Merriam-Webster adds new food-related words to dictionary

Learning the language of food is an important part of being a successful Austin culinary arts school student and a chef out there in the real world. So it's important to stay informed in new developments in the realm of food vocabulary.

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May 28, 2014 3 min read

Poutine is among the new terms being added to the 2014 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.Learning the language of food is an important part of being a successful Austin culinary arts school student and a chef out there in the real world. So it’s important to stay informed in new developments in the realm of food vocabulary. On May 19, Merriam-Webster announced that it would be adding more than 150 new words and definitions to its 2014 Collegiate Dictionary. Many of these words, such as “hashtag” and “crowdfunding,” are focused on the growing technology sector, but there is also a handful of new culinary terms. Check out some of the additions that will be made this year:

Austin culinary arts program students may be well familiar with turducken, a food phenomenon that has blown up in the past few years. The three-word-combination refers to the dish’s three-parts: a boneless turkey that’s stuffed with a boneless duck that is stuffed with a boneless chicken and then roasted as one piece. It became popular across the country for its absurd appeal, particularly during Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays. Austin’s food scene hasn’t been unaffected by the turducken either – popular establishments such as Central Market and Hebert’s Specialty Meats now offer these peculiar dishes.

The past few years have shown a growing adoration for pho in the United States. This Vietnamese soup is made from beef or chicken broth as well as rice noodles. While it has become more readily available at restaurants across the country, it’s a beloved staple in Hanoi and other Vietnamese cities. That’s because it’s easy to create, affordable and also incredibly flavorful. Many American establishments also garnish their pho with scallions, basil, bean sprouts, jalapenos and other regional foods.

Nary a pupil at a Texas culinary arts school hasn’t heard of poutine. This rich, tasty treat is a common fast food dish in Canada. It has lately crossed the border to become especially popular in the northern United States though locations further south are also catching on to its sumptuous flavor. The delicacy is made with a base of French fries that are smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds. Many restaurants add a gourmet appeal to their poutine with the addition of bacon, truffles or other garnishes. Potato.A food truck, for example, is known for serving some of the best poutine in Austin, allowing patrons to choose options such as marinara sauce instead of gravy.

Freegan isn’t an edible but rather a foodie – one who hunts down free food in the trash bins of grocery stores and restaurants and created gourmet meals from them. The freegan’s aim isn’t just to save money but also to recycle and reduce consumption of resources. The act of trash-to-table culinary arts and the word “freegan” first came into use around 2006, making it one of the youngest terms among the new list of words. When it was first introduced, the act was a small movement, but now it’s become widely popular among activists, and some restaurants even specialize in dumpster dining.

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