Every person has different associations with food and meals. Some people love to cook, some people like to eat out, and some people like both. So to speak with one voice, we've put together a list of the Top-10 words describing food and meals. Feel free to share this list with your friends and family. It'll probably come in handy when you're trying to explain what you do and don't eat.
Culinary is a word used to describe the art and science of cooking. In French cuisine, for example, the verb ‘cuisiner' means ‘to cook something' whereas in Italian cooking, ‘cucinare' means ‘to eat something' or ‘to snack on'. So when a chef cooks, they're generally doing so for nourishment, rather than just to create an artistic masterpiece.
The scientific side of culinary includes things like anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. Because of this, many chefs are also referred to as ‘food scientists' or ‘chefs of science'.
Gastronomy is the art and science of tasting and enjoying food. When you're enjoying a good meal, you're usually doing so because of the flavors, textures, and presentation. So when you consider these factors, the word ‘gastronomy' perfectly describes what you're experiencing.
The French Academy of Gourmet Sciences defines gastronomy as “the visual and sensory analysis of food, accompanied by critical discussion of various aspects related to appreciation of food" (source).
Alimentary is a word that comes from the Latin word ‘alimentum', which means ‘food'. When you eat food, you're usually nourishing yourself. So the words ‘alimentary' and ‘nutrition' come together to form a phrase that perfectly describes what you're doing when you eat: you're ‘alimentarying'.
Pro-Tip: If you're trying to describe what you eat, you can use the word ‘aliment' or ‘sustenance' instead of ‘food'. ‘Sustenance' also comes from the Latin word ‘sustenter', which means ‘to provide with food' (source).
Omni-culture is a word used to describe the culture and culinary arts that exist beyond the borders of a single country. A French chef, for example, might describe Chinese cooking as ‘omni-culture'. In this case, the word ‘culture' means ‘way of life', rather than ‘ethnicity' or ‘native cooking'.
Omni-culture includes everything from international cuisine to fashion, design, and marketing. So if you find yourself in a country you're not familiar with, just remember: you are in another culture and you will need to adapt.
When you're preparing food for consumption, there are certain practices you must undertake to ensure the safety of the food. This includes washing your hands, buying quality ingredients, and cooking the food to the correct temperature. To prevent the spread of food-borne illnesses, you must also wash the utensils used to prepare the food, and keep track of where you're storing it. All of this adds up to what is known as ‘food hygiene'.
A 2010 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that food-borne illnesses cost the global economy up to 100 billion US dollars per year (source).
Pro-Tip: When you're shopping for food, look for signs of food spoilage and contamination. You should also ask the shop owner questions about the freshness of the products and how long they'll be available (source).
When you eat food that is authentically prepared by a chef at a fancy restaurant, you're paying extra for the experience. You're also paying for the ingredients, which might not be locally sourced. So if you're looking to have fun, go for it, but if you want to eat healthy, there are plenty of organic, gluten-free, and vegan alternatives.
The culinary artistry that is reflected in your food is what separates a home cook from an experienced chef. Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, your talent will shine through in everything you cook and serve – so be confident that you are doing the right thing for your clients (or your family).
As a home cook, you may be used to preparing simple dishes for your loved ones around the kitchen table. However, when it comes to describing your culinary delights to potential customers, make sure that you use the right words.
A dish that you have served to your family and friends with pride and affection may turn out to be your greatest culinary achievement. If you are looking to attract more clients, you may decide to promote your culinary talent by joining a culinary group or starting a food blog. Food blogs allow home cooks to showcase their talents and share their experiences with other bloggers and potential customers. If you decide to go this way, be sure to build a reputable blog with lots of quality content that is easy to understand and entertaining.
Taste is an important factor in determining how appealing your food is. Different people have different tastes, so it is important to remember that when you are cooking for your loved ones, you are not aiming for a certain taste profile. This is why you should avoid using very strong flavors when cooking for your family and friends – they may not like the odd taste (and it's probably best if they don't).
When cooking for your family and friends, your main goal should be to ensure that they feel that their palate is being pampered. Sweet and savory are the key words to keep in mind – make sure that every bite has a taste that surprises them.
Your food should be of a high quality, no matter what you are making or serving. You should always be mindful of the ingredients you are using and ensure that the food you are serving is freshly made. Sometimes, home cooks think that they can get away with using cheaper and worse quality produce, but the taste will never be the same.
Cheese should be of a high quality, so much so that it almost feels artificial when you eat it. Grains should be freshly cooked and there should be no artificial flavors or colors in your food. Fresh fruit should be used as much as possible and, for the sweet dishes, they should be of a high quality as well.
These are all important things to consider when preparing food, so take your time and ensure that each bite is enjoyed by everyone.
Your food should be as diverse as possible, so that no one is ever bored of the same old cuisine. Sometimes, it's easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to the meals you prepare. If you want to spice things up a bit, you should try out some new recipes or restaurants that you have never tasted before – it would be best if your family and friends had a good variety of foods served at every meal.
If you want to offer a healthy option for your clients, consider preparing some fresh fruit in addition to the usual fare. This way, you can offer them something new while also making sure that their food is nutritious. A mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables is far more appealing to adults than the usual fare of deep-fried potato products and chicken nuggets – so don't be afraid to experiment with different cooking methods and produce items when you are catering a special event.