cinnamon rolls."

If you really want to get me going, call it "world famous."

It happened twice this week--I was invited to eat someone's "famous stack enchiladas" and someone's "famous chili."

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Those sexual food terms freak me out too. I think it relates to a trend in the way Americans (ESPECIALLY women) relate to food: food is sinful, tied in to your morality, to how good of a person you are. And being a good person, of course, means being skinny, able to resist things full of calories that taste really good. Thus, when a woman trying to adhere to the Cult of Skinny actually allows herself to eat some damn chocolate cake, it's "sinful, "orgasmic," somehow "dirty."

All of this is about fifteen different kinds of screwed up if you ask me.

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Those sexual food terms freak me out too. I think it relates to a trend in the way Americans (ESPECIALLY women) relate to food: food is sinful, tied in to your morality, to how good of a person you are. And being a good person, of course, means being skinny, able to resist things full of calories that taste really good. Thus, when a woman trying to adhere to the Cult of Skinny actually allows herself to eat some damn chocolate cake, it's "sinful, "orgasmic," somehow "dirty."

All of this is about fifteen different kinds of screwed up if you ask me.

Yeah, and "guilt" as in "guilty pleasure." Guilt to me is what you feel when you've done wrong to someone else. How can you feel guilt over something you ate? Regret, maybe, but not guilt.

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Now that you mention it: "au jus" as in "with an au jus sauce."

"As jus" means "with the juice!" it is the sauce! Just say "the roast beef is served au jus" and leave it at that.  This is more annoyingly redundant than shrimp scampi.

The one that I grew up with is "tuna fish", as in, would you like extra Miracle Whip on your Tuna Fish sandwhich?" There are no know beasts such as Tuna Fowl, or Tuna Moose, (there is a bad pun in there though) or Tuna Mammal. It's a tuna, full stop.

Now on the other hand I can see calling canned tuna "tuna fish" and a beautiful rare hunk of ruby fish "Tuna".

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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My main complaint is probably more geographical than anything else...

Whenever I read that "thick lashings" of something has been spread upon bread (or similar food), it reeks of pretension. "Lashings" is mainly a British word, and if the Brits want to use it, I won't argue. However, west of the Mississippi, the word lashings applies to food only if you're trying to sound as if you know what you're talking about, but know that you don't.

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The word 'Supper' used to describe an evening meal conjures images of dry meat, sloshy overcooked vegetables from a can served with floury gravy and probably on a plate that is sectioned into different compartments.

Dinner sounds much nicer.

Couldn't disagree more. They didn't call what you described a TV Supper!

To me, supper is something I rarely have anymore. It reminds me of my grandmother's house on Saturday nights. Fried catfish, pot roast, okra, beans, and tomatoes from the garden, fresh biscuits and sweet tea.

Dinner back then was what you ate around noon.

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Now that you mention it: "au jus" as in "with an au jus sauce."

"As jus" means "with the juice!" it is the sauce! Just say "the roast beef is served au jus" and leave it at that.  This is more annoyingly redundant than shrimp scampi.

The one that I grew up with is "tuna fish", as in, would you like extra Miracle Whip on your Tuna Fish sandwhich?" There are no know beasts such as Tuna Fowl, or Tuna Moose, (there is a bad pun in there though) or Tuna Mammal. It's a tuna, full stop.

Now on the other hand I can see calling canned tuna "tuna fish" and a beautiful rare hunk of ruby fish "Tuna".

That's exactly how I use 'tuna fish'. I only ever call the canned stuff 'tuna fish'. The whole stuff is 'tuna'. Shorthand, I guess. Plus, that's what I grew up calling it. Maybe it's regional? Anyone know?

Kim

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What's with using the phrase "fancy-pants" to describe what (I assume) the writer thinks of as a fussy dish or restaurant? It seems as if I'm seeing it everywhere recently, and I'd rather not.

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  • 5 months later...

Well, even though the last post was several months ago, I'd like to chime in on this topic.

I'm afraid I have to respectfully disagree with those who dislike sexual references to food and the term "food porn". Food, to me, is a very akin to sex and sensuality and the comparison is sometimes very appropriate. How many other things do you put in your body that bring you such pleasures or intense feelings? If you are the cook, or the one putting food into other's bodies, doesn't someone raving about what you've created make you feel as good as if you'd been the one to bring them to orgasm? No, I'm afraid I'll have to use sex as a comparison, after all, in what other art form other then food and sex, do you get to enjoy it with each and every sense? The best experience of each is the one that teases and pleases all the senses. "Food porn" is only the image or sight of a dish or bit of cuisine that stirs desirous feelings similar to viewing actual porn.

My actual contribution to this thread echoes Dante's post, I have come to hate the word "gourmet". What does it actually describe, what does it mean? In my experience, to the public at large, it gets used to describe food that's different or better then the stuff you make. To advertisers, it's slapped on a package containing food stuffs that are anything but.

Edited by Prometheus (log)
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My actual contribution to this thread echoes Dante's post, I have come to hate the word "gourmet". What does it actually describe, what does it mean? In my experience, to the public at large, it gets used to describe food that's different or better then the stuff you make. To advertisers, it's slapped on a package containing food stuffs that are anything but.

Indeed so. The term has become so mis- and over-used as to have become virtually meaningless except as a means of marketing products to people who don't understand that concept. It's become little more than a buzzword.

Sad, really.

Sincerely,

Dante

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