For the average consumer, talking about food has evolved into an omnipresent trend taking over our television screens, newspapers, and the Internet. It’s hard to turn the corner without seeing a cheeseburger or pasta dish with a description that sound like they ripped it straight out of a Julie Garwood romance novel. Buzz words like “food porn” have taken the main stage capitalizing on appealing to all of the senses where you find yourself craving, salivating, longing for whatever it is that is getting you all hot and heavy. Good food photography and wording is so prevalent in the food scene here in Chicago that walking down Hubbard Street can easily be mistaken for the Red Light District. It is a bit sinful in nature but restaurants, bloggers, and food stores have utilized this art form to turn their businesses into revenue generating cash cows.
Food related businesses are not the only ones partaking in the art of food expressions- we are all upping our vocabulary to see how we can bring food to life. I have discovered while dining with others over the past couple of years that there are roughly three types of diners: The Posh, The Stoner, and The Perv.
This diner is the one who doesn’t necessarily know a ton about food or what they are eating but sure likes to think they do. I have spent several occasions with these types of diners and from what I see, you could stick a White Castle burger in front of them and they will still role their eyes in the back of their head in awestruck, so long as they are sitting at THE restaurant in town. I once was on a date at an Italian restaurant in New York and as the night progressed, The Posh Diner came out to play. Definitely a nice restaurant and you could tell she was very excited to go. Walking up to the hostess I could already tell she was the posh type who knew exactly how much she was going to love the meal before she even looked at the menu. The wine came, and of course she swirled it in her mouth followed by a careful swallow.
In the back of my head I knew this bottle is an $8.99 twist off at Binnys. The calamari came, which was very good but she looked as if she was touched by an angel. When the main course came I had the clams and linguini (that is how I judge Italian restaurants), and she had the squid ink pasta. I knew the grand finale was coming. Her first bite was slurped down and as her eyes gazed back up at me with black ink on her lips and front teeth says,
That was the last time I saw her. Be wary of the posh diner, they are known for making up words too.
Posh Diner Lingo: divine, breathtaking, delicate, masterful, succulent, fake words.
Whether you are a product of the flower generation or just an adapter of the language, The Stoner believe it or not is one of my most frequent partners in dining. You do not have to be on the happy grass to talk the talk because food is a drug to me and can provide me with the same high as Uncle Mel seeing the Dead in ’76. My little brother and I are good examples of The Stoner diner. When we eat or cook something so amazing, so delicious, there are few words that can describe the actual food itself. I am not a user of illegal substances and neither is my brother, but words that only a smelly tye dye wearing tween eating at Taco Bell seems to be what spills our of our mouths.
“That chicken is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrreeeeeee!!!!”
Followed by a,
What? My brother and I even came up with a restaurant idea called the Dank Tank where we would create some of the most eccentric and bold foods that we enjoy to put on the menu. There is even a list of potential dishes titled, “Dank Tank”, in my phone. Maybe it was the knuckleheads I grew up around in high school or just the bad habits that stuck with me, but the lingo used to depict drugs and food goes hand in hand. After all, it is ecstasy.
The Stoner Diner Lingo: dank, fire, heat, potent, skunky, the ish, money.
The final diner lingo is probably the most overused yet effective when describing food. It wets the palate, it paints the picture, it tingles the taste buds, it makes you want to $#%^ the *$@# out of it! Yes, The Perv is the one who literally thinks food is sex, sex is food. Although some can be argued to be aphrodisiacs, The Perv has no shame when describing the euphoric and x-rated experience he or she had with their meal. It might sound a bit unappealing but it triggers the senses in the brain that everyone can relate to. You have dined with these people and you might have actually slept with them because of it. The Perv is the one that brings all the details to the forefront and really at the end of the day makes you say, “I want that”.
The Perv Lingo: Leave that up to your imagination
Whether it is a luxury, drugs, or sex, food can easily be substituted in any conversation. These types of diners raise curiosity to have the same experience and feeling they once had. It is the ultimate sales pitch and most people don’t even know they are giving it. Next time you find yourself up against one of these contenders, try to stay in your seat before you fall victim to the weakness of dining lingo.
(Image courtesy of: foodbeast.com)
If you have any questions, comments, or dreams please email me, Jason Klarfeld at email@example.com