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.
Tasty is used to describe food which has a good flavour.
Tasteless is used when the food has no flavour.
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.
Sweet is used for food that has a flavour like sugar.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Tough means not tender. It is difficult to cut or chew. We can use it to describe meat.
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.
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.