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Your favorite word/expression to describe food/flavors....

I can't help myself! hehehehe...

I was in an earlier discussion and someone used the word "herby-ness" to describe a flavor. I was really entertained by it.

I'm wondering what words have you used or phrases have you used/heard to describe food/flavors.

One of my personal favorites, I had someone describe a curry dish to me as "nice and sturdy". I was really amused but, knew exactly what they meant.

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  1. My mother-in-law had a favorite that I seem to have adopted over the years: refreshing. This usually applies to fruit or a dessert.

    1. One of my favorite Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines, which I really really love, I can't help but associate the bouquet with horse shit. In a positive way, I guess...

      9 Replies
      1. re: RicRios

        That reminds me of Loire valle white wine that smelled like cat piss. In a good way Iguess..

        1. re: Carmelizedbunions

          Speaking of that "evocative" Loire wine - ever had Cooper's Creek Sauvignon Blanc? It was a hit at a recent wine tasting I went to, mostly for the name and the label...



          1. re: AnneInMpls

            Camembert and a few red wines that I like all evoke that same smell. While I've heard some sommeliers describe it as a "barnyard" smell, I prefer to use the more sophisticated "earthy" description.

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              Earthy is a little more of a broad term. Barnyard is quite distintively a smell from the farm and is usually found in red burgandies. When it starts to smell like sewage thats not good, but a little hint of barnyard is or can be a favorable qaulity.

        2. re: RicRios

          The appropriate term for that taste and smell is "barnyard" And I love it too.

          1. re: RicRios

            i thin k i know what you mean. i usually try to express what youre saying with something like, "it has an earthy quality. reminiscent of soil and grass". not trying to sound pretentious, either, just honestly a lot of things (especially in the single malt booze world) have those qualities. i love it.

            1. re: ben61820

              ...speaking of single malt...my husband treated himself at Christmas to a bottle of 18-year-old Macallan. The only thing I can say about the taste of it (I'm not really much of a scotch guy) is that it tastes like it was aged in an ashtray.

            2. re: RicRios

              ahh there you go again..... sigh... horse poop. I guess they are both mangery.

              1. re: RicRios

                I usually refer to that as "barnyard bouquet."

              2. "It'll change your life!"

                1. Not a serious one of mine, but - "It's to die for!" One time, we were dining out, and we had a very enthusiastic, animated waiter who was delighted to give us every detail about the food before ordering. He had a bit of a northeasty accent and for the fish of the day rather than grouper said "groupah." The sentence he gave us, with great enthusiasm, was, "The groupah is ta die fah!"

                  Now we jokingly use that quite often.

                    1. re: Professor Salt

                      Now would that be something that tastes cracky or something so good you would offer somone a favor to get.

                        1. re: Professor Salt

                          S L Wine describes Black Chook sparkling shiraz (I know, I'm obsessed) as "liquid crack"

                        2. Brussel Sprouts - FOOD OF THE DEVIL! :)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Abacus

                            Unrelated, I love carmelized brussel sprouts cooked in bacon or pancetta so much i would...... mow your lawn to get some.....crackalicious.

                          2. I just made a post and realized a delicious food word I use often - killer!

                            1. I hate to admit it, but i've found myself saying "yumm-o", and I can't stand Rachel Ray...

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: jwbarth

                                Oh Lord, I know I'll get hammered on this one. Ladies, and yes it's 99.44% ladies, please stop using yum, yummy and yummo-o as some penultimate adjective when the taste buds have been tickled. There's got to be two or maybe even three other pefectly good adjectives that might suffice. Oh, and just don't hit me in the face, okay?

                                1. re: Harp00n

                                  How about scrumdiddlyumtious, or the sound Homer makes after a douhnut or a ham(sorry dont know how to spell it)

                                    1. re: Harp00n

                                      It always makes me laugh when my friend's husband says yummy. It just sounds so not guy!

                                      1. re: Harp00n

                                        Well, I'm a woman and I couldn't agree more! So tierd of yummy but yum just sets my teeth on edge. I won't read a post when I see it now.

                                        1. re: bryan

                                          MIke and I were once at a Chinese restaurant up the street from our house in Portland with my parents and my sister. Since they're all from Kansas they didn't seem to have a clue about pot stickers, so we ordered up a big plateful so they could be properly enlightened. My sister is a bit of a picky eater, so she didn't want to eat them till she knew just what she was eating. So she asked, "What's in them?"

                                          Six-foot-something, bass-voiced, mustache-wearing Mike replied, "Yums are in there!"

                                    2. Jesus, don't hit the "back" arrow after making a post. And trying to erase one doesn't help either. yumm-o yumm-o yumm-o yumm-o yumm-o yumm-o yumm-o yumm-o

                                      1. After juicing my citrus, I like to refer to it in the pluperfect subjunctive as "freshly squozen"

                                        1. I like to trot out "soigné" to describe a dish that is subtly flavored and elegantly constructed.

                                          My favorite word for atmosphere is the similar sounding but etymologically distinct "swanky".

                                          My favorite word for ponderous words is "sesquipedalian".

                                          1. my mother and I have an unspoken language when it comes to food - last week, I introduced her to Spanakopita for the first time and after the first bite, we just looked at each other with awe, eyes wide open, slight smile, with a quiet "mmmmmm..."
                                            both of us find it hard to verbalize anything coherent when we're in the presence of good food... :)

                                            1. I can't think of any however, one of my friends uses the word "magnificent" to describe damn near everything she eats. Makes it useless. Everytime she utters the word, I want to gag.

                                              Now, whenever my husband and I dine alone, I'll occassonally say something is "magnificent" just to watch the food fly out of his mouth :-)

                                              1. "Whell now, If that haint gore-MET, I don know waat is!"

                                                "Thaas suh good, ah caint s**t".

                                                "phhhhhuuuughgh [suck in breath]...mmmMMMMnn...nnnn...o-ISSSHHH-iiii...."

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  So good it makes you wanna slap yo mama!?!?!?!?!


                                                2. Isn't there a culture that belches very loudly to express their gratitude to the chef.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Carmelizedbunions

                                                    My mom doesn't find it very gratuitous.


                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                      Yeah, mine, either. When my brother & I were little, we really tried to convince her to adopt that tradition. She didn't go for it.

                                                  2. I don't have a word or anything buy both my wife and sisters know if I've hit on something because they can hear me laughing in the kitchen.


                                                    1. "It will ROCK YOUR WORLD." my favorite, says it all.

                                                      My dad used to say "My brains are falling out, this is so delicious!" just had to add that!

                                                      1. Maybe we could all come up with a new Rachel Ray word like scrummo, or yummello, scraptacular, slapyomamalo

                                                        5 Replies
                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                            I didn't know you this was a Rachelism-o because I always just ignored her o.

                                                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                              o but she is impossible to ignore-o, jus try an tonight you'll have a dreamo where you are out on a date and every word she says has an o at the end of it.

                                                              1. re: Carmelizedbunions

                                                                Could we please, please, please have her utter these finally, final words; "I'm out the door-o!"

                                                          2. This guy I work with seems to have a plethora of adjectives (and uses) for the mighty lemon. "A little fresh lemon juice to 'wake up' those flavors" or "Add lemon zest to 'brighten' up that dish" or "The 'zing' of a lemon will balance perfectly with (insert anything that is not a lemon here)". He's a culinary cowboy with citrus and a microplane in his holsters.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: cafesimile

                                                              The zing of a lemon will balance perfectly with cow brain tacos.

                                                            2. I love the words "toothsome" and "mouthfeel".

                                                              1. I am currently stuck on the world "primo," (preemo) as in "Hon, this shrimp scampi you made tonight is primo," or "that tiramisu we had at Spinelli's last night was primo."

                                                                On the other hand, if I am commenting on something that was really bad, I will usually say, "It was absolutely barfy."

                                                                1. My two favorite words to describe food and drink are "transcendent" and "pedestrian".

                                                                  1. Last night my 4 year old nephew told my sister her roast tasted like "Poo."


                                                                    1. Fun thread!
                                                                      Another term I enjoy is "muddle", as in to muddle the mint in a julep or a mojito. From Webster's : muddle- to mix up; bungle. To confuse mentally; befuddle. To act or think confusedly. A mess; jumble. Mental confusion.
                                                                      Perhaps the mental side of "muddle" is a consequence of a couple well-muddled minty cocktails!

                                                                      1. The Japanese have a word -umami- that describes a certain "mouth feel." I just think it sounds like "oohh mommie" which perfectly describes how foie gras tastes too me.

                                                                        Also, I have a friend from Colombia who uses the word "yummyliscious" to describe something he really likes. It's funny until you hear it with the sexist little accent! Well, it still sounds funny but I could hear him repeat it ad infinitum!

                                                                        1. Given what Anthony Bourdain ate recently, I picture him saying "Mmmm, rectulicious!"

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                              Never to be confused with asinine.

                                                                            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                              sphincter-lickin' good? apologies to the Colonel

                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                My buddy tells me " i dig on swine, from the rooter to the tooter."

                                                                              2. I often use "lovely" or "beautiful" - don't know why. My friend frequently says "not ok". As in, "This cake is so good it's not ok." It sounds weird here - is better in the context of it's not ok how much of a dork i'm being about food or I love it so much it's not ok.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: amyvc

                                                                                  I like your "not ok" a lot more than the tired, coarse & overused "this doesn't suck", which is NOT ok!

                                                                                  1. re: amyvc

                                                                                    yes...my usual description, if something's good, is "it's just lovely." (Quite the opposite of the chicken fried steak I had for supper tonight, which was inedibly salty.)

                                                                                  2. I have been known to say "that tastes like basement," in the context of a stuffed mushroom dish where the mushrooms were too watery/spongey/undercooked.

                                                                                      1. When we have mighty tasty mexican we say Mexcellent. It always gets me. I am sure you all use this term but we think if it as ours.

                                                                                        1. One of my all time favorite phrases, uttered after taking a sip of a run-of-the-mill wine, paraphrased from the movie "Sideways": "Quaffable, but not transcendent."

                                                                                          1. I love how Koreans use the word that means something like refreshing/cool to describe something spicy, hot and broth-y. They'll slurp up some insanely hot (in temperature and spice) soup and say, "ah, shi-won-hah-dah!" as though they just took a chug of beer on a hot day.

                                                                                            1. Chewing slows down. Eyes close. I savor the layers of ingrediants in their delightful harmony, then I say..Dear God, this is insane.


                                                                                              1. Describing natto: "It has the texture of chunky snot and tastes like the icy hand of death."

                                                                                                So accurate! Emotionally, at least.

                                                                                                  1. food can-- or should be able to-- galvanize, no?

                                                                                                    unctuous for kabocha, nut butter, or some types of honey


                                                                                                      1. orgasmic. That peach I ate, dripping over the sink, was absolutely orgasmic.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: slacker

                                                                                                          my fil loves to pronounce things *scrumptious*- this from a 65+ year old man. it annoys and entertains me in equal parts.

                                                                                                          1. re: nummanumma

                                                                                                            My mom always describes things as "scrumptious," which makes me think of rugby (scrum), which is not a good "food" image for me....

                                                                                                        2. When my son was about four years old, he was a very enthusiastic eater.He usually proclaimed "thumbs up!" and signalled accordingly with his thumb pointing upward. Occasionally he pointed his thumb down. One time he paused then stuck his thumb out horizontally, and said "sideways." "Sideways" became our family's description of mediocre food.

                                                                                                          1. My two favorites that I use with discretion and aplomb:



                                                                                                            1. Offering Endangered Species Black Panther Chocolate to friends:

                                                                                                              "It will slap you and call you Bitch."

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: misterbrucie

                                                                                                                Still laughing on this one.....

                                                                                                                Good one! Love it!

                                                                                                              2. Divine, sacreligious, outrageously good.

                                                                                                                When not so good I say barf

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Lori SF

                                                                                                                  Didn't Homer once say "sacre-licious!"?

                                                                                                                2. When my mother-in-law eats something rich or heavy, she calls it "moorish"?!

                                                                                                                  1. Luscious.

                                                                                                                    Or as Fergie says, "Tasty, tasty!"

                                                                                                                    1. When I was younger I didn't like salad. I always said "it tastes like the way grass smells after you mow the lawn." Or tomatoes "they taste too raw."

                                                                                                                      1. I always laugh when I see or hear the word "enhanced" used to describe a flavor. Sorry, but this always makes me think of Nip/Tuck, the TV show about plastic surgeons who often use their skills to er, well, you know -enhance certain body parts!

                                                                                                                        1. One that is nauseatingly overused is "fabulous"

                                                                                                                          A general term: "toe-curling" because when it's that good, my toes start curling.

                                                                                                                          More specific terms I like are "briny" "yeasty" and "unctuous"

                                                                                                                          1. I stole this from the original Iron Chef. "It feels luxurious in my mouth" Just fan to say and see the reaction of others.

                                                                                                                            1. i am known for blurting out: F T !!!!!!!! ( F ^%((^% ING TASTY! )

                                                                                                                              1. When I'm dining with friends who LOVE food and we have a bit of something that just rocks your world, the perfect combination of ingredients and love, we describe it as "sex on a fork". That really captures the moment, it doesn't get any better.