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Question for Food Writers and Foodies

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    A friend's email to me this morning:

    When did food reviews become so pretentious? There were half-dozen words in this review in (mid-sized daily) that I either didn't know or were purposely dolled up so as to read more for chefs than the people eating at the place. Is this common? Why?
    As a person who doesn't read a lot of food reviews, I defer to the experts on the board...

    Is this common? Why?
  2. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Member

    I am not an expert. My observation is that many food writers/food journalists have come to the conclusion that their reviews have as much to do with them as the reviews do with whatever they are reviewing. I cannot tell you when that change occurred, but that is my impression of the current state of food reviewing.
  3. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Food writing is a lot like sportswriting, in that it has a unique vocabulary. Sportswriting, however, is more accessible to a wider audience, so the terms aren't quite so mysterious. As general interest in cuisine continues to develop, a lot of the language will be better understood. Right now, though, food writers ought to be doing a better job of explaining some of the esoteric and arcane concepts they discuss.

    There is, also, a subset of the food-writing universe that likes to show off with fancy language. They're the same type of writer who loves to use sports cliches in print, a la "thinclads," "cagers" and "gridiron."
  4. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    What are some of the (allegedly) pretentious words?
  5. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Well, checking some of these reviews...I'm seeing French words where American words are commonly used.
  6. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    How else are you going to get a show on the Food Network? Gotta stand out to get noticed.
  7. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I think in some cases, reviewers have begun to write for foodies, who they assume know the words. They write more like they're in Bon Appetit than the Podunk Daily.
  8. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Writers writing for writers? Can't be.
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I think that food writers are realizing that their readers are more sophisticated and they can use fancier words and not always explain every term.

    Which isn't terribly different than sports where writers work jargon in, all the time.

    The trick, of course, is managing the jargon so you don't send people scurrying to their google machine.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Continues to develop?

    Good God. It's all the millennials I'm around ever talk about.
  11. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    NTTAWWT ... amirite?
  12. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Food? Or the pretension?

    I guess I don't know why you'd call it "ragout" when it's a stew. But perhaps you do.
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