Grilled halloumi cheese, which doesn’t lose
its shape when heated. Photo by Ina Peters |
No matter where it originated, you know a food is mainstream if you can find it in an English language dictionary. Burrito, sushi and quiche, for example, have been around for a while.
But in 2014, other foodie favorites were added to our lexicons: You can read the full article here.
Some of these foods have been available in the U.S. since we were in grade school, but familiar only to those who frequented say, bistros (Croque Monsieur, anyone) or Sicilian-style restaurants (arancini).
The criterion for inclusion in the dictionaries, according to the article, is how widely the term is now used. That is, has it reached mainstream America via everyday cookbooks, or mentions in broadcast cooking segments, digital and print articles?
Thanks to a proliferation of cooking shows, and of food media in general, the answer is often yes. (The article points out that few people had heard of ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend, before Top Chef. Thanks to its frequent use on the popular cooking show, it entered the American Heritage Dictionary in 2011.)
So grab an imaginary fork and knife and dig in!
New Food Terms In The American Heritage Dictionary
Bahn-mi, Vietnamese baguette made from wheat and rice flour, and also the sandwich served on it (more).
Halloumi, a brined Greek cheese that keeps its shape when fried (more).
Mochi, a doughy Japanese sweet treat made from rice of the same name (more).
Saison, a fruity Belgian farmhouse ale, typically made in the summer (more).
New Food Terms In The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Aji, a native word for chile, these days often refers to the aji amarillo, a yellow version popular in Peru (more).
Brat, a shortened term for bratwurst (more), the popular sausage brought over by German immigrants in the late 1800s.
Croque-Monsieur, a classic French grilled ham and cheese sandwich that is dipped into beaten egg then sautéed in butter. With a fried egg on top, it is called a Croque-Madame. “Croque” means crispy.
Crudo, an Italian preparation of sliced raw fish/shellfish (more).
Pepita, toasted pumpkin seed (more).
Pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup based on oxtail broth (more).
Poutine,a Canadian dish of French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds (more).
Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, known best here via its bottled juice (more).
Arancini, fried rice balls. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
New Food Terms In The Oxford Dictionaries Online
Arancini, small balls of rice and mozzarella (and possibly other ingredients like peas or meat), breaded and fried; a popular Southern Italian appetizer.
Cavatelli, cappellaci and trofie, pasta shapes representing a miniature hot dog bun, a tortellini-like stuffed pasta and a thin twist, respectively (see more in our Pasta Glossary).
Queso-cheese, a shortened form of “Chile con Queso,” a melted cheese dip served with nachos.
Guanciale, an Italian cured meat made from pork jowl, not the cheek, as often reported (more)
Izakaya, the Japanese version of tapas, small plates served in a restaurant that specializes in them.
It’s still January, and you’ve got time to make more new year’s resolutions. Resolve to try everything above that you haven’t yet had!