Food Adjectives 

Learn some food adjectives to help you describe food in English. Here you will learn some adjectives and you will be able to talk about flavour and texture of food in English.

When we say flavour, we mean the food is sweet, salty,spicy, etc.

When we say texture, we mean the food is crunchy, crispy, juicy, etc.

Adjectives to talk about flavour of food:

Tasty and Tasteless

Tasty is used to describe food which has a good flavour.

Example sentences:

  • The meal in the little restaurant around the corner was really tasty – we should go there again together.
  • The cookies are very tasty. Could you please give me the recipe?

Tasteless is used when the food has no flavour.

Example sentences:

  • My dietitian always recommends eating oatmeal, but I find it very tasteless.
  • Do you really like zucchini? I think it has no taste at all, completely tasteless.


Bland is used when the food lacks flavour or the food has very little flavour, we use it to describe the food that does not have a strong flavour, it is plain and you feel like you need to add something like salt, spices, garlic, cream, lemon, etc. to make it have more flavour and taste better.

The food you eat when you are sick tastes bland, like boiled rice or boiled potatoes. You do not add olive oil, salt or spices to the rice or potatoes.

We can use this adjective for boiled potatoes, soup, boiled chicken without any spices, boiled cauliflower, etc.

Example sentences:

  • A: Did you enjoy the dinner at Hannah’s? B: Well, she made a tomato soup, but it was bland, I prefer some spices or cream in it. There was also a vegetable platter, but I guess she just boiled the vegetables and put them onto the plate. They had only very little salt. Bland and unappealing!
  • Breakfast cereals are bland and boring. I prefer a traditional yummy Turkish breakfast instead.

Sweet and Bitter

Sweet is used for food that has a flavour like sugar.

Example sentences:

  • These peaches are sweet and juicy. Perfect for a refreshing peach smoothie!
  • Whenever I feel depressed, I stop by Bill’s Donut Shop and enjoy some sweet strawberry donuts.

Bitter is used for food that leave a sharp, strong flavour in your mouth. Bitter is the opposite of sweet. 

Examples of food that has a bitter taste: cocoa, lemon peel, turmeric, melon, coffee, green tea,etc.

Example sentences:

  • I like the bitter taste of cocoa powder on banana slices.
  • She eats a bar of bitter chocolate every day.
  • It is impossible for me to drink grapefruit juice, it has a very strong and bitter taste.


Salty is used when the food has a taste of salt or contains a lot of salt. When it means containing a lot of salt, it has a negative meaning.

Example sentences:

  • Seawater is salty because of the dissolved rocks on land.
  • Can I have some water, please? This popcorn is salty
  • The pizza I ordered last night was too salty, I couldn’t eat it and the manager gave me a free pizza.

What is the opposite of salty? What do we say if the food has no salt in it or it does not have enough salt in it? 

You might think we can use saltless in this situation, but we do not usually use saltless to describe the food that has no salt or enough salt in it. Instead we can say, it needs salt or it needs more salt.

It is also possible to say unsalted or salt-free for food that has no salt in it.

For example, unsalted nuts like unsalted cashews, unsalted almonds,etc. or unsalted butter, unsalted cheese, unsalted olives,etc.

Also, salt-free bread, salt-free peanuts, salt-free crackers,etc.


Sugary food or drinks have a lot of sugar. It is different than sweet, because when we say sugary food, it means the food is too sweet, it has too much sugar in it.

Example sentences:

  • Sugary drinks contain 10 to 16 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Sugary snacks cause cavities and destroy your teeth.
  • Baklava is delicious but it is sugary and bad for your health.


Sour means the food or drink has a lemon-like taste, it is strong and acidic.

For example, when you eat a lemon, you make a sour face – your face looks like you are almost crying, you wrinkle your face and squint your eyes.

Sour-patch candies are my favourites! Have you ever tried them?

Example sentences:

  • Green apples are sweet and sour but red apples are usually not sour.
  • I bought sour cherries from the market to make a cherry pie.

Hot and Spicy 

Hot means the food has a strong taste usually because of the  pepper, chili pepper or the ginger in it.

When you eat hot food, you have a burning feeling in your mouth.

I always want to drink ayran (a Turkish drink) when I eat something hot, it really helps to cool down. Some people say, eating yoghurt or tomato or drinking milk helps the burning feeling when you eat something hot.

Chill pepper is hot. Ketchup can be hot – hot ketchup.

Spicy means the food has a lot of spices in it. When you eat spicy food, you may have that burning feeling in your mouth or you may not.

I heard that Indian food is really spicy, but I’ve never tried it. 

Adana kebab is a hot and spicy traditional Turkish dish and it is hot and spicy. That’s why it is usually served with ayran. (A Turkish drink made of yoghurt.) 


Savoury is used for food that has a salty or spicy flavour but not sweet.

Example sentences:

  • I love the savoury cookies my grandma makes on every New Year’s Eve.
  • They prefer a savoury breakfast with eggs, cheese, avocados and olives rather than a sweet breakfast with strawberry smoothies or pancakes with honey.
  • These is not an ordinary sweet cupcake. This savoury cupcake recipe is a good option for someone who doesn’t like sweet things. You need some cheese, eggs, onion and garlic to make it.

Adjectives to talk about texture of food:



Crunchy is used for food that is firm, not soft and makes a sound when you chew them. 

We can use the word crunchy for some of the vegetables.

I am a little rabbit, I eat 3-4 carrots every week. Carrot is hard and when I bite it, it makes a kind of cracking sound, so we can say that carrots are crunchy. 

Think about having a bite of apples, grapes, peppers or lettuces. They are all crunchy. 

We can also use crunchy for crackers, chips, cookies and nuts.

Simit is a Turkish breakfast tradition, a snack that you can find in every corner on the streets. Simit is a type of ring shaped bread coated with sesame seeds, and it is best when it is crunchy, trust me!

Example sentences:

  • I am craving for a bag of crunchy potato chips!
  • I don’t like cooked vegetables, they are more delicious when they are raw and crunchy.
  • My mom loves the crunchy bread ends. Whenever I get home with a freshly baked bread from the bakery, she grabs it, cuts the ends, butters the bread and eats it.


Crispy means the food is hard but it is easily broken when you hold it between your fingers or chew it in your mouth. It is the hardness outside of it, that makes the food good.

Think about the Pringles chips, they are hard but you can easily crumble them in your hands and make them into pieces or when you put them in your mouth the chips will make a sound and break into the pieces easily.

Fried chicken is another type of food that is crispy, I mean it should be crispy. Who loves soft fried chicken really? 

You fry onions to make onion rings, they scatter in your mouth with your first bite, because they are crispy after you fry them. If you leave them too long on the plate, they are not hard and crispy anymore.

Crispy food is hard, not soft and we use this word also to indicate that the food is fresh.

Think about french fries, you slice the potatoes, fry them in oil. If you eat them in ten minutes, your french fries will be hard,crispy and fresh.

But if you leave them on the plate for more then ten or twenty minutes, they will soften and will not be crispy or fresh anymore.

It is the same for the bread, when the bread is freshly-baked, is it crispy, but, if you leave the bread on the shelf for hours or days, the bread is not crispy anymore because it is not fresh.

  • Example sentences:
  • I don’t get why my french fries are not crispy. What am I doing wrong?
  • Bread crumbs that you stick on the chicken make it so crispy.
  • Their avocado tacos are the best in town – crispy and yummy!


Mushy means soft, not hard anymore. 

Little babies do not have teeth, so they cannot eat solid food, the food they eat is half solid – half liquid, mashed food. When we say mushy, we mean, the food is slushy, it is watery, and it is squashy, like a sponge, it softens and loses its shape. 

We say mushy vegetables or mushy fruit when they are not fresh anymore. 

Vegetables of fruit also becomes mushy because you cook them a lot and they become slushy, a mixed of liquid and solid.

Example sentences:

  • I bought these oranges one week ago. Now they are mushy, we cannot eat them, but, maybe we can make orange juice or marmalade from them.
  • When you make Menemen, you cook the tomatoes until they are mushy, and then you add the eggs.
  • Mushy peas is a classic British dish served with fish and chips.


Tender is usually used for meat. When the meat is tender, it is soft and well-cooked, it is delicious. It is easy to cut and chew.

Maybe you already know Burger King Crispy Chicken Tenders – strips of white meat chicken coated in home-style seasoned breading as they describe. You can get 2 pieces for $2.49.

Example sentences:

  • If you want your meat tender, you should marinate it and cook it slowly.
  • I finished the steak on my plate because it was tender and appetizing.


Tough means not tender. It is difficult to cut or chew. We can use it to describe meat.

Example sentences:

  • The meat was so tough that I almost broke a tooth!
  • I made pizza for dinner but the dough was so tough, we couldn’t chew it, then we ordered sushi.


Juicy food has full of juice, it is watery.

Some fruit and vegetables can be very juicy. Think about peach or watermelon, you take one bite of it and you have lots of juice on your mouth and chin. You may need to use a piece of paper-towel when you eat someting juicy.

Juicy is also used for meat and it means the meat has the right amount of water, it is well-cooked and not dry.

Example sentences:

  • I will take the kids to the new restaurant in town, they have juicy burgers served with crispy french fries.
  • A slice of juicy watermelon would be amazing on this hot summer day.
  • I was craving juicy green plums coated in salt during my pregnancy.


Greasy means that the food contains a lot of oil. Grease is animal or vegetable oil that is used in cooking. 

When you eat food that is greasy, your hands and mouth are covered in grease, oil and they are shiny.

For example, after you eat pizza topped with a lot of cheese, chicken wings, potato chips or popcorn, you feel the need to wash your hands immediately because your hands are covered with a lot of oil that comes from the food.

Example sentences:

  • This cheese- fondu was so greasy and heavy, I think I can’t eat anything else for hours!
  • I love popcorn but I hate when my hands are greasy after it.
  • You need to wash your hands now Marienne, you ate a bag of greasy chips and I won’t let you play with your computer before you wash your hands.