Just before Christmas we looked at the words that we use to describe different types of meals. In this blog, we will consider the many adjectives that we use to describe the food that we eat – some positive, some negative and some neutral.
We use the adjective good to describe food that is nice: My soup was really good. If food is very good we often use the stronger adjective delicious: The fish was absolutely delicious. Yummy also means ‘tasting very good’ but is informal: Rebecca makes a really yummy chocolate cake. If food is good in a way that makes you want to eat more of it, in UK English, we might say that it is moreish: These peanuts are very moreish, aren’t they? Appetizing describes food or food smells that make you want to eat: There was an appetizing display of cakes in the window./Appetizing smells were coming from the kitchen.
Tasty is another positive food adjective, meaning ‘having a good taste’, but is usually for food which has a strong flavour: This makes a tasty sauce that’s great with pasta. The opposite of ‘tasty’ is bland. Bland food has too little flavour. Another word for this is tasteless. I found the food rather bland./The meat was dry and tasteless.
A meal that is light is small and easy to digest: I usually just have a light snack for lunch. On the other hand, food that is filling or heavy makes you feel full quickly.
Stodgy also means ‘heavy’ and is often used to describe unhealthy food: I’ve been eating too many stodgy puddings. Rich describes the type of food that you can only eat a little of because it contains a lot of oil, butter, eggs or cream: The dessert was a bit too rich for me.
Meat that is tender is easy to cut or chew, and the opposite, meat that is difficult to cut or chew, is described as tough.
Sweet describes food that contains sugar or tastes like sugar: a lovely, sweet melon. Food that is not sweet is savoury: There’s cheese if you’d prefer something savoury. Food that contains a lot of salt is salty: salty snacks, such as crisps and peanuts. Spicy, meanwhile, is used for food that contains the flavours of spices, (substances from plants that give special flavours to food): fish in a spicy sauce. Food that is hot contains a lot of spice and makes the mouth feel as if it is burning: A word of warning – that curry is hot!
Two common food adjectives that are often confused are sour and bitter. ‘Sour’ describes the sharp taste of a lemon: I found the fruit a little sour and added some sugar. ‘Bitter’ is used for tastes such as strong coffee or very dark chocolate.
Whatever you eat today, whether it’s savoury or sweet, light or filling, I hope it’s delicious!