Blog: Dean BestFood vocabulary can be a mouthful

Dean Best | 2 November 2007

Aside from writing about the food industry every day, it’s not often I get to marry my love of all things food with an interest in language. 

However, in the efforts of improving my grasp of the English language (all in the name of professionalism you know) I have for some time now been signed up to an email service from the website Every day it emails me an unusual word and its meaning, thus expanding the already colourful vocabulary used here at just-food.
It has to be said, I don’t often get an opportunity to use many of the words sent my way, particularly around financial results season. But, as luck would have it, this week’s words were all related to food and I thought you might like to read them.
Monday: verjuice (VUHR-joos), noun - the sour juice of unripe grapes, crab apples, etc. Adjective - Sour in temper. (From French verjus, from vert (green) + jus (juice).
Tuesday: jentacular (jen-TAK-yuh-luhr), adjective - Relating to breakfast. (From Latin jentare - breakfast).
Wednesday: cibarious (si-BAR-ee-uhs), adjective - Relating to food or edible.
Thursday: macaronic (mak-ah-RON-ik), adjective - Involving a mixture of languages. (From Latin macaronicus, from Italian dialect maccarone (macaroni), probably alluding to the jumble of macaroni and sauce on a plate.
Friday: xerophagy (zi-ROF-uh-jee), noun - the eating of dry food, especially food that's cooked without oil.
Of course I expect to see some of these words employed with imagination over the next week in any press releases or readers' comments we get in.


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