Food · Handcrapted

Words to Banish from Food Writing

henceforth banished

There are an abundance of descriptive words out there, and most of them can be applied to food.  Festering gravy.  Dolloped cabbage.  Smothered raisins.  Pungent casserole.  You get the idea.  Variety is the spice of vocabulary.  There are some words, however, that must be banished because they are objectively terrible.  Hideous words that make my brain pucker up in a reflexive, sphinctral shudder.  Do not use these words.

Yummy:  The loathsome bookended “y” makes this word sound like wet mush in your mouth.  It also doesn’t mean anything.  If I describe a food as “yummy,” you know nothing about it except that I enjoy eating it and am describing it to you as though you are a toddler.

Mouthwatering:  You are describing a food as activating an overflow of bodily secretions.  You would’t describe a ham sandwich as “micturating,” would you?  Or swoon over a diaphoretic butternut squash soup?

Scrumptious:  Like its repellent friend “yummy,” this word doesn’t really tell me much.  It also sounds like a scummy rump.

Ambrosial:  Reminds me less of the nectar of the gods, and more of a man named Ambrose.  He has a mustache and it sheds in your food.

Choice:  This is the only situation where I am not, in fact, pro-“choice.”  Choose again, ya dinguses.

“A revelation”:  Unless your food comes in four dishes, each with six wings and covered with eyes, and the waiter incessantly sings “holy, holy, holy,” your food is not “a revelation.”

Toothsome:  This word describes a baggie of teeth that someone saved in their freezer in case they need the stem cells some day.

Mouthfeel:  A close relative of “mouth-watering,” this terrible contraption brings to mind an eyeless, legless creature that wriggles its way through the dankest caves of the earth, navigating only by…MOUTHFEEL.

Please let me know if I left off any other nasty nuggets that ought to be included.  Or if you’d like to take up the cause on behalf of one of these misbegottens, that’s your prerogative.


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