Conversation about food has never been so popular, with almost a third of people (30%) admitting to sharing food pictures on social media. On average, we send at least one food-related text or message to friends and family every single day. New research has revealed that we now think, plan and talk about food for more than 16 hours a week on average (that’s almost six years of our adult lives), putting it on par with the nation’s favourite topic of conversation, the weather. Despite this, when it comes to complimenting the chef, ‘delicious’, ‘tasty’ and ‘nice’ are still top of our vocabulary, with most Britons using only six different words to describe meals each week.
To expand this limited list, Sainsbury’s has recruited linguist Susie Dent to add a little flavour to the nation’s foodie vocabulary, unveiling ‘The Taste Dictionary: 101 ways to describe each mouthful’. The dictionary includes a plethora of words to inspire the nation when describing some of their best-loved foods. I love the sound of ‘neptunian’ (meaning: carrying the strong flavour of the sea), ‘fire-fanged’ (meaning: Having a scorched appearance or taste) and ‘lickerous’ (meaning: sweet and tempting) and will definitely have to try using them out in an upcoming recipe post !
This got me going through some of my most recent recipe posts and deciding which words would be best-suited to them. My Filipino dish, Binagoongan Talong, was both acetous (vinegary in taste) and piscose (fishy in taste), despite being a pork-based recipe.
The decadent Macabella Cheesecake was claggy (clotted and sticky in texture) but decidedly lickerous (sweet and tempting).
Spanish-style Lemon, Rosemary & Paprika Chicken and Potatoes was conflagrant (inducing a peppery or hot sensation) and hogo (Highly flavoured or seasoned, from the French 'haut goût'). Actually, as a dual nationality English/French family, we found this last one totally ridiculous and couldn't figure out how it was supposed to be pronounced, so I could never use it in a serious conversation, because it makes me sound like someone out of Allo Allo !
The Sainsbury’s Taste Dictionary has been created as a limited run of books and is available to download as a PDF. Join the conversation and share your favourite words on Instagram or Twitter using @SainsburysNews and #TasteDictionary.
Disclosure : I received a shopping voucher to get my creative culinary and linguistic juices flowing !