10 of the Worst Food Terms

If you catch yourself saying one of these terms, stuff your piehole with more doughnut soil.

Then hightail it to the local gastropub for craft beer.

And end the night with a deconstructed, farm-to-table, organic, signature salad. 

Don't forget to blog about the flavor profile. 

Flavor profile

What’s a snootier thing to say than “flavor profile” when describing a masticated bite of food?

For instance: I’d say the well-balanced flavor profile of this macaroni salad includes fresh jarred mayo that’s on the savory side, a perfectly diced green bell pepper that gives it that bitter edge, and nicely boiled-in-sea-salt-water elbow macaroni that allows for an edible texture for this completely bland and ordinary side dish.

Sorry. No matter the flavor profile, it’s still macaroni salad.

Artisan/artisanal/hand-crafted/gourmet/signature/authentic/locally sourced/organic

Indie coffee shops are particular offenders/abusers of these words that are basically empty calories when the shops are trying to sell a basic cup of upscale coffee.

The only way these could work is if someone literally wrote something like this on a menu:

Artisan, artisanal, hand-crafted, gourmet, signature, authentic, locally sourced, organic Americano: $3

Because that would be funny.


This is the top offender in our book. “Gastro” by itself is a horrible word. “Pub” is boring. “Gastropub” as one compounded word: blood-boiling.

Plus, what’s all that special about a restaurant that offers a menu with food, beer and cocktails that’s of a slightly higher quality?


The “finish” of a drink – whether someone pretends to actually taste the wood of a cask-matured single malt whiskey (unlikely) or the pesticide-free soil in which sustainable rose hips were hand-watered and cultivated before making it into an environmentally friendly tea bag (faker) – seems to be the dreaded first cousin to “flavor profile.”


Wow. An eatery that offers Asian dishes and Cajun yummies! And another that serves up Tex and Mex!


The marketing strategy of fusion cuisine has been around long enough that it’s now a cliché, but it’s somehow still hanging around.

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Steve Jansen is a contributing writer for the Houston Press.
Contact: Steve Jansen