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Words To Describe Food – Beyond Taste, Appearance & Texture

There are many words in the English language that can be used to describe food. Some of these words are positive, such as “delicious” or “appetizing.” Others are negative, such as “rancid” or “spoiled.”

We tend to describe food based on how it tastes, its appearance, its smell, and its texture.

However, we can also describe food based on:

  • the method used to cook or prepare it (scrambled or poached eggs),
  • the memories it conjures up (soulful, comforting etc),
  • any allergens it may or may not contain (gluten-free, nut-free etc),
  • common flavors (chocolate cake, strawberry mousse etc),
  • the history and cultures that have influenced it,
  • the time of day we tend to eat it at (dinner, morning tea etc), and
  • what it is being used for (birthday cake, breakfast burrito etc)

 

Words To Describe the Taste of Food

  • acerbic
  • acidic
  • after-taste
  • astringent
  • bad
  • balsamic
  • bitter
  • bittersweet
  • bland
  • boring
  • briny
  • burnt
  • buttery
  • cheesy
  • citrusy
  • comforting
  • creamy
  • decadent
  • delectable
  • delightful
  • dulcet
  • eggy
  • fishy
  • flavorful
  • floury
  • fresh
  • fruity
  • full
  • herbal
  • indulgent
  • luxurious
  • mellow
  • morish
  • nutty
  • off
  • peppery
  • rank
  • rich
  • robust
  • salty
  • scrumptious
  • sharp
  • sickly
  • smoky
  • sour
  • spicy
  • strong
  • succulent
  • sweet
  • tangy
  • tart
  • thick
  • vinegary
  • woody
  • yeasty
  • yummy
  • zesty

 

Words To Describe the Texture of Food

  • airy
  • battered
  • breaded
  • browned
  • burnt
  • buttery
  • chewy
  • chunky
  • creamy
  • crispy
  • crumbed
  • crumbly
  • crunchy
  • crusty
  • delicate
  • doughy
  • dry
  • firm
  • fizzy
  • flaky
  • floury
  • fluffy
  • fragile
  • glazed
  • gooey
  • greasy
  • hard
  • hearty
  • juicy
  • light
  • mashed
  • moist
  • mushy
  • oozing
  • silky
  • smashed
  • smooth
  • soft
  • spongey
  • sticky
  • tender
  • tough
  • velvety
  • watery
  • wet
  • whipped

 

Words To Describe Food

  • air-fried
  • airy
  • alluring
  • appetizing
  • aromatic
  • baked
  • barbequed
  • battered
  • bitter
  • blanched
  • blended
  • boiled
  • breaded
  • broiled
  • celebratory
  • charred
  • cheesy
  • chilled
  • chocolatey
  • coated
  • cold
  • crumbed
  • crumbled
  • deep-fried
  • deep-frozen
  • dehydrated
  • delicious
  • dessert
  • distinct
  • divine
  • dry
  • enjoyable
  • enticing
  • expired
  • fermented
  • fresh
  • fried
  • frozen
  • garnished
  • golden
  • grilled
  • ground
  • hearty
  • hot
  • juicy
  • light
  • marinated
  • medicinal
  • medium
  • medium-rare
  • medium-well
  • melted
  • moosh
  • mouthwatering
  • off
  • overcooked
  • passionate
  • perfect
  • pickled
  • poached
  • pressure-cooked
  • pureed
  • putrid
  • rancid
  • rare
  • raw
  • rich
  • ripe
  • roasted
  • room-temperature
  • rotten
  • salty
  • sautéed
  • savory
  • scorched
  • scrambled
  • seared
  • simmered
  • slow-cooked
  • smoked
  • smothered
  • snap-frozen
  • sous vide
  • spicy
  • stewed
  • strong
  • sugary
  • sweet
  • tasted
  • tasty
  • tedious
  • tempered
  • tempting
  • tenderized
  • thick
  • thin
  • toasted
  • undercooked
  • unsavory
  • vinegary
  • warm
  • weird
  • well-done
  • wet
  • whipped
  • wholesome
  • yummy
  • zesty

 

Words To Describe Good Food

  • balanced
  • celebratory
  • coated
  • delicious
  • delightful
  • dipped
  • distinct
  • enjoyed
  • enticing
  • flavorful
  • fresh
  • happy
  • healthy
  • hearty
  • homemade
  • indulgent
  • ingenious
  • perfect
  • rich
  • satisfying
  • seasonal
  • shared
  • unbelievable
  • well-cooked

 

Words To Describe The Appearance of Food

  • appealing
  • appetizing
  • awful
  • boring
  • burnt
  • delightful
  • edible
  • enticing
  • glazed
  • gooey
  • icky
  • indulgent
  • inedible
  • insta-worthy
  • overcooked
  • salivating
  • sickly
  • sweet
  • unappealing
  • undercooked

 

Trendy Food Words

Of course, ‘trendy’ will depend on opinion and your level of cooking and/or dining out experience. Here are a few words that may make the trendy list:

  • aged
  • amuse-bouche
  • aromatic
  • artisan
  • chiffonade
  • confit
  • deconstructed
  • degustation
  • demi-glace
  • dulcet
  • earthy
  • emulsion
  • gritty
  • mouth-watering
  • nosh
  • palatable
  • raclette
  • seasonal
  • sensory
  • sous vide
  • thrice-cooked
  • vintage

There are many, many more options and words that can describe food. Beyond eating for survival, food is such a big part of our lives and can be used for celebrations and for comfort and is always 100% better when it’s shared with those we love. Enjoy!

For more word lists, be sure to check out: