Sigh. More Food Words We're Not Supposed to Use.
|Taken from this week's review.|
As someone who writes quite a few restaurant reviews every month, I've scanned these lists to put myself on cliché alert. But you know what? I'm done reading them. Sure, the word "eatery" has me clawing the air, and when I read "swoon" I want to slap the writer back awake. But those are my own prejudices.
Words like "unctuous" have a proper definition -- Merriam-Webster's says I can keep using it to describe the quality of a rich sauce or a seared slice of foie gras. Same with the much-derided "house-made," which is useful when describing something readers would otherwise assume is made in a factory, such as ketchup or hot dogs. Sure, a word like "sustainable" is largely meaningless, but when you use it in the right context -- say, "sustainability-minded" -- you can convey both how much thought chefs put into finding ingredients and how much they like to talk up the effort.
How a food word is used matters more than how often it's used. So leave me "piquant" and "cloyingly sweet," you listicle-crafting foodies. You keep banning words and soon all I'll be left with is "sweet," "sour," "salty," and "bitter." Worse yet, I might end up writing like this guy (pardon the video quality):