The Vocabulary of Food


appetizer (noun): food served before the main course – For our appetizers we’ll have spring rolls and fish cakes, please.

aroma (noun): a nice smell, especially from food, wine, coffee, etc. – I love the aroma of freshly-baked bread.

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bake (verb): to cook in an oven – Have you ever tried baking a cake?

bland (adjective): having little taste; tasteless – Most people think British food is bland.

course (noun): one part of a meal – French meals usually have three courses; the hors d’oeuvre, the entrée and the dessert.

cuisine (noun): a country or region’s style of cooking – There’s more to Italian cuisine than pizza and pasta.

cutlery (also silverware) (noun): knives, forks, and spoons used for eating – We only use our best cutlery on special occasions.

dairy product (noun): a food made from milk, like butter, cheese, yoghurt, etc. – Dairy products are becoming more popular in Asia.

delicious (adjective): tasting very good – The food in this restaurant is really delicious.

dessert (noun): sweet food eaten at the end of a meal – Have you ever tried Middle-eastern desserts like baklava?

Watch more: 1000 Most Common Words in English

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diet (noun): all the foods a person or animal usually eats – My doctor said a vegetarian diet rich in protein is best.

dish (noun): 1. a deep plate for cooking or serving food – I baked the pie in a special pie dish. 2. food prepared and cooked in a particular way – What’s your favourite French dish?

entrée (noun): 1. the main course of a meal 2. a course before the main course (Br English) – What did you order for your entrée?

fast food (noun): quickly served food like burgers, French fries, fried chicken, etc. – I only get fast food if I don’t have time to cook.

flavour (or flavor in US spelling) (noun): the taste of food or drink – Japanese people think how food looks is as important as the flavour.

fry (verb): to cook something in hot oil or fat – Heat oil in a pan and fry the chopped onions for five minutes.

grain (noun): seeds used as food like wheat, rice, lentils, etc. – Grains like wheat and rye are used to make different kinds of bread.

grill (verb): to cook something just above or below a heat source – Grilling a fish is better than frying it.

heart disease (noun): disease caused by damage to the heart or nearby blood vessels – Eating fatty food increases your risk of developing heart disease.

ingredients (noun): all the foods used to make a dish or meal – What ingredients do we need to make spaghetti sauce?

Watch more: Vocabulary Mini Games

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junk food (noun): foods and food products that are unhealthy because of all the fat, salt or sugar they contain – People who love junk food soon get fat and unhealthy.

kitchenware (noun): things used for preparing food like knives, spoons, pots, dishes, etc. – Our kitchen cupboards are full of kitchenware we hardly ever use.

menu (noun): the list of foods and drinks served in a restaurant, café, pub, etc. – Let’s check the menu before deciding whether to eat here.

nutritious (adjective): having nourishing substances we need in order to be healthy – Thai food’s nutritious as well as being delicious.

obesity (noun): the unhealthy condition of being very fat or overweight – Obesity wasn’t a serious problem here until Western companies opened fast food outlets.

poultry (noun): Birds that people eat, like chickens, ducks, geese, etc – Factory farms keep poultry in tiny cages and the birds never see the outside world.

recipe (noun): instructions for cooking a dish or a meal – My mum has a great recipe for chocolate pudding.

seafood (noun): anything from the sea that can be eaten – If you eat vegetarian food plus fish and seafood, but not meat or poultry, you’re a pescatarian/pescetarian.

tableware (noun): things used for serving or eating a meal such as knives, forks, plates, glasses, etc. – Most of our wedding gifts were tableware of one sort or another.

tasteless (adjective): having very little flavour – Vegetarian food can be a bit tasteless, but it can also be really delicious.

tasty (adjective): having a good taste; delicious – Bob thinks Indian food is tastier than Chinese food.

Learn More: Focus on Vocabulary 2 – Answer Key & Tests


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