Words Used to Describe Food

Going out for Dinner
Going out for Dinner. Sporrer/Rupp / Getty Images

The words below are some of the most important used to talk about how food tastes, the condition it is in, and how we cook. Practice the sentences and learn how to talk about your food. 

Food - Condition

fresh - Sushi always requires fresh fish.
off - I'm afraid this cheese tastes off.
raw - SUshi is made from raw fish as well as vegetables, seaweed and rice. 
ripe - Make sure the bananas are ripe so I can use them in the cake.


rotten - This meat smells rotten. I think we should throw it away.
tough - The steak was very tough. I could hardly chew it!
tender - The lamb was so tender that it seemed to melt in my mouth.
undercooked - The undercooked salmon was very poor.
unripe - Many types of fruit are picked unripe and become ripe as they are shipped.
overcooked - The broccoli was overcooked. It should have been crisper. 

Food - Verbs

bake - I'll bake a cake for her birthday party.
boil - You should boil these potatoes for forty-five minutes.
cook - What would you like me to cook for dinner?
fry - I usually fry some eggs and bacon on Saturday mornings.
grill - During the summer I like to grill meat outside.
heat - Heat up the soup and make some sandwiches.
microwave - Microwave the macaroni for three minutes and eat.
poach - Jennifer prefers to poach her eggs.
roast - Let's put this in the oven and roast for two hours.
steam - The best way to cook many vegetables is to steam them for a few minutes.

Food - Quantities

bar - Melt one bar of butter for the sauce.
liter - I'll put a liter of water on to boil for the pasta.
loaf - I bought three loaves of bread at the supermarket. 
lump - Put of a lump of butter on top of the casserole to make it tasty.
piece - Would you like a piece of chicken?
pint - I drank a pint of ale at the pub.


portion - Have you eaten your portion of vegetables today?
slice - Please put three slices of cheese on my sandwich.
spoonful - Add two spoonfuls of sugar to sweeten.

Food - Taste

bitter - The almonds were very bitter. I could hardly eat the cookies.
bland - This sauce is very bland. It doesn't taste like anything.
creamy - I enjoy eating creamy tomato soup on cold winter days.
crisp - The apple was crisp and delicious. 
crunchy - Granola is a very crunch type of breakfast cereal.
hot - The soup is hot. Let it cool down.
mild - The spices are very mild. 
salty - The sauce was much too salty. I think you should add some water and boil it down.
savory - Savory crackers with cheese make a great snack. 
sour - Lemons are very sour!
spicy - Greg enjoys eating spicy Mexican food. 
sweet - The cheery pie wasn't too sweet. It was just right. 
tasteless - The vegetables have been cooked for too long. They're tasteless.

Food - Types

barbecue - Do you enjoy barbecue during the summer?
buffet - We went to an Indian buffet and had all we could eat.
four-course meal - My wife and I enjoy making four-course meals on special occasions.
picnic - Let's take a picnic to the park and enjoy the good weather.
snack - You should eat a snack at four, but don't eat too much.


TV dinner - TV dinners are disgusting, but fast.

Food - Eating and Drinking

bite - Don't bite off more meat than you can comfortably chews.
chew - You should chew each bite well before you swallow.
swallow - If you swallow too much you might choke on your food.
sip - It's best to slowly sip a cocktail rather than gulp it down.
guzzle - He guzzled a glass of water after he finished the job.
gulp down - He hungrily gulped down the meal as he was very hungry.

Food - Preparing Drinks

add - Add two shots of whisky and some run.
fill - Fill the glass with ice.
mix - Mix in a teaspoon of sugar.
pour - Pour your drink over ice cubes. 
shake - Shake the drink well and pour in a glass.
stir - Stir the ingredients well and enjoy with your favorite seafood. 

If you know all of these words, try the advanced level food vocabulary page to really expand your vocabulary.

Teachers can use this lesson about food to help students plan a meal of their own

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Beare, Kenneth. "Words Used to Describe Food." ThoughtCo, Mar. 31, 2016, thoughtco.com/words-used-to-describe-food-4018894. Beare, Kenneth. (2016, March 31). Words Used to Describe Food. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/words-used-to-describe-food-4018894 Beare, Kenneth. "Words Used to Describe Food." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/words-used-to-describe-food-4018894 (accessed September 25, 2017).