Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 25, 2009

101+ Descriptive Words For Foods

Characters have to eat, right? Well, here is a list of 435 words you can use when food is present in  your story. If you think of some others and I will add them to the list. NOTE: English spellings and expressions.

Acid
Acidic
Acrid
Airy
A la carte
A la king
A la mode
Alcoholic
Al dente
Almond flavored
Ambrosial
Appetizing
Aroma
Aromatic
Au fromage
Au gratin
Au jus
Balsamic
Barbecue
Battered
Béarnaise
Bite-size
Biting
Bitter
Blackened
Blah
Blanched
Bland
Blended
Boiled
Bold
Bolognese
Boned
Brackish
Braised
Brewed
Briny
Brittle
Broiled
Browned
Bubbly
Burning
Bursting
Buttercream
Butterflied
Buttery
Cacciatore
Cakey
Candied
Canned
Caramelized
Caustic
Chalky
Charcuterie
Charred
Cheesy
Chewy
Chili
Chilled
Chipotle
Chocolaty
Chopped
Chowder
Clarified
Classical
Comfort Food
Condensed
Condiment
Course
Creamed
Creamery
Creamy
Creole
Crisscrossed
Crispy
Crumbly
Crunchy
Crusty
Crystalized
Cuisine
Curd
Curdled
Cured
Curried
Dash
Decadent
Deglaze
Dehyrated
Delectable
Delicious
Delightful
Dense
Devein
Deviled
Dietary
Diluted
Dipping
Disagreeable
Disgusting
Distasteful
Distinctive
Divine
Doughy
Dredged
Drenched
Dripping
Dried out
Drizzled
Dry
Dry-Roasted
Dull
Dusted
Earthy
Eatable
Edible
Enjoyable
Enticing
Entrée
Escalloped
Etouffee
Evaporated
Exquisite
Fatty
Fermented
Fine
Finger Licking Good
Fibrous
Filled
Filling
Fiery
Fishy
Fizzy
Flakey
Flambé
Flavorless
Flavorful
Flavorsome
Florentine
Floury
Fluffy
Foie gras
Folded
Fondant
Foul
Fra diablo
Fragrant
Feathery
Fresh
Freeze dried
Fricasseed
Fried
Frosty
Frozen
Fruity
Fudgy
Full-bodied
Full-flavored
Gamy
Garlicky
Garnish
Gastric
Gingery
Glazed
Glopy
Glossy
Gluteny
Golden
Good
Gooey
Gourmet
Grainy
Granulated
Grated
Gratifying
Greasy
Griddled
Grilled
Gritty
Gross
Hardboiled
Heady
Heat
Heavy
Healthy
Hearty
Heavenly
Herbaceous
Hint
Homogenized
Honeyed
Hors d’oeuvre
Hot
Hot Sauce
Icy
Infused
Intense
Inviting
Jiggly
Juicy
Julienne
Kick
Kneaded
Kosher
Laced
Laden
Laiche
Layered
Lemony
Light
Limp
Lip-smacking
Liquid
Low-Fat
Lumpy
Luscious
Lusty
Lyonnaise
Malodorous
Marinate
Marvelous
Mashed
Mealy
Medium
Mellow
Melting
Messy
Microwave
Mild
Milky
Minced
Minty
Mixed
Mixture
Moist
Moldy
Morsel
mouth-watering
Muddy
Mushy
Nasty
Natural
Nauseating
Nectarous
Nosey
Nourishing
Noxious
Nuked
Nutriment
Nutritious
Nutty
Odoriferous
Odorless
Orgasmically-delicious
Oily
Oniony
Oozing
Organic
Overpowering
Packed
Palatable
Pan-fried
Paprika
Parboiled
Parched
Parfait
Pasteurized
Pasty
Pâté
Peanut butter
Peck
Penetrating
Peppered
Peppery
Perfumed
Perishable
Piccata
Pickled
Piping
Piquant
Pleasant
Plump

Powdered
Powdery
Potent
Pouched
Preserved
Puffy
Pulp
Pulverized
Pungent
Puréed
Ragout
Rancid
Rank
Rare
Raw
Redolent
Reduced
Reeking
Refrigerated
Refreshing
Relish
Rich
Rib Sticking
Ripe
Roasted
Robust
Rolled
Rotten
Roux
Ruined
Runny
Saline
Salted
Salty
Saturated
Sapid
Saporous
Sauté
Savory
Scalded
Scented
Scorched
Scrambled
Scrumptious
Seared
Seasoned
Sharp
Shredded
Sizzling
Simmering
Skimmed
Skunky
Slathered
Sliced
Slimy
Slippery
Slivered
Smelly
Smokey
Smooth
Smothered
Snappy
Snappy
Soaked
Sodden
Soft
soft-boiled
Soggy
Solid
Solidify
Sordid
Soufflé
Soupy
Sour
Sparkling
Spicy
Spirited
Spoiled
Spongy
Spread
Sprinkled
Spritzed
Stale
Starchy
Steamy
Stewed
Stiff
Stinging
Stringy
Stinky
Strong
Stuffed
Subdued
Succulent
Sunnyside up
sugar-coated
Sugary
Sweet
Sweet and Sour
Syrupy
Tainted
Tangy
Tantalizing
Tart
Tasteless
Tasty
Tempting
Tender
Tepid
Texture
Thick
Titillating
Toasted
Toothsome
Tough
Tumaceous
Umami
Unsavory
Vanilla
Velvety
Vicious
Vinegary
Warm
Watery
Well-done
Wet
Whey
Whipped
Wholesome
Wild
Wilted
Wrapped
Yucky
Yummy
Zest
Zestful
Zesty
Zippy
I know there are more. Let me know.

Kathy
http://www.kathytemean.comn


Responses

  1. slimy – as in clams and oysters. yuck!

    Like

    • That’s a good one.

      Like

      • i know its not a good one but what about nice ???

        Liked by 1 person

      • what about hard and rough you may already have them nut i didn’t seen then

        Like

  2. How about: chalky, charred, nutty, spoiled, chewy, tough…

    Like

    • Good one’s! I’ll add them. Thanks for leave a comment. I appreciate it.
      Kathy

      Like

    • Claudia,

      Just wanted to let you know I updated the food descriptive list and added your suggestions, thanks!

      Kathy

      Like

  3. Greasy, cold and of course my personal favorite- decadent!

    Like

    • Kim,

      I added a lot of new words to the descriptive food list and yours was a good addition. Thanks, Kathy

      Like

  4. How about glazed (as in doughnuts), pallete cleansing (you kind of already said that), frosty, chilled, and fast.

    Like

    • Kyra,

      Great, I will add them to the list. Thanks!

      Kathy

      Like

      • Kyra,

        Almost a year later and I am still adding to the list. Thanks for sending in yours.

        Kathy

        Like

  5. Flavorful?……I think you forgot that one

    Like

    • Carrie,

      Good one. I’ll have to add it to the list. Thanks for coming up with it.

      Kathy

      Like

  6. This helped me so much! Thank you for this wonderfully descriptive list 🙂

    Like

    • Jehanne,

      Boy, talk about a late reply to your comment. I just saw it. Thanks for letting me know you liked the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  7. hmm… what about sodden because characters foods are not always in perfect conditions.

    Like

  8. Bob,

    Good one. I added it along with soggy. Thanks!

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    Kathy

    Like

  9. caloric, hazardous, fatty

    Like

    • Good One! I’ll add them to the list.

      Kathy

      Like

    • Good ones! I’ll add them t the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  10. er since when was ‘zippy’ a word? especially to describe food

    Like

    • Tai,

      What can I say? I read a bunch of food reviews and zippy was used in a couple write ups, so I added it in. I agree it is not the first thing that comes to mind when describing a food.

      Kathy

      Like

  11. mouldy, brown, yellow, green, redily, purpily, orangily, weave 🙂 ❤

    Like

    • Tai,

      Thanks for adding to the list. Where would someone use “weave” when describing food? I can come up with a senetence for woven. “The dough on top of the pie was woven to look like a basket.” Or “The berries were woven in the cake batter.”

      Kathy

      Like

  12. there were a lot of ones that were very similar to ones you got there.
    Ok , here’s a list of what you could add:
    sticky, rough, undercooked, fleshy, cheesy, sugary, burnt, colourful,old.
    Hope you like them 🙂

    Like

    • Melvey,

      I love the words you came up with. I will add them so they help others.

      Thanks,

      Kathy

      Like

  13. Simmering
    Skunky
    Sliced
    Slimy

    Like

    • Damien,

      Good ones. I can’t believe I missed Simmering and Slimy. Thanks for adding to the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  14. blackened

    Like

    • Rosie,

      I can’t believe I missed that. Good Get!

      Kathy

      Like

  15. Your list is absolutely wonderful. I’ve re-posted it on my blog and have put in links directing people back to this site. Dee x

    Like

  16. I might describe meat as having a ‘smoky’ flavor. (I love it when barbecued enough that it’s a little crisp on the outside.)

    Like

    • Penny,

      That is a good one. Thanks for sending it in. I added it to the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  17. Love the list…I believe the spelling of FERMENTED is incorrectly written there,however. And how about SCRAMBLED?
    Bobbi

    Like

    • Bobbi,

      Great get! I couldn’t even find it because of the error. Thank you for taking the time to let me knw and thanks for adding to the list. I have corrected and added to the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  18. i love the list…and i have one more to add: perishable
    Thanks

    Like

    • Ashlee,

      Good one! Thanks for adding to the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  19. What about tantalizing?

    Like

    • Huma,

      Good one. I will add it to the list. Thanks for putting on your thinking cap and sending me a new word.

      Kathy

      Like

  20. Thanks for all the words, they helped me so much with my homework

    Like

  21. i know one salivateing

    Like

  22. What does tumaceous mean?

    Like

  23. I love this list! How about mashed and smothered?

    Like

    • Angel,

      Wow! Thanks! They are two good ones. I will add it to the list. Shaking my head on why I didn’t think of them.

      Kathy

      Like

  24. Where it says dEvine should be spelled divine, I presume

    Like

    • Tomeu,
      Thanks for pointing out there was a mistake. I had Divine further down, but it pointed out to me that I was trying to say, Devein. I think things are correct now.
      Kathy

      Like

      • You have Devein – it should be divine.

        Also it should say that this is American English spelling and Expressions.
        example Savory – Savoury (GB).
        example: Nuked – (not used in GB)

        Sorry to criticise – I think this list is excellent.

        Like

      • Stephen,

        I add the note about American English. Devein is what you do with Shrimp, so I did not change that. Thanks for the comment. I didn’t think to point of American English and expressions. I should have said that, because I have some many visitors from all over the world.

        Kathy

        Like

  25. Thanks for this comprehensive list. If I may contribute. where it says distintive should be spelled distinCtive.

    Like

    • Tomeu,

      Good get! Not sure if I am a poor speller or if I am a poot typist. Thanks for helping the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  26. Thankyou for this brilliant list! Helped me very much with my Food Technology!

    Like

  27. Demensional &
    Layer, layers, layered

    As in the favors were well layered and dimensional.

    Like

  28. Awesome bruised excellent fantastic great incredible perfect indescribable wonderful!!! I had to a worksheet in class for describing food from a-z. You helped a lot!

    Like

  29. ambrosial, appetizing, aromal, aromatic, distinctive, fiery, flavorsome, fragrant, fresh, herbaceous, highly seasoned, hot, keen, odoriferous, peppery, perfumed, piquant, poignant, racy, redolent, savory, scented, seasoned, snappy, spirited, sweet, tangy, tasty, zesty, zippy bland, dull, flavorless, tasteless! Thought of a few more you may have them already I was just to lazy to check!

    Like

  30. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.

    Like

  31. thank you so much you really helped me in my homework, i don’t mind if you don’t use them but i thought of some words

    nice
    tasteful
    rough
    nasty
    picker
    sick
    soapy

    enjoy 🙂

    Like

  32. I am looking for a word describe the quality of piecrust and shortbread. Am I correct in using “short”?

    Like

    • Nancy,

      I don’t think that describes shortbread. I would say, “Sweet buttery flavor with a crisp crumbly texture.” Don’t know how you can narrow it down to a one word description, except for “Yummy.”

      Kathy

      Like

  33. Thanks for the list! I’ve been looking at words for a new restaurant design business.

    Few I would like to add…..

    ‘Authentic’ More often that not to describe food that is anything but…
    ‘Smear’ My pet hate – the splodge of puree often added to the side…
    Also, what about ‘Hearty’?

    Like

    • Steve,

      Thanks for sending these in for the list. Much appreciated!

      Good luck with the restaurant.

      Kathy

      Like

  34. thanks, it helped with homework!:)

    Like

    • Kitty,

      Glad it help you. Thanks for letting me know.

      Kathy

      Like

  35. What about scrumtious

    Like

    • Kaizer,

      scrumptious is a great word. I’ll add it to the list. Oh, it is already on the list. Thanks.

      Kathy

      Like

  36. Loved your list. I train direct sales food consultants and these are great for our sales meetings to help them reach their audience and get their attention.

    Like

  37. Useful information. Lucky me I found your web site accidentally, and I am shocked why this coincidence did
    not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

    Like

  38. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    Like

  39. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog
    and I’m impressed! Very helpful information specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

    Like

  40. Cheesy…as in cheesy potatoes

    Awesome list! Can’t believe you missed that one! Anything cheesy is good! ; )

    Like

    • Charity,

      Thanks for the great add. I can’t believe I missed that one, too, especially knowing how much I love cheesy food.

      Kathy

      Like

  41. Hi. Your site is amazing! Do you think you could fit in
    -healthy and
    – organic
    ??
    Thankyou ^.^

    Like

    • Ester,

      I just added them. Both good additions. Thanks!

      Kathy

      Like

  42. Moldy! I use that one all the time!

    Like

  43. natural
    ambrosial
    earthy
    ?
    list is great!

    Like

    • Amelia,

      Thanks for sending. I will add them to the list.

      Kathy

      Like

  44. Shame! How could you forget “Tender”?! 😛

    Like

    • K,

      You are right. That should have been one of the first words to come to mind. Did you just eat a tender steak?

      Thanks,

      Kathy

      Like

  45. Can you help me with a dilemma? I’m having a testy discussion with chefs and other culinary journalists about the use of the word “moist.” One well-known critic in Denver slammed a top chef for his overuse of the word, yet no one has come up with an alternative. Driving me nuts. Help?

    Suzanne H.

    Like

    • succulent? juicy?

      Like

      • Zee,

        Thanks for stopping by. I just double checked and I do have both of those on my list.

        Kathy

        Like

      • Kathy,
        yes, sorry I wasn’t clear, my post was a response to Suzanne H.’s question about what words could be used instead of “Moist.”

        Like

      • zee,

        Thank you for trying to help Suzanne. Totally missed that. So glad people are out their trying to interact and help each other.

        Kathy

        Like

  46. This really helped with my homework. I have some words you can add: ripe, mushy, brittle

    Like

    • Amreen,

      I am so glad the list helped you. Thanks for the other words to add. They are good ones.

      Kathy

      Like

  47. What about acrid?

    Like

    • Amreen,

      I added this one, too. Thanks for sending.

      Kathy

      Like

  48. …and that were really helpful.Thank you 🙂

    Like

  49. Toothsome

    Like

    • Cody,

      Good one! I would never have thought of that one?

      Thanks,

      Kathy

      Like

  50. This is really useful coz I need to use descriptive word for my evaluations as I do GCSE food technology. Thank you.

    Like

  51. How would you describe a pineapple pie that has been left in the refrigerator too long?

    Like

    • Sarah,

      I never had a pineapple pie, but I would expect that if it sat in the refrigerator too long that the filling would be watery and the crust soggy. It might also be moldy. It would certainly be unappetizing and inedible. Hope that helps.

      Kathy

      Like

  52. How about some negative words???

    Like

    • Meghan,

      There are quite a few negative words. If you think of any more, I will be glad to add them. If I think of any more, I will, too.

      Kathy

      Like

  53. I am looking for a word to describe food that is nourishing, can you help?

    Like

  54. also, how about “waxy”?

    Like

  55. Might be in the comments section already—I did not read all the comments- but what about “slathered”– as in slathered with butter?

    Like

    • Janet,

      That is a good one. I just added it. Thanks for helping to list more words.

      Kathy

      Like

  56. What about appealing and spoosh?

    Like

    • Rose,

      Thanks for the comment. I tried to find out what spoosh means, but couldn’t find anything that related it to food. Never heard the word used. Not sure I want to add it to the list, if it confuses anyone. Maybe you can enlighten me with the meaning and use it in a sentence, so I will understand.

      Kathy

      Like

      • it may be a miss – spell

        Like

      • Meggie,

        What do you think is not spelled correctly?

        Kathy

        Like

  57. Though it’s a fine collection, I still need your valuable suggestion…
    I’m to open a store with collection of varieties of foods with different tastes.
    Please suggest me some names for my store which can describe it in one or maximum in two words.
    It should be easy to spell and should describe the whole store…
    Thanking you….

    Like

    • Ambrosia means “Food of the Gods” in Greek and Roman mythology. How about that for your store name Vikash Gupta?

      Like

  58. Appreciating the commitment you put into your blog and
    in depth information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same
    old rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Like

  59. this really helped a lot with my homework! thank you Kathy. would lush be a good word?

    Like

    • Meggie,

      I never heard of anyone using the word “lush” in reference to food, but let me think about that. Do you have a sentence where you think it would work?

      Thanks for the suggestion,

      Kathy

      Like

  60. U helped me! Ty!

    Like

  61. Sous-Vide, aged, torched

    Like

  62. That is a wonderful list

    Like

  63. Barbecue

    Like

    • Kartik,

      Wow! How could I miss that one. Thanks for sending it in. I already added it.

      Kathy

      Like

  64. silky? and maybe sec, meaning un-sweet or dry. thanks for helping me with coursework 😀

    Like

  65. What about seedy ( for bread or flapjacks etc)?

    Like

  66. How about treacly? Meant to convey sweetness that goes overboard and is rather sickening

    Like

  67. Hey, you forgot salty! im not sure if you added it

    Like

    • Devyn,

      I checked “Salty” is there, but I am sure there are others I missed. Thanks for sending in something.

      Kathy

      Like

  68. Wow 101 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    • Saleena,

      Actually it is a lot more now. It started out with 101 and has grown.

      Kathy

      Like

  69. Hi I was wondering if you would be interested in wring our menu for us. We will make samples of all the foods that we serve

    Cheers

    Like

    • Zac,

      How would that work?

      Kathy

      Like

      • I love the list you have and appreciate all the work you’ve put in. I’d like to share a few descriptive words and one word responses after tasting something fabulous. Food connoisseur, Explodes,Righteous,Ferocious,sickening,dumbfounded,Plentiful,Wickedly delicious, Delicate.
        Thank you Kathy

        Like

  70. Obedient. That’s one. Not sure if you have it but

    Like

  71. Will someone please forward this list to The Pioneer Woman herself, Rhee Drummond just to give her another word other than YUMMY to describe food!

    Like

  72. Kathy,
    Thank you for this great list of Food words! I am interested in using synonims to describe food. Could you explain the difference between adjectives: tasty, delicious, yummy? Are they interchangeable in certain context?

    Like

  73. thanks a lot!! helped me with my video game job in japan 🙂

    Like

  74. This is a great list! Sweet, salty, fatty, umami, sour

    Like

  75. This is really helpful!! 🙂

    Like

  76. Wow! 6.5 years after you created your list and it is still very helpful and relevant. Nice job, and thank you very much!

    Like

  77. how about something jiggly? like jelly

    Like

  78. how about jiggly? like jelly

    Like

  79. Hello I am impressed to see your web i love food i like it

    Like

  80. This is a great list! Could you add the word DENSE?

    Like

  81. Wow… great list. I’d love to see this list re-arranged… showing them under various categories, like color and flavor.

    Like

    • William,

      Sounds like a good idea. Maybe you could give it a try and send it to me to post.

      Kathy

      Like

  82. What about edible

    Like

  83. thank you for all the wonderful words that we do miss in our description. love them all

    Like

  84. I constantly encourage my students not to use subjective and weak sensory words such as ‘nice’, ‘yummy’, ‘yuck’ and ‘disgusting’ when describing foods. I’m now putting together a word bank for a display board and your list is very useful. Thank you.

    Like

  85. 7 years and still up and running! Very useful adjectives. My chef asked me to come up with words to describe our new dishes. This site helped me a lot. Kudos!

    Like

  86. Please add,
    Orgasmically delicious

    Like

  87. Kathy,
    Add to your list
    Orgasmically-delicious

    Thanks,
    Carline

    Like

    • Carline,

      That is a good one.

      Thanks,

      Kathy

      Like

      • How about the word ‘exquisite ‘

        Like

  88. […] If you need some ideas, here is a great list of taste-related words. […]

    Like

  89. I fail to see how food is “Nosey”

    Like

  90. Love your list! Gourmet is a food description I use often 🙂

    Like

    • I can’t believe gourmet was not on the list. Thanks for the heads up.

      Like

  91. Thanks this site has helped me with my homework alot

    Like

  92. You forgot to write cooked and overcooked but it’s a great idea n list is awesome. It helped me alot

    Like

    • And also hydrogenated

      Like

  93. Staple food

    Like

  94. malevolently

    Like

    • I’ve never heard that word used to describe food.

      Like

  95. how long did it take to make this list?

    Like

    • Bea,

      I have no idea. I started keeping a notepad where I wrote down words as I thought of them and then I would look at recipes, restaurant menus, and Theseus. I just keep adding until I had over 101 words. Now I add to it with suggestions and when I hear something new.

      Like

  96. Clumpy

    Like

  97. THIS IS A GOOD WORD LIST BOI

    Like

  98. How about ‘moreish’ and ‘morsel’?

    Like

  99. Thank you- one of the best referral points for descriptions on food!

    Like

  100. Not sure if unflavourable is spelt right

    Like

  101. Also you have broiled but not boiled

    Like


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