5 Cooking Terms Let’s Leave Behind in 2007

1. Dressing

It’s not dressing, it’s stuffing.
Get it? It gets stuffed in the bird. That why it’s called stuff-ing. Even if you don’t use it to stuff, you’re not ‘dressing’ the bird. The mere mention of the word ‘dressing’ makes me wince down to my you-know-what. (It’s even hard for me to type.)

If you want further proof, it’s Stove-Top ‘Stuffing’ Mix, not ‘Dressing’ mix. I don’t care what the dictionary says. Don’t argue with me. Or Kraft.

Ok, you can call Kraft on it. But not me. I’m too thin-skinned.

2. Veggies

Perhaps the worst offender. They’re vegetables, my friends. If you’re too lazy to pronounce two extra, teeny-tiny syllables, all hope for humanity is lost. You deserve to read about the mindless antics of Britney and Paris for the next decade.

And I don’t mean my mindless antics in Brittany, or Paris.

3. Combine

The jury’s still in recess on this one.

Judith Jones swears this word means nothing, but I beg to differ. ‘Combine’ means to incorporate two or more ingredients. To merge them. If I say “Combine the oats and cranberries with your hands”, I think most people would get the drift.

Still, who am I to argue with Julia Child’s editor. I’ve ditched it a while ago, so let’s leave it behind us once and for all, shall we?

4. Sammies

I have nothing against Rachel Ray. Really. She’s as cute and perky as all get-out. And she can smile non-stop for far longer than I’m capable of doing. I don’t mind those other words like ‘evoo’ or whatever she says.

But I can’t get this friggin’ word out of my head!

It’s been a couple of years now and it’s really the stupidest word used in relation to food ever. I just can’t shake it!
Please, make those voices in my head stop….aarrgghh…..

5. Seasonal

I’m guilty of this as well. But it’s been so overused, it’s as tired as those endless post-Presidential debate discussions on the cable networks, discussing the same stupid stuff over and over and over and over. I was back in the US for less than 48 hours and I had it up to my neck and ending up watching Blind Date and transfied on I Love New York 2 on VH1 for two days, which, surprisingly, was far more interesting.
(Which perhaps says something about me…)

Anyhow. I’ve had raspberries served to me in ‘seasonally-inspired’ restaurants…in New York…in January. And who really wants all that asparagus in the winter from Argentina—unless, of course, you live in Argentina? If people haven’t gotten the message to cook seasonally by now, it’s a lost cause, folks. Let’s drop it. I’m going to give it a try. If I use the word ‘seasonal’ again around here, next time, you can call me on it. After you call Kraft, that is.

Any others I missed?

Never miss a post!


  • Joseph
    December 19, 2007 8:19am

    Yes you missed “nonundelows.” That would include anything “non…” “un…” “de…” or “low…” If you can’t handle the real thing why bother?

  • Rachel
    December 19, 2007 8:33am

    As a former Southerner, David, I would be killed by my grandparents for ever uttering the word “stuffing” – even though I will admit to using it myself, in private.


  • pf
    December 19, 2007 8:41am

    There are a couple of terms that need to be filed with “veggies” –
    “starters” – for the first course or Hors d’œuvres
    “Chipotle” – in everything, especially annoying is “chipolte mayo “. as familiar as yellow ball-park mustard, but much more annoying.

  • December 19, 2007 9:11am

    If I read one more desciption of flavors that “sing,” I might cough up a hairball.

    STOP WITH THE HARMONIC FOOD, already. You didn’t think of it, and you shouldn’t copy it. It’s overdone. Bo-ring. Trite.


    Um, thanks for letting me rant.

  • December 19, 2007 9:42am

    What?!! How DARE you attack the very name of my vegetable-loving blog?!!

    ; – ) And actually, I do rue the day that on a whim and without a thought, really, I named a blog (what was a blog? I knew not) A Veggie Venture since the veg(etari)an crowd has co-opted the word as theirs and theirs alone and so they have a cow (okay well maybe not a cow, but an eggplant, say?) when I cook vegetables in bacon grease. One can cook veggies – I mean, sorry, vegetables! – and still eat meat.

    Thanks for today’s good chuckle.

  • December 19, 2007 9:45am

    You don’t mind Yum-O? I have to bristle at that one! :)

    I think I would nominate “Pomegranate” though maybe we can’t eliminate a fruit directly – we could call it “that red bulb” or something so new recipes would be Custard Verrine with That Red Bulb Reduction sauce. :)

  • December 19, 2007 9:47am

    Alanna: You’ve earned an exemption, but just temporarily! You’re lucky, though.

    At least you can change the name of your blog—I can’t! ; )

    …I also forgot ‘chai tea’. But since someone took me to task once for saying ‘small demitasse’ (which I countered with the fact we say ‘huge SUV’), I’ll let those pass.

    But just until ’09. Then, it’s either ‘chai’ or ‘tea’.

  • Rachel
    December 19, 2007 9:55am

    And I forgot that I DESPISE “more-ish” – I see it more frequently in British cookbooks, but regardless, it’s awful.


  • December 19, 2007 10:19am

    Veggie dressing combined in a seasonal sammie… Spot on DL!

  • December 19, 2007 10:21am

    Sammie, ugh.

    Could we try to speak like an adult instead of a 5 year old, please?

    Unlike veggie, which is an abbreviation of sorts, sammie and sandwich have the same number of syllables.

    And while we’re discussing Ms. Ray, what’s with “stoup”? Why does she have to keep making up silly words?

  • AHarste
    December 19, 2007 10:21am

    Calling anyone a “Celebrity chef” but especially when it’s used to describe people who aren’t even chefs, such as Rachel, Sandra, Paula . . .

  • December 19, 2007 10:34am

    I see your point about stuffing, but it irritates me when people bake something outside the turkey and call it stuffing. After all, where the heck is it getting stuffed? In a pan? That doesn’t really make sense. Perhaps we need a new word to refer to stuffing that isn’t stuffed inside some sort of other tasty treat.

    Other than the quibble about stuffing, I think you’re right on the mark!

  • December 19, 2007 11:02am

    It’s not dressing OR stuffing. It’s filling. Was my family the only one to call it that?

  • December 19, 2007 11:44am

    I’ll have to argue for dressing as it isn’t stuffing at all. I’ll agree that there is no dressing involved, but it truly is a different beast having not been inserted into the beast. Another difference, provided by being cooked outside the bird is that dressing develops a crust, and as anyone knows, crusty edges of baked goods are often the best part.

    I say we don’t stop at ridding ourselves of sammie but that we continue on to rid ourselves of Rachel Ray altogether.

  • December 19, 2007 11:51am

    Sorry, in Georgia it’s dressing. End of discussion. And if the best you can come up with to suppourt your claim is that cardboard-tasting stuff from a box, that’s sad.

  • December 19, 2007 12:08pm

    To the southern grandparents it’s cornbread dressing or it doesn’t exist. To the California me… it’s stuffing. But yes yummo and sammies both have got to go! Also… am I the only one tired of ‘marbled for flavor’??? It’s fatty. Yes tasty. And yes… fatty.

  • December 19, 2007 12:25pm

    “Even if you don’t use it to stuff, you’re not ‘dressing’ the bird.”

    Sorry, you’re wrong. If you;re not “stuffing” the bird it isn’t stuffing. And if you live in the South (as I do) it is dressing even inside the bird.

    I’m sorry my friend, you may not like it, but if you’re not prepared for regional differences you have no business living in France. You might as well argue that cookies aren’t biscuits in England.

  • December 19, 2007 12:30pm


  • PhlD
    December 19, 2007 12:39pm

    What have you got against Aussies, we love our veggies, they go with the snags on the barbie, especially if you have a couple of cold stubbies to wash them down.

  • December 19, 2007 12:41pm

    Apologies to all you southern folks (incl. Andy), but I don’t get how a turkey is ‘dressed’ with something, when it’s served on the side? You dress a mannequin, you dress-up to go out to dinner, you dress the salad by pouring dressing on it.

    Kevin: Biscuits are close enough to cookies so I let that slide. It’s ‘pudding’ I can’t take. Isn’t pudding soft and runny?

    Good thing I don’t live in England. I’ve been booted from the US, and there’s just a few English-speaking countries that’d let me stay at this point ; )

    Laura: Yes, that one too! I was trying to explain what a ‘foodie’ was to a group of French friends and they were looking at me like I was nuts. Kinda like when I was trying to explain who Martha Stewart was.

    Nancy: And thanks a lot…now I’ve got that word ‘stoup’ in my head now too!!

  • Andrea
    December 19, 2007 12:52pm

    “Chai tea” is on my list of redundant terms that I dislike hearing, because I dislike redundancy (and redundant redundancy). However, there is a case to be made for it. In North America (and, I’m surmising, other places that aren’t India) it is viewed as a variety of tea the same as “jasmine tea” or “Oolong tea”, so “chai tea” does make sense in this context.

    I use the word “stuffing” even though it doesn’t stuff the bird. I don’t “dress” the bird either. The stuffing is a side dish, cooked on its own. So, what is it called? I could call it “heavenly bread-meat-herb mixture for turkey” but that’s too long. So, “stuffing” it is, as in “We stuff ourselves full of the heavenly bread-meat-herb mixture”.

    -It’s not cooking, but it’s arguably food related: “Street meat” (as in, hot dog carts). Ugh.

    -“Nuke”. Sounds appetizing, non?

  • Terrie
    December 19, 2007 12:59pm

    I want to knock myself unconscious when I hear the word “sammie”.@##$%%
    So David, if you don’t use the word combine, what do you put in its place – incorporate, mix, mélanger ;-)?

  • Colleen
    December 19, 2007 1:42pm

    Is that where “Sammies” comes from?! I saw a commercial for some sandwich chain (Subway?) advertizing them. UGH!

    I hate “healthful.” I know it’s grammatically correct but it sounds so pretentious (Martha started it). It’s often used by reviewers on Epicurious when they change a bunch of ingredients then complain when the recipe doesn’t turn out.

  • Judith inUmbria
    December 19, 2007 2:07pm

    I won’t buy number 3, no way, no how. You have to combine things sometimes, or they stay in different places and no one eats.

    I hate that everyone says their recipe is a twist on something. Say what? Who wants twisted food? Other than Challah.

  • December 19, 2007 2:31pm

    I don’t like to be told “enjoy.” This is a verb that necessitates a direct object. Can’t the server find the time to add just a couple of extra words? “Enjoy your dinner,” or “Enjoy your food.”

    Also, I don’t like lots of extra prepositions, especially the dangling kind: to cook or bake something off, to finish something off in the oven, to let something set up are examples that come to mind. They are not only grammatically questionable, these expressions always either sound violent or lascivious or both.

    While I’m playing grammar nazi, there’s also the problem of the express checkout at the grocery store that has a sign announcing “12 items or less,” instead of “12 items or fewer.” Am I the only person left in the US who cares about the difference between count nouns and mass nouns? Maybe not, because I went to Trader Joe’s the other day and they got it right!

  • December 19, 2007 3:13pm

    This isn’t a word… but really, if one more f’ing waitron asks, “Is everything tasting delicious/excellent?”, I will retch.

    I mean, what do you say? What’s the answer? If I say “no”, then I’m rude. And if I say yes, I’m a liar!

  • December 19, 2007 3:24pm

    To build on Fatemeh’s right-on-the-money comments, I would vote to legally prohibit waitstaff from asking if I’m still “working on” my meal. I work hard at a lot of things, but eating a lovely meal in a restaurant isn’t one of them.

  • Helen
    December 19, 2007 3:34pm

    How about “a”? As in, hamburger with “a” sun-dried tomato reduction. Or french fries with “a” chile sirloin ragout? Shouldn’t that have played itself out along with, say, the Bush Sr administration?

  • Flaime
    December 19, 2007 3:37pm

    I certainly agree on Sammies…it should be sammiches! heh

  • December 19, 2007 3:40pm

    Can we add the verb ‘to pop’ when used in reference to adding an ingredient? As in, “And now let’s just pop that garlic right in the pan!” I don’t know why it makes me shudder so…..shudder.

  • December 19, 2007 4:02pm

    I wasn’t even sure what a “sammie” was….we don’t have Miss Perky on Italian TV!

    Dressing/Stuffing, what’s the diff….I know what it is regardless. Guess being from KY is close enough to the south (right on the Mason-Dixon line) that I’m used to both.

  • December 19, 2007 4:07pm

    David–I totally agree with your list, but not with your pardoning of “evoo.” Too cute, too cute. Regarding seasonal, the word taking its place is local. I’m all about supporting local farmers, but I’d be more concerned about the carbon footprint created by food if I weren’t hearing about it from yuppies driving their gas-guzzling Range Rovers to the farmers market to “buy local.” On an only slightly related topic, don’t use the word fudge as a cute substitute for the F-bomb. Unless you’re under 12, either drop the bomb or shut up.

  • December 19, 2007 4:32pm


    Sammige. :) (in an affectionate, special occasion way. Not everyday. Please.)

    Dressing goes on salads.

    I’ve been exposed to Rachel Ray periodically on our cable TV. Funny show, but the voice!

  • Michelle
    December 19, 2007 5:10pm

    Oh yeah, “local”, I’m also in favor of that term disappearing. It’s become just another marketing phrase that has no real meaning – like “natural”. Ask you “local” purveyor where their stuff comes from!

  • jazmine
    December 19, 2007 5:20pm

    ugh, can we put a moratorium on adults calling food “nummy”. that makes me cringe.

  • December 19, 2007 5:25pm

    “Source” as an active verb – as in, “That chef is sourcing very good ingredients these days.” Hate it, hate it, hate it. It’s pretentious, insider-y, foodie and arrogant. It’s got to go.

  • December 19, 2007 5:32pm

    ah yes – dressing, veggies, and sammies sound like nails on a chalkboard to me – terrible! you forgot EVOO, and any other Rachael-Ray-term out there ;0)

  • December 19, 2007 5:35pm

    Maybe it’s just a western MA thing, but I’m sick of “native” at the farmstands. “Native corn!” “Native strawberries!” “Native locally grown heirloom tomatoes!” It’s baffling.

  • December 19, 2007 5:47pm

    Love this post. Definitely agree with “sammies” “veggies” and “dressing” (jeez it’s TOTALLY stuffing). But hey, what are your thoughts on the term foodie?

  • Maryann
    December 19, 2007 5:53pm

    What’s so evil about “combine”? Two syllables,short and sweet and to the point. That’s like saying you don’t like “mix”. I could see if it were a flowery word like “marry”, or one with too many syllables like “incorporate”, but c’mon! What’s the big whoop?
    …Pomegranate???? haha

  • December 19, 2007 6:08pm

    I’m with PhlD on this, I’m rather affronted at your placing veggies on the list – it may be slang, but its also indicative of the Australian lexicon, along with ‘Aussie’, ‘barbie’, ‘snag’, and ‘g’day’. Lets not condemn something just because it doesn’t fit in with the ideal of American English.

  • Paul Stanley
    December 19, 2007 6:35pm

    I don’t like combine, because it’s too vague. I want to know exactly how I am supposed to combine things: mix them, beat them, whisk them, sift them together, fold them etc. Combine only tells half the story. There’s always a better verb.

    My special dislike is “I like to serve this with …” I hate it because it seems so fake and folksy. (As if the writer of the book were constantly dishing up, to their perfect family and sophisticated friends, some particular meal which just happened to be constructed out of various of the hundreds of recipes in that particular book!) Also because it smacks of the cult of the celebrity. As if I wanted a book in order to live my life like the author. “Me and Nigella, we both like to serve our chicken-fried chorizo with parsnip and artichoke croquettes.” Tell me by all means that something does or might taste good together, especially if it’s surprising. Or that some companion dish is classic. Or awful. But don’t tell me what you “like to serve”, as if I should care.

  • Joanne
    December 19, 2007 6:50pm

    I agree with the majority of the people irritated by the new fangled somewhat presumptious or too cutesy labels coming forth. I don’t understand the reason behind nominating Pomegranate though.

    I used to feel gah about the fact some people use Savory as a label to mean “as opposed to Sweet tasting”.

    I use savory in roughly the same way I would use tasty, I may be wrong in so doing, but some “savory” labeled concoctions are just not tasty… But i don’t care anymore.

  • pf
    December 19, 2007 8:04pm

    Tonights menu -Celebrity Chef inspired late harvest local pomegranate and veggie sammie that pops with a savory chipotle mayo. Enjoy!

  • December 19, 2007 8:11pm

    While we’re on the subject, there is no such word at “heighth,” people! Stop using it. It’s just “height and width” not “heighth and width”. Stop it. Right now. I mean it.

    See, even the dictionary says so:
    heighth –noun a nonstandard spelling of height.

  • December 19, 2007 8:22pm

    Um, David, when you say “Combine the oats and cranberries with your hands”, I get a terrible picture of a cook with bleeding wrist-stumps tossing detached hands with oats and cranberries, to what purpose I cannot imagine.

  • Cheryl
    December 19, 2007 8:46pm

    Response to:
    Wicked Good Dinner

    Very, very…funny.

  • misty
    December 19, 2007 9:08pm

    It’s not really that serious, but I’m a linguist with a couple thoughts.

    (#1-dressing) Language doesn’t have to follow logic to convey meaning. (ex. Double negatives are the standard in Spanish- French too? So in no case does “No quiero ninguna naranja” really mean I DO want an orange) (#2-veggies) We shorten things all the time. (Television is only 2 syllables shorter than TV, but I doubt that bothers anyone.) By the way vegetables is usually pronounced in 3 syllables: veg-tuh-bulls
    (#3-Combine&#4-Sammies)Basically, no one person can control language, (and English doesn’t have an authority like the French Academy). It just has to work for communicating. And RR didn’t invent “Sammies” (#5-seasonal) This one is different. I don’t think it’s a lost cause. Lots of people still haven’t gotten the message. I’ve just recently begun trying to eat seasonally. The revolution is just starting in less cosmopolitan areas! Please just try to promote the idea with or without the word.

  • erick e
    December 19, 2007 9:46pm

    how about the word infused? Truffle-Infused French Onion soup. no? okay, I take that back. I guess it’s better than Truffle-Amalgamated French Onion Soup.

  • Marcia
    December 19, 2007 10:22pm

    Okay, since we’re talking about food word peeves, I can’t figure out why the main dish in the U.S. is called the “entree.” The entree is the starter/appetizer by virtue of the word itself. And don’t get me started talking about an “appie” followed by an “entree.”

  • Linda H
    December 19, 2007 11:04pm

    I’m from central Illinois, where stuffing and dressing are completely interchangeable terms. It’s a half northern, half southern area. Less/fewer and between/among have lost the grammatical battle. No one uses these terms correctly. I’ve solved the problem of being irritated by Rachel Ray’s word creations. I never watch her show. I can’t make myself do it.

  • Linda H
    December 19, 2007 11:08pm

    One other comment: I read in this morning’s newspaper that Rachel Ray is going to be doing a new show, something like “Rachel On Vacation” in which she will travel the world, discovering new places and foods. Now none of you are safe. Gird your loins. And every other place.

  • Claire
    December 19, 2007 11:43pm

    pf: What’s wrong with ‘starters’ for the first course? It seems totally logical to me, and it mirrors the French usage of ‘entrées’ (which are not the main courses, whatever Americans might think).

    And moorish is a very commonly used word, I don’t think it’s recent, not particularly ‘cheffy’.

    I vote for over-use of the possessive:

    Steak haché avec ses frites.


  • Terrie
    December 19, 2007 11:48pm

    While we’re on the subject, how about VERY unique??? By definition, it means it’s the only one. It either is, or it isn’t. It can’t be a little or very. I think there should be seminars on this subject. :)

  • Claire
    December 19, 2007 11:49pm

    Joanne, ‘savoury’ is the opposite of sweet as well having the alternative meaning of ‘tasty’.

    It’s very useful because I can’t think how else to phrase this:

    ‘we sell both sweet and savoury tarts’.

  • Lord Daniel
    December 20, 2007 2:00am

    Can we not have a few lazy Australians painting all Australian gourmets’ as “aussie veggie snag n stubbie guzzlers” please? I swear I will shoot the next relative who says the word snag in my presence.
    I agree with foodie. Gourmand, Gourmet, Gastronome, we have an abundance of words to describe ‘food fanciers’ without resorting to adding ‘ie’ to the end a perfectly innocent word.

    Dressing is incorrect, regardless of what anyone says about regional differences. Its a regional difference for certain people to add “eh” to the end of every sentence, that doesn’t make it correct. Stuffing can be viewed as correct as it is intended to be stuffed regardless of whether it is or not. You cannot dress a bird with stuffing.

  • December 20, 2007 3:08am

    Hi Misty: The French (well…at least Parisians) got rid of some of that double-negative stuff, and you hear “C’est pas vrai” or “C’est pas grave” all the time…although as Claire pointed out, they can be extra-possessive: it’s really cute when French people say, in English, “The baguette, she is delicious!”

    Terry: Hmm, never thought of that. What about when the smallest size available is ‘medium‘, which implies ‘in the middle‘.

    I don’t understand how there can be a ‘medium’ size available without small and large bracketing it?

    Charles; Yikes, maybe I should have written “with a spoon”…

    pf: LOL-you hit almost all the bases.

    Linda: Maybe she’ll come here. We can go out for baguette sammies—although I doubt the French would include that work in their vocabulary.

    re: Pomegranites-I like them. I really do. But it’s funny how they’re the new wonder-fruit (especially in light of recent studies that show anti-oxidants don’t really do anything.) What are we going to do with all those ‘red bulbs’ after they’re no longer trendy?

  • Lucy
    December 20, 2007 5:13am

    Pudding is what you eat after main course, whether runny or not! In fact, the stodgier, spongier and the more covered in custard the better. (I’m British. Just in case that wasn’t clear).

  • December 20, 2007 6:50am


  • December 20, 2007 7:49am

    I say “starters” all the time in restaurant reviews to avoid the problem of French vs US “entrées,” which of course mean something entirely different. But maybe I will consider using “first course,” although it is two words instead of one!

    How I hate the word “veg” – as in the British “meat and three veg”. You just know that nothing called a “veg” can be appetizing!

  • bigeater
    December 20, 2007 9:07am

    anything that comes out of ray ray’s big mouth

  • December 20, 2007 9:52am

    All abbreviations and acronyms, starting with the obvious Ray-Ray contenders (yum-o, evoo etc., as fellow commentators have suggested). Let’s also ditch Cab[ernet] Sa[U]v[ignon], mayo[nnaise], etc.

  • simon
    December 20, 2007 9:52am

    “Pairing”, or “paired” as in “halibut paired with enoki mushrooms”


  • December 20, 2007 12:21pm

    “Protein” used instead of “meat” or “fish” or “tofu” has become ubiquitous and unappetizing.

  • December 20, 2007 2:40pm

    “Sustainable.” I’m all for the philosophy behind sustainability, but every time I hear that word I am a) also generally being clocked over the head with smugness and b) concerned that if this is so very trendy right now…well, trends end, and then what?

    Artisanal is another one.

    I don’t like the word “foodie” as a word, but I think it’s now describing something specific that other options don’t quite cover. It’s more than just a person who appreciates food, to me, it’s a person who self-identifies as a person who appreciates food and sort of builds this persona around it. Like the fact that the word is kind of irritating makes it like even more descriptive of the kind of person I’m usually thinking of when I think “foodie.”

    And I can’t think of any single word to some this up but what I’d like to see extinguished in the new year is what I’ve been calling the fanboy elitism around food right now. Somehow it’s like food is the new indie rock or something, and only if you’re making foam at home and buying whole pigs on which to practice your charcuterie do you have any street cred.

  • December 20, 2007 2:41pm

    Er – “sum” this up.

  • Elizabeth
    December 20, 2007 2:51pm

    1) Quality (adj.)
    While my upper lip longs to curl into a sneer whenever I hear someone modify nouns with this noun, I especially dislike hearing it uttered directly before “ingredient(s)” or the name of a specified food.

    2) Natural
    Raises suspicions, especially when we’re talking processed, packaged foods with natural ingredients. Not the same thing, but General Mills touts many of its products as healthful because they’re made with whole grains, yet when you read information on the side of the box, you learn there’s virtually no fiber. Does that mean the corporation started with whole grains yet refined them to death, stripping them of their nutritional value?

    3) Carbon Footprint
    Now that there’s backlash directed at Michael Pollan’s admirable book, I’m still on his side and hope that after all the detraction, the crazy practices of shipping foods back and forth across the world to cut costs on processing and distribution will be severely curtailed. I guess I don’t like any of the catchy phrases that evolve to support a cause because they are vulnerable to derision and end up sounding So Last Year so quickly. FYI: Wasn’t the word “sustainable” the bee in Pollan’s bonnet in his most recent article in the NYTs?

    * * *
    SEASONAL: Gotta defend it. I got sick of “local” real fast, especially as in “locally sourced”. And I’m a regular volunteer at my (sigh) local farmer’s market. Menus that list the farms that surrender their heirloom Purple Cherokee tomatoes for your dining pleasure are just a bit too precious.

    Yet, I don’t hear the word “seasonal” enough. It saddens me, in fact, that locavores made their case so well that the non-foodie public focuses its attention on what it might view as oddly obsessed elitists while still buying “heirloom” tomatoes shipped across the country for salad on Christmas Eve. Because they only shop at supermarkets, they don’t see the difference between the big, cottony, white & hollow-centered strawberries shipped by Driscoll’s in June and the ones that come from Mexica or Chile in the winter.

    As much as the concept of eating seasonally goes hand in hand with buying locally grown food, too few people are aware of the seasons in which certain foods are naturally (;)) at their prime.

  • December 20, 2007 3:16pm

    Leslie: I made peace with the word ‘foodie’ since it’s now used more tongue-in-cheek than it used to be. But what’s with all that hyper-testosterone cooking?

    Elizabeth: I use the word ‘quality’ when suggesting that people use a top-notch ingredient. For example, I’ll say, “Best quality chocolate chips” to refer to something other than one particular brand of semisweet chocolate morsels (which aren’t bad, actually…but you get the idea.)

    But that ‘whole grains’ thing, like whole-grain Fruit Loops, is pretty amusing. As if eating Trix is going to be good for you. Shredded Wheat rocks! Although I confess to liking the frosted mini-wheats too. : 0

  • Joan
    December 20, 2007 4:04pm

    Wow! So many comments and great ones on a fantastic post that really gets to the point. My pet hates:
    – pan-fry or pan-fried (where else can you fry things – in a teapot?)
    – drizzle (of evoo, just to “pair” them – for whoever it was that objected (rightly) to paired halibut!)
    – names of dishes with a million (or so it seems) words – do you really have to say every ingredient that went into the dish?!

  • Laura in CA :)
    December 20, 2007 5:35pm

    Thank you!!! Veggie has bugged me for years!! I only dont mind it when put with burger, but when someone offers to bring a veggie tray I shudder! :)………. And this may seem like a small thing but I dislike hearing “your” when a TV cook is adding ingredients. “Then you had your vanilla”…Technically I guess it is _mine_ since _I_ bought it at the store, but I would rather they say “the” instead………..Also, David, we have been making Chocolate-Almond Buttercruch Toffee for gifts and I’ve had nothing but rave reviews! I lost a good recipe I had years ago and have been trying lots of others with minimal success. What a treat to find yours! I knew it would be good and was not disappointed! Thank you! :)

  • December 20, 2007 10:34pm

    Fusion. I hate that term. It’s overused… Asian, Thai.. I’m waiting for a BBQ Fusion place to open locally.

  • December 20, 2007 11:10pm

    Ugh, the “sammies” thing has been bugging me ever since I first heard it. It’s now pervaded American culture to the extent that I see it on menus and in cookbooks by folks other than Rachel Ray.

    It’s like nails on a blackboard.

  • Belinda
    December 21, 2007 8:18am

    “Dressing” is basically a southern colloquialism. :) So, it’s best to not take it too literally.

  • Davecamaro1994
    December 21, 2007 10:00am

    Hey lets go make some veggie sammies and combine some of the seasonal dressing with it. Sounds yummy!

  • Hopdevil
    December 21, 2007 11:27am

    If any decides to call Kraft about their crappy stuffung, please tell them NO MORE MELTY.

  • Mary
    December 21, 2007 2:25pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with most of the evictions, except for the fact that I interchange “stuffing” and “dressing” so often that I honestly can’t remember which one I think is correct! However; anyone who is a public chef MUST make sure he/she is pronouncing words correctly. Pet peeves are “vinegar-ette” and “papa-rika.” Alton Brown is notorious for his mispronunciations as well as faulty factoids. Please, folks, don’t lead us astray while claiming to educate us.

  • maria
    December 21, 2007 4:04pm

    Lovely hot baked bread. I hate lovely for obvious reasons, but the hot in that sentence makes me want to scream!

  • maria
    December 21, 2007 4:10pm

    Baking hot bread! It would be difficult to bake a cold variety.

  • nbm
    December 21, 2007 6:04pm

    Puck. I see this in reviews all the time. I don’t want to eat a puck of anything.

  • December 21, 2007 6:11pm

    My sister’s partner just schooled me on the difference between dressing and stuffing this last Thanksgiving. Apparently (in Texas at least) dressing is cooked outside the bird while stuffing is put into the bird. So technically there is a difference – who knew? How Rachel Ray manages to still have all of fingers is a question I’d like answered. Have you ever watched her cut vegetables? I cringe every time. But you know, Webster’s included EVOO in the dictionary. What’s next – Emril’s “bam, bam”? Bisous, Ms. Glaze

  • December 21, 2007 7:18pm

    OK, I may be the only food blogger on the planet who doesn’t know what “Sammie” means. Seriously. I have never seen more than 5 minutes of Rachel Ray’s cooking show, and that was at the gym, where I only saw her on the screen but didn’t hear her. Based upon some of the comments I’ve read above, it seems that’s the way some other people might want to watch her show in the future.

    And here, here, for “stuffing.”

  • Tags
    December 21, 2007 7:45pm

    Here’s one RayRayism that needs to be snuffed out immediately.

    America runs on Dunkin.

    If it’s true, Canada will be able to kick our butts if we ever go to war.

  • Peter
    December 22, 2007 12:38am

    Ah! The perfect ‘seasonal’ post (excuse the droll humour). Instead of promoting love and tolerence, let’s encourage hate and intolerence! Personally, I rejoice in the variety and regionality of the English language, as I do in the variety and regionality of food! A perfect marriage!

    Merry Christmas David, and to all :)

  • MAS
    December 22, 2007 8:30am

    I agree with just about everything everyone has written. The worst for me is the “evoo” BECAUSE Ray then goes on to say what it is.

    “evoo–extra virgin olive oil…”

    Every time.

    It’s that way in her cookbooks, too.

    Redundant. Stupid. Insulting to viewers and readers. NOT cute.

  • Mary
    December 22, 2007 12:15pm

    Oh my, how I agree with you, MAS!
    my hubby is about to declare ME redundant because I complain about this so often. Is an abbreviation really an abbreviation if it makes the experience longer?

  • RD
    December 22, 2007 1:11pm

    Re: an earlier comment: The chain selling “sammies” is Quiznos, a chain I used to love dearly over places like Subway, Jersey Mike’s and Firehouse (a sub shop found in the American South). Until they started selling $2 “sammies.” The thought of those commercials drives me mad.

    I’m with everyone that hates any of Rachael Ray’s “invented” words. I’d like to add one, though, from her talk show: “basil confetti” for chiffonade, because chiffonade sounds like a “mean” word. Words cannot express how much I want to choke her for “inventing” that phrase.

  • December 22, 2007 2:00pm

    Yes!!! I agree with you on ALL of these, especially “veggies” and “dressing”. Ugh. Just ugh. Hopefully the rest of the culinary world will see the light soon. ;-)

  • December 23, 2007 12:48am

    Amen on veggies, but I wouldn’t touch the word dressing–you’re only showing what a Yank you are. ;)

    Adding: Meltingly tender, tasty treats, divine, delectable, sumptuous… I could just keep going and going, but I’m likely guilty of all of these, despite finding them cringe-worthy.

  • December 23, 2007 6:26pm

    unctuous – i hate that word. makes my skin crawl…

  • MJ
    December 23, 2007 6:54pm

    A little off topic but how about Pointseteeea, I was so happy the other day when someone else pointed out that pronunciation makes her cringe, I thought it was just my lack of sophistication.

  • richard
    December 24, 2007 10:51am

    Actually the term “dressing” comes from the Victorians who felt that the word “stuffing” was too graphic.

    One thing that make me nuts is people who use false Italian pronunciation in the NYC area. You will often hear people say “gallamar” which is calamari, “brushut” which prosciutto, “manicot” which is manicotti, mootzrell for mozzarella and “ricott” for ricotta.

    The correct Italian pronunciation is completely phonetic, You say every letter.

  • Jamie Alyse
    December 24, 2007 1:31pm

    “scented”, as in lavender-scented shortbread


  • December 24, 2007 3:45pm

    David, delurking here to say I endorse your vocabulary pet peeves. I would like to encourage foodies to pronounce the word “artisanal” correctly: artis-an-al. It hurts my ears to hear the word pronounced artis-in-al or artees-in-al�who started this?

  • December 25, 2007 2:34am

    I’m surprised no one has brought up the classic song “tomatoes, tomahtoes, potatoes, potahtoes…let’s call the whole thing off.” An important discussion, but some things transcend logic. I will, however, add the term “nazi” as in food nazi; and far afield, “free gift.” UGH!

  • December 25, 2007 4:36pm

    Artis-an-al no matter how one pronounces it has got to go!

    Gotta keep tubesteak though.

  • Vickie
    December 25, 2007 4:40pm

    Merry Christmas, David! I attended your ice cream class at Central Market in Dallas. Hate to say it, but my cornbread dressing is in the oven right now! My Alabama relatives always said Yankees served stuffing…

    Happy 2008!


  • Achamma
    December 26, 2007 7:47am

    Veggie, as in “ich bin ein Veggie”.

  • December 26, 2007 12:06pm

    I love “combine”. It assumes you know what you’re doing, no further instructions necessary.

  • mirinblue
    December 26, 2007 2:11pm

    I have to agree with all of the (non-cute) RRay words, they make me crazy. But so does “money” to describe good food, so does, in fact, almost every catch phrase that comes out of the “Food Network”. So I will sum it up…the word I hate most is “Food Network”!

  • Lorin
    December 26, 2007 4:52pm

    Riff. I cannot stand that word used in context with food. I also hate unctuous, sammies, seasonal (tho I’m guilty of using it) and locavore. Argghhhh!

  • Bill
    December 26, 2007 8:17pm

    “Dressing” and “stuffing” ARE different. You may not like it, but it’s a regional thing and you are not going to change it. You can’t be literal about meanings–otherwise ganache on a cake could never be called “frosting” or “icing.” Moreover, Richard’s complaint about Italian pronunciations speaks to Sicilian-scented slang. I never knew that “gavadell” was actually ‘cavatelli.” The Italian language is extraordinarily divided among regions, with several dialects (the country wasn’t even united politcally until the late 19th Century)–but the way a lot of people in the northeast hear it pronounced by true Italian ‘descendants’ is nothing more than a guttural, lazy southern Italian slang that would be disowned by people who spoke the language properly. Many of them who say “pasta fazool” would never deign to speak English with so pronounced an accent. And happy birthday, David…

  • December 26, 2007 9:41pm

    David, thank you. I agree with every word on your list — this from a cook who grew up on farm foods in Iowa.
    Others have spelled out the regional stuffing versus dressing issue better than I can, so that needs no elaboration.
    Two more points:
    *In my home state, “combine” is the machine you use to harvest the corn and soybeans. And yes, I grew up driving one every fall.
    *Could someone just put Rachael (Rachel?) Ray in a bag and drop her off of a bridge? Please? I’m having skin cancer treated soon and that will be far more pleasant than watching her insipid behavior on that dreadful show. I cannot stand that blabbering mouth. Someone needs to slap her hard and tell her to grow up and not talk like a baby when she is sucking so much money out of gullible advertisers. I even quit serving and eating Ritz Crackers because she is endorsing them.

  • December 26, 2007 10:48pm

    I don’t know who this Rachael Ray person is (another veggie and snag consuming Aussie, I’m afraid), but she sounds like a nightmare.

    How about this one: just yesterday I saw an episode of Nigella, in which the domestic goddess described herself as ‘Jackson Pollocking’ some melted chocolate over the top of her cheesecake. Yes… she actually used someone’s name as a verb – deliberately. It’s right up there with the ‘vociferous cheddar’ she mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

  • December 27, 2007 6:02am

    Post-prandial. If I read it again in a food-travel piece I will vomit.

  • Cait
    December 28, 2007 6:28pm

    Richard.. I have to say.. as an italian, I was bothered by the same thing.. however, my family is half northern and half southern and when I asked my dad (whose family is from Sicily) about the messed up shortened pronunciations, he told me that that’s how a lot of those words are pronounced in Sicily.. it’s just dialect. maybe this will help you be less annoyed? It helped me..

    As for my own gripe, this has nothing to do with food, but will people please stop confusing anxious and eager??? If you are “so anxious to try out a new recipe”, that means that your are nervous and worried, not excited. I’m pretty sure that you’re eager to try it!!

    One more thing.. will restaurants pleeeeeeease please please learn to use apostrophes correctly? I don’t think I can stand to look at any more noodle’s, burrito’s, or crab’s in 2008!


  • sarah in california
    December 30, 2007 2:30pm

    and why does olive oil always, always have to be “drizzled”? can it not be poured?

  • December 30, 2007 5:26pm

    “Pre-heat the oven” – No oven I know has a “Pre-heat”-mode. “Heat the oven” will do.

  • Margy
    December 31, 2007 3:09pm


    It drives me crazy when watching cooking competition shows such as Top Chef, the contestants CONSTANTLY overuse the word “little” when describing their dishes. For example, “I have for you a little poached halibut over a little pomegranite puree and topped with a little kumquat salsa”.


  • January 1, 2008 10:31pm

    I know it’s a legitimate cooking term, but I do not want to see the word coulis ever again. A menu I saw last week had a dish containing both asparagus coulis and beetroot coulis. The dessert menu mentioned raspberry coulis, mint coulis and blood orange coulis. Stop it. Now.

    I never ate dressing, but I love a good stuffing. And filling is something you put in a cannoli.

  • Carole
    January 2, 2008 10:53am

    I scanned Room for Dessert for the word “decadent” before buying it. You managed to describe chocolate without it, which is just one of the many reasons I love that book. Another one that bugs me is “crusty” bread. These adjectives are out of vogue in food writing these days but man, 15 or 20 years ago there was no escaping them. Rachel Ray will pass, too. Just turn off the box and keep cooking!

  • January 2, 2008 11:01am

    Hi Carole: I don’t like to use words that are off-putting or that make people feel like it’s ‘sinful’ to eat dessert (there’s another one!)

    ‘Decadent’ is one of those words.

    Another thing I dislike is when people use words like ‘Chocolate Heart Attack’, ‘Coffee Brain-Blast’ or ‘Toffee Infection’ (ok…the second one I made up.)

    What is it with people using disease to describe food? Ick.

  • January 2, 2008 12:24pm

    Around my place, with a toddler, we say ‘the veg’ meaning all vegetables. It’s a new one, so we’ll see if it sticks, but I think it lends an importance to all of them.

  • January 2, 2008 9:26pm

    Filling? For something you put in a bird? That’s just wrong!

    As for the others, they can come or go as far as I’m concerned. My grammar pet peeve is using fresh (fresh baked bread) when you should use freshly.

    Mostly, I’d like people to realize that they don’t need to like every show on any given network. Change the channel and move on if you don’t like it.

  • January 3, 2008 2:32am

    I agree with whoever said “pop.” It drives me nuts!

  • January 3, 2008 1:03pm

    man i’ve committed a lot of veggie crimes!!!!

  • January 3, 2008 1:12pm

    one more thing, david. i really don’t mind seasonal that much. but since you do, you might want to replace that term with something else in the second to last paragraph of your bio! :-)

  • January 3, 2008 1:20pm

    Hi Marni: I would change that phrase on my Bio page…except I can’t make changes to the other pages on my site; only my webmaster can do that.

    And he only does them seasonally.

    ; )

  • RDW
    January 4, 2008 2:04pm

    When did baking something become “bake off”?

  • Lynne
    January 4, 2008 6:12pm

    I must needs disagree with Joan – ‘pan-fry’ is the means that people who have never heard, or find pretentious the use, of the term ‘saute’ (please forgive my keyboard, which does not speak French), to distinguish the practice thereof from deep-fat frying, which can also be done in a pan, further confusing the issue.

    I have long since given up any hope of seeing or hearing correct usage. I’m now willing to settle for just being able to understand what someone is trying to convey. For that reason, I am deeply appreciative of the person who explained what ‘evoo’ meant, as I do not watch Rachael Ray, which so many of you who are panning her seem to do, or you wouldn’t recognize her umm… looseness of language.

    That said, I gotta say I lurves youse guys! Especially you, David. Hope everyone has a great 2008!

  • January 5, 2008 7:59pm

    Please don’t hate foodie. Happy New Year David.

  • Ernie
    January 8, 2008 12:38pm

    The soft and runny from-a-box concoction you refer to as “pudding” is an American shortening of “custard pudding”, which most of the English-speaking world calls “custard.” A pudding most often is a dish consisting of bread or cake combined with an egg and liquid base and boiled, steamed, or cooked in an oven until set; it can be sweet or savory. Of course, by this definition, neither stuffing nor dressing is correct; by ingredients and technique, it’s bread pudding.

  • MaryBeth
    January 8, 2008 4:30pm

    I’m with RDW — “bake off” drives me insane. Why should I bake off my cookies when I could just bake them? What, exactly, am I baking off of them?

  • Anna
    January 10, 2008 12:14am

    Oooh. I hate “Sammie”. My son is named Sam, and he is definitely not a sandwich.

    But he does love his veggies!

  • January 17, 2008 2:15pm

    Someone please get rid of the term “amuse bouche”…
    it’s another overused trendy term!

  • January 25, 2008 1:35pm

    A little late to the party but had to chime in with one of the things that makes me cringe: ingredient lists instead of a useful name for a dish. I really hate it when menus say ‘pork – shallot – rosemary – red bulb’ instead of ‘pork with red bulb glaze’ because preparation matters to me. I might like ‘pork with red bulb glaze’ whereas ‘stewed pork chunks combined with red bulb seeds,’ not so much.

  • Sandy
    January 31, 2008 10:12am

    Nils: My oven (a 1970-something model, needing replacement) does have a pre-heat setting.

    I will not refer to dressing as stuffing when it’s not stuffed into something! Ludicrous. (And I’m not a Southerner, I’m from Oregon, with one parent from Vermont and one from Arkansas.) I’m not fond of the term ‘bread pudding’ because what I’ve mostly had was undercooked and too sweet, but I’ll accept it as a compromise if you can get anyone else to!

    Enthusiastically 2nd the correct use of apostrophes, only please don’t stop with restaurants. A mis-places apostrophe can change the meaning not only of the word but of the whole sentence.

  • pumpkinpie
    February 4, 2008 4:53am

    No more foam, please. And I would rather have my food mixed than “infused with…”

  • February 6, 2008 12:28am

    I agree about stuffing. I probably have used veggie myself, but now I’ll be self-conscious about it at least.

    Anything Rachael Ray says cannot be trusted. She can’t toast bread and is proud of it. The other day, she washed leeks AFTER she had chopped them in tiny pieces, so that she would have to dry them in some new towel that has her name on it.

    Slightly off topic, but you reminded me of it and it’s worse than all of the above, are people that don’t know to pronounce MOET. It drives me crazy.

  • August 3, 2009 7:00pm

    Now that you’ve culled quite a collection of culinary malaprops, check out these Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves, but warning… you may cringe on a few that you have misused.