Friday, December 28, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Vores

Having a hard time figuring out where you fit on the food chain these days? In honor of locavore's designation as the New Oxford American Dictionary 2007 word of the year, we offer a list of -vores for you to choose from. The suffix -vore comes from the Latin word vorare, meaning to devour, and is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has.

Careful Carnivore/Caring Carnivore/Conscientious Carnivore
Ethical meat eaters who eat only humanely-raised meat.


Introduced by Micheal Pollan in a 2002 NY Times article to define a dietary category wherein individuals limit the meat they eat to nonindustrial, non-factory farmed animals.

Conscientious Omnivore
Individuals who choose to eat sea animals rather than land animals because they are lower on the evolutionary ladder (i.e., scallops don't feel pain)

Vermont locavores.

Individuals who eat only what they grow and/or produce.

From a 2006 Wendy's TV commercial. According to Fast Food Nation, the typical American consumes approximately 3 hamburgers every week.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Culinology

"The blending of culinary arts and food technology." Coined by the Research Chefs Assoication which is hosting the 2008 Culinology Expo March 6 - 9 in Seattle.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 Word of the Year: Locavore

The New Oxford American Dictionary 2007 word of the year is....locavore. Locavore - coined by four women in San Francisco who proposed that residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius - won out over such other 2007 key phrases as "colony collapse disorder," "cougar," "mumblecore," "previvor," and "upcycling"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Vegansexual

Individuals who do not eat any meat or animal products, and who choose not to be sexually intimate with non-vegan partners whose bodies, they say, are made up of "dead animals." Annie Potts, co-director of the New Zealand Centre for Human and Animal Studies at Canterbury University, coined the term after doing research on the lives of "cruelty-free consumers."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Fleischgeist

Coined by the editors at Meatpaper. "Fleischgeist (flish'gist') n. from the German, Fleisch “meat” + Geist “spirit.” Spirit of the meat. From Zeitgeist, “spirit of the times.” Fleischgeist is the idea of meat.

Food Jargon Watch: Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias
Tasty descriptors that help condition reluctant eaters to accept new foods - from Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. Confirmation bias tricks the taste sensors by using sensory words like “tender,” “succulent” and “velvety'’ to describe foods. Apparently, once these taste sensors are activated, people become preprogrammed to think a dish tastes good.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Globesity

Coined by the World Health Organization. From the words global and obesity, "globesity" refers to the "escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity that is taking over many parts of the world."

Food Jargon of the Day: Culinarian

A culinary professional such as a chef or caterer.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: LOHAS, Flexitarian, Opportunivore

LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) is a term that refers to consumers who are focused on issues such as health and fitness, the environment, and sustainable living. LOHAS consumers - or "Lohasians" - are interested in products and services ranging from socially responsible investing and "green stocks" to alternative healthcare, organic food, yoga, and eco-tourism.

LOHAS companies provide these goods and services using environmentally sustainable business practices. A LOHAS business conference is held annually to discuss industry trends.

Individuals who favor a vegetarian diet, but occasioanally eat meat, poultry and seafood. NYC's first "flexitarian restaurant," Broadway East Restaurant, Cafe and Wine Bar, is slated to open in October 2007.

1. Another term for flexitarian, i.e., a person who favors a vegetarian diet, but will eat whatever food is available.
2. Another term for freegan, i.e., a person who forages for free food and eats whatever they find.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Video Recipe Sharing

Video Recipe Sharing
Cooks looking to share their favorite recipes with other foodies have ditched handwritten index cards and text-heavy blogs text in favor of video recipes. Amateur cooks record themselves demonstrating how to make chili con carne or Spanakoptia, and then uploaded the video recipe to sharing sites like imcooked,, and foodgeeks. Actor Christopher Walken recently rocked the video recipe sharing community when he posted this video recipe demonstrating how to prepare roast chicken with pears.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: NPR Farmers

NPR Farmers
This tasty-bit of food jargon comes courtesy of Warren Howell, who promotes agricultural businesses in Loudon County, Virginia. "NPR Farmers" are enthusiastic newcomers who sell their goods locally through farmers' markets and CSAs, or to near-by restaurants specializing in local food.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Kopi Luwak & Crappacino

Kopi Luwak
From the Indonesian words for coffee (kopi) and civet (luwak), kopi luwak is a highly coveted coffee culled from the droppings of wild civets. The cat-like animals eat the the red fruit of coffee plants and expel the interior beans which humans separate out - by hand - from the civet dung. The beans are then shipped to gourmet food shops around the world, where they sell for upwards of $600 per pound.

Apparently, a civet's digestive system removes some of the caffeine and bitterness from the coffee, making for a smoother cup of joe. For more info, check out this LA Times article by Paul Watson.

Interested in buying some kopi luwak? You can order on-line at

Another name for kopi luwak.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Beef with Benefits

Beef with Benefits
"Beef with benefits," or grass-fed beef, possesses nutritional advantages it's factory-raised, corn-fed brethren lack. Source - Kate Clancy in the August 2007 edition of Food and Wine .

Friday, March 23, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Taste-Blind

“In America we eat, collectively, with a glum urge for food to fill us. We are ignorant of flavour. We are as a nation taste-blind.”

"Frederick the Great used to make his own coffee, with much to-do and fuss. For water he used champagne. Then, to make the flavour stronger, he stirred in powdered mustard.

Now to me it seems improbable that Frederick truly liked this brew. I suspect him of bravado. Or perhaps he was taste-blind."

Coined in 1937 by M.F.K. Fisher in Serve It Forth, "taste-blind" is as useful a descriptor of the American palate now as it was then.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Food Jargon Alert: Zombie Brands

Zombie Brands
Daniel Gross's name for dead or dormant products that have been revived for a second or, even, third time. Food-related zombie brands include Tab Soda, and fast-food products advertised as being available for a 'limited time only,' such as McDonald's McRib sandwich.

Related Stories
Attack of the Zombie Brands
Attack of the Zombie Brands, Part II

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Food Jargon Watch: Culanthropy

Cuilinary philanthropy. Term used by the CulinaryCorps, a sort of AmericCorp for food, to describe the nexus of social activism, volunteerism and culinary activity. We're all for that!

The term "culanthropy" is a welcome addition to the culinary lexicon, but food professionals have a long history of generosity. From Food Not Bombs to relief efforts on behalf of the New Orleans culinary community to Chef Jose Andres' on-going support for DC Central Kitchen, the activities of culanthropists is food for thought.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Sparkling Beverages

Sparkling Beverages
New carbonated drinks from Coke and Pepsi - Diet Coke Plus and Tava, repsectively - that are fortified with vitamins and minerals. According to the NY Times, the soda companies are "...not calling them soft drinks because people are turning away from traditional soda, which has been hurt in part by publicity about its link to obesity."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Nutrition Scold/Food Scold

Nutrition Scold/Food Scold
Slightly derogatory term applied to Eric Sclosser, Marion Neslte, CSPI, and others who are critical of the food industry and/or give critical advice on healthy eating.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Nonundelow

Coined by LA Times writer Emily Green in 2000, nonundelow refers to processed foods such as low-fat peanut butter and non-dairy creamer which have had supposidly "unhealthy" ingredients partially or entirely removed. A combination of the prefixes (non-, un-, de- and low) that are used to describe such products. Nonundelow has resurfaced in Barry Glassner's new book, The Gospel of Food, which calls a return to pleasurable eating that does not include nonundelow food products.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Know Your Good Bacteria

"Good," or probiotic, bacteria reside in our gastrointestinal tract along with a host of their nasty cousins. It is believed that eating probiotics - foods that contains probiotic bacteria - will help to increase the population of good bacteria and ward-off disease and infection. Probiotics include yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, kim chi, and miso soup.

Bacteria that live in our GI tract use partially digested food to grow. Prebiotics are foods that nourish good bacteria in the intestine and allow them to survive and multiply. Prebiotics include chicory, onions, garlic, artichokes, bananas, and asparagus.

Nutritional supplements comprised of probiotic bacteria and prebiotic sugars. Synbiotics work to both add good bacteria to the GI tract and encourage the growth of the good bacteria already in residence. Synbiotics are not found naturally in foods, but are added to products such as Activia Light yogurt.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Food Jargon Watch - Super Taster Article

Super-taster - an individual who has more specialized taste buds on the tip of his or her tongue than the average person - is not new to the culinary cultural lexicon, but an article by Susan Bowerman for the Tribune Newspaper group does a good job of tracing the evolution of the super-taster theory.

Food Jargon of the Day

Defined by the LA Times as "an appetizer or dessert that consists of a number of components layered artfully in a small glass. (The word verrine refers to the glass itself; literally it means "protective glass.")"

Custody Fat
Coined by the folks at Slate Magazine, to refer to an attempt by government officials in Britan to remove a 218 lb. eight year old boy from the care of his mother.

Food Jargon of the Day: Hybrid Horribles

Hybrid Horribles
Name given to chain restaurant "fusion food" by health and nutrition advocates. Hybrid horribles are mash-ups of tired and true fast food classics, like bacon cheeseburger pizzas or buffalo-chicken stuffed quesadillas. Double the junk food, double the calories, fat, and cholesterol!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Food Jargon Watch: Wine and Spirit Technology Edition

Applied to an array of digital wine advisments from e-commerce sites to cute robots that use infra-red technology to identify wines.

Short for synthetic corks. Made by Supreme Corq and other producers from “biomedical grade thermoplastic elastomer." Syncorks were created to combat "cork taint", a defect caused by natural cork closures that makes wine undrinkable.

Food Jargon of the Day: Art of the Shocktail

Shocktail (aka the Meatini or Carnivore Cocktail)
A cocktail made by mixing or infusing liquor with some sort of meat product.

File this bit of food jargon under "not for the faint of heart." Recently, Chow, the NY Times, and the Washington Post have all served-up articles featuring meat-based cocktails. In the nascent world of carnivore cocktails, mixology techniques seem to range wildly, from the easily digestible (bacon-garnished Bloody Mary) to the slightly queasy (pork-rind rimmed Margarita) to the gag reflex inducing (the Beefytini, featuring beef-jerky-infused vodka). Pass the Tums!

A Google search also revealed recipes from a cadre of self-styled shocktologists. The grandfather of them all, the Weeniecello, is created by soaking Hebrew National hot dogs in 100-proof vodka for five weeks.

Those interested in the shocktail's historical roots can check out an updated version of Lamb Liquor, an ancient Mongolian libation, at

Recipe Links:

Andrew Fenton's Weeniecello

Josh Karpf: In Search of the Perfect Pork Martini's Bacon Martini's Lamb Liquor (scroll down page to Mongolian recipes)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Provenance of Food

As the demand for local and organic foods, fair trade coffee and tea, and humanely-raised meat and eggs increases, tracing the provenance of the food we eat is becoming an increasingly popular trend. Provenance strives to offer consumers “proof” of authenticity through origin narratives that detail where the food was grown, who grew it, when it was harvested, and who harvested it. Provenance can take a range of forms from a simple listing of a farm and its location to elaborate stories, origin denominations, and certificates of quality.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Death of the Gastropub?

The Spring 2007 issue of City Magazine has declared the term "gastrobpub" passé, claiming that "...gastropub came in and out of the culinary lexicon in 2006 faster than you can say bangers and mash."

Wikipedia defines a gastropub as a British term for a public house ("pub") which specialises in high-quality food a step above the more basic 'pub grub.' City Magazine suggests substituting any of the following terms: public house, tavern, brasserie.

Those who can't yet bring themselves to part with "gastropub", can check out the Gastropub Glossary, A Handbook of Helpful Terms at

Food Jargon of the Day: Pro-Offal

An individual that promotes the consumption of offal - the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal. As in "I'm pro-offal. Can you tell me where I might find rolled pig's spleen in Albuquerque?" The pro-offal worship Fergus Henderson, author of the 2004 cookbook The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating. You can find the pro-offal online at the offal eaters forum.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Food Jargon of the Day: Cheftestant

Heather Havrilesky's term for contestants on culinary-related reality shows such as Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen, and Iron Chef.