21 Food Words & Phrases That We Should All Probably Quit Using

published Oct 22, 2014
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(Image credit: Kristin Teig)

In the wide world of food writing and media there are some words that are going to appear over and over again. Delicious? Yeah, that’s going to stick around. But then there are the trendy and overused words to describe food that begin to feel wearying when you see them in a magazine, a blog, or the newspaper.

I know all of us at The Kitchn are guilty using some of these words (err… maybe all of them), but some of these just need to stop. Here are our picks for the 21 food terms and phrases we’d like to snip out of the food world. Care to add your own?

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

I brought this question to Twitter yesterday and many people had strong feelings about the food writing clichés they just can’t deal with anymore. Some of the words, like “yummy,” are just overused and lazy, while others, like using the word “crack” to refer to food, are offensive and need to be stopped immediately.

I know I’m extremely guilty of using all of these words, but I swear to try and stop if you will. Deal? Deal.

The Food Words That Just Need to Go Home

  1. Foodie – The worst food word crime of them all.
  2. ‘Za – Don’t insult your pizza by calling it anything but pizza.
  3. Sando – Sandwiches are cute and all, but not that cute. (Runner-up: Sammie)
  4. Yummy (or Yummo) – After the age of ten this is just weird.
  5. Mouthfeel – I don’t want to imagine what the inside of your mouth feels like.
  6. Delish – Just, no.
  7. EVOO – I love you Rachael Ray, but this haunts me.
  8. Locavore – Yeah, I like shopping at the farmers market too.
  9. Delectable – The word someone uses when they don’t want to write “delicious” again.
  10. Sinful – Eating is pleasure (and sustenance), not sin. Don’t mix the two.
  11. Nom – I’m sure we can be more descriptive than this, right?
  12. OrgasmicWhen Harry Met Sally has ruined us all forever.
  13. Succulent – Because Pinterest exists, and I can’t not think of the plant when you use this word.

Food Phrases With No Juice Left in Them

  1. “Cooked to perfection” – Perfect doesn’t mean anything.
  2. “Take it to the next level” – I’m so guilty of this one. I’m so sorry. Your chicken breasts really don’t have multiple “levels” to go to.
  3. “Best ever”– Oh really, tell me more about this miracle sandwich of yours.
  4. “Depth of flavor” – What does this even mean?
  5. “Tastes like crack” – No, your food is not like drugs.
  6. “Party in your mouth” – Again, I don’t want to know what’s happening in your mouth right now.
  7. “Jazz up” – Please, no.
  8. “Cloyingly sweet” – Too sweet. We get it.

Tell us, what food writing clichés make you cringe when you see them?