Descriptive Words for Food

Finding descriptive words for food is an easy thing to do. After all, it's something we deal with at least three times a day. Consider that savory au jus, peppered with Worcestershire, that you're about to pour over your French dip sandwich. Or, how about the creamy delight that is your mother's homemade cheesecake? Oh, and don't forget about that crunchy crust, thanks to her secret ingredient.

Whether you're a blogger about to share your recent rambles through a certain food paradise or just looking for new ways to spice up your language, we'll take a look at the various ways to describe a fascinating necessity and pastime.

Descriptive Words for Food Items

It helps to consider your goal before describing a certain dish. Do you want to evoke it's sensational taste, texture, or temperature? Perhaps you want to touch on all three.

For example, a lemon butter curd can be described as a "cool, citrusy delight with a creamy texture, glazed in honey." That would cover all three categories. Once you have your direction in mind, consider these descriptors to stoke the brick oven fires:


Temperature

Preparation Style

Visual Appearance

Texture

Taste

Chilled

Baked

Assorted

Blended

Acidic

Cool

Blanched

Colorful

Buttery

Citrusy

Frozen

Broiled

Covered

Cracked

Delicate

Medium rare

Charred

Decadent

Creamy

Flavorful

Piping hot

Fried

Dry

Crisp

Fresh

Refreshing

Glazed

Fresh

Chunky

Fruity

Scorched

Marinated

Fully loaded

Crunchy

Honeyed

Smoked

Sautéed

Garnished

Flaky

Nutty

Sizzling

Seared

Golden brown

Fluffy

Oaky

Toasty

Smoked

Leafy green

Full-bodied

Salty

Warm

Toasted

Piled high

Juicy

Smoky

Whipped

Smothered

Moist

Sour

Stacked

Smooth

Spicy

Velvety

Sweet

Tangy


For more, here's an in-depth article on how to evoke gustatory images through proper verbiage.

The Importance of Words

Whether you want to share the details of a sumptuous meal with your friends on Instagram, add an article to your blog that reads like something from the Zagat Review, or really strike out in the world of food blogging, here are some important tips for choosing the words to describe food:

  • Be as specific as possible. You have to convey taste, smell, emotion, and feeling. Be specific, all the way down to the poppy seeds on the bun.

  • Build excitement. Set the scene in the restaurant. Offer a quirky tidbit about your server. Then, delve into the sumptuous bites and creamy desserts.

  • Avoid repetition. Don't overuse smart-sounding adjectives like delectable or sumptuous. Get creative. Describe the food in a manner that would allow the reader to envision that first bite and taste the juicy flow of goodness.

  • Be alluring. How many times have we seen a commercial or read a blog post about someone's meal and developed a serious hankering for that same dish? Don't leave out any detail. Lure in readers with the fluffy, lightly-toasted bun on your cheeseburger before sharing the news about the five cheeses. Talk about the velvet smoothness of the milkshake and the pop of the maraschino cherry on your tongue.

For more where that came from, here are 10 words foodies need to know.

Descriptive Words for Menu Items

If you're ever tasked with writing menu copy for a restaurant, you'll have to be as descriptive as possible to entice customers to order the delicious dishes.

Artichoke Dip

Let's say it's your job to describe spinach and artichoke dip. If the restaurant gives you:

"Fresh artichokes and creamy cheese. Served with crisp tortilla chips."

You might change it into:

"Tender artichoke hearts melted between beds of spinach and five Italian cheeses. Served with fresh tortilla chips, straight from the oven."

This is but one example of how you can put a descriptive spin on a menu item using descriptors that sound delicious.

Wine and Cheesecake

Here's another example. Let's say you're pairing a dessert wine with a cheesecake. The only dessert wine offered by the restaurant is a Moscato d'Asti by the name of Saracco.

The restaurant gives you:

"Try our chocolate cheesecake with a tasty glass of Saracco Moscato d'Asti."

You can change this to:

"Pair the candied essence of Saracco Moscato with our plush and airy chocolate cheesecake."

Stock Your Pantry with Words

Next time you go to your local restaurant or even a big chain, take a look at their menu copy. Are their descriptions as tepid as tap water or do they make your mouth water? Perhaps you have a future as a food blogger. If so, you'll want to stock the proverbial pantry with fresh and descriptive words.

As you search for unique words to spice up your food life, check out this in-depth list of descriptive words, including adjectives, adverbs, and gerunds. And, when you're ready to take a break and get silly, see if you can pass off any of these food puns with your favorite foodie friend.

Descriptive Words for FoodDescriptive Words for Food

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