The Most Pretentious Food Terms Of All Time

04/09/2014 08:57 am ET
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images

One of the biggest complaints people have with the food industry is the pretentious attitude. From old-school fine dining to the modern day foodie, the food world is full of people and establishments who reek of self-importance.

Unnecessarily grandiose descriptions of food, on menus and in restaurant reviews, are one of the most visible manifestations of food snobbery. The world is already over-saturated with food writing -- the last thing we need is haughty and heavy-handed language. When we read restaurant reviews that refer to the "mousse" -- that wasn't for dessert -- as "unctuous in texture," and see items described as "farm fresh" on menus, we really lose our appetites.

Pretentious food words are unfortunately a dime a dozen. Here are 12 of the worst offenders. What food words get under your skin?

  • 1 Foraged
    From the menu of Clio in Boston.
    Did the kitchen staff really go out and forage the mushrooms, or did they possibly buy them at a market?
  • 2 Essence
    What the hell does this even mean?
  • 3 Harvested, locally or otherwise
    From Logan restaurant's menu.
    Yes, the vegetable you're eating was harvested. We get it.
  • 4 Toothsome
    From a review of Cunningham's restaurant on citypaper.com.
    The word "toothsome" is terrible. Period.
  • 5 Sumptuous
    From a review in Fodor's of La Cirque in Las Vegas.
    If someone uses the word "sumptuous" to describe their dinner one more time we're gonna freak out.
  • 6 Deconstructed
    From the dinner menu at MiLa in New Orleans.
    So they made all the things but didn't feel like assembling them?
  • 7 Market anything
    So you bought it at the market. And?
  • 8 Hand-selected anything
    Isn't that just what "selecting" is? Somebody has to use their hands, right?
  • 9 Composition
    From a review of Kobacha restaurant in the Chicago Tribune.
    Oh god.
  • 10 Duo of anything
    From Daniel restaurant in NYC's dinner menu.
    This just sounds so precious.
  • 11 Foam
    A quote from Richard Blais on his restaurant Juniper & Ivy in Zagat.
    Foam, go home. We're done with you.
  • 12 No words -- just ingredients
    And perhaps the most pretentious of all is the lack of words on trendy and fancy menus today, where they just list the ingredients and you have to guess what the hell you're ordering.

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