I've Come To Terms With 'Em All

By Jane Mengenhauser
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, March 8, 2006

I have Unmet Flavor Needs. I struggle with Trophy Stove envy. I am offended, naturally, by Gastroporn.

Or maybe I'm just suffering from Goofy Food Lingo-itis.

When I come across these culinary euphemisms in the media and on the Web, I clip and save -- so I can chew on them for a while. At least it's an indulgence that's calorie-free.

Here are some notable entries that seem to have staying power:


A chef who likes to cook seafood.

-- New Jersey cooking teacher and cookbook author Vicki Caparulo


Another term for a "semi-vegetarian," coined in early 1990s.

-- Voted most useful word in 2003 by the American Dialect Society

Meat Tooth

A craving or fondness for meat.

--http://www.wordspy.com Culinologist

Chef cum food scientist; degree in culinology now offered at several universities.

-- From Sizzle magazine (American Culinary Federation Quarterly), Vol. I, Spring 2004

Culinary Bling-Bling

Expensive ingredients such as $30-a-pound exotic mushrooms.

-- Okay, I may have made this one up; also used in the Cleveland Scene, March 10, 2004


Another name for food anthropology.

-- Mary Gunderson, culinary historian, from the Food Journal of Lewis and Clark Recipes


The conflict over the safety and health benefits of genetically modified foods.

-- The Evening Standard, Feb. 10, 1999

Kitchen Performance Anxiety

I suffer from it!

-- The National Post (Canada), May 15, 2004

Hood Envy

Experienced by owners of newly remodeled kitchens when they see even bigger, better, more expensive and more powerful stove-exhaust fans elsewhere. The hood's the thing now.

-- Ellen Gerard, leader of a home kitchen tour in Glenwood, N.J., New York Times, Feb. 6, 2003

Old Stoves

North Beach, Calif., slang for cooks who have logged a lot of kitchen hours.

-- From a Les Dames d'Escoffier invitation event honoring great women of the kitchen

Trophy Stove

High-end appliance.

-- Molly O'Neill, the New Yorker, July 29, 2002


Use of canned, powdered or frozen sauces.

-- From an old "Shoe" comic strip

Speed Scratch Cooking

Marinated meat, fish or other foods ready to cook at home.

-- Supermarket-speak for partially prepared foods


Canned water distributed to flood victims by Anheuser-Busch Corp.



A vulgar display of food.

-- Widely used; most recently, in the Sunday London Times, Feb. 19, 2006


A restaurant that features scantily clad food servers. Often appears in stories

about the Hooters chain.


Kitchen Pass

Permission from one's spouse to golf, bowl, bike, play bridge, tennis or bunko.

-- Urban Dictionary

Sunday Taste, Tuesday Effort

Results of a quick, easy recipe.

-- From an www.epinions.com review of the "Magnolia Bakery Cookbook"

Unmet Flavor Needs

Why Heinz puts out new ketchup flavors.

-- A term used by a young PR man who phoned me about line of new Heinz ketchup flavors.

Culinary historian and former newspaper food editor Jane Mengenhauser revealed her closely held recipe for Tiny Tim cranberry tarts last year in Food.

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company