Classy Epicureans: The Essential Terms

Handcrafting Everything

Words essential to surviving the cornucopia of modern urban life.

Every restaurant and bar menu is a disaster waiting to happen for the unsuspecting bumpkin venturing into new lands. Each paragraph and label offers phrases heavy with expectation, and savvy diners should be aptly prepared. Read on, and familiarize yourself with the most important words to know when navigating the finer moments in life.

  • All Natural     /ɔːl ˈnætʃrəl/     adj.
    • Chemicals are no good, especially sulfites and anything GMO. It’s better to go crazy for all-natural products.
    •  All Natural, Medium Plus
  • Artesian     /ɑːˈtiːzɪən/     adj.
    • Referring to a deep well bored into a pressurized groundwater source below bedrock. In some areas, beer is sourced from deep within the Earth.
    • Artesian Beer, Medium Plus
  • Artisan     /ˈɑːtɪˌzæn/     noun
    • A crafted object made by a skilled worker, from their bare hands. Artisanal pizza is denoted by is irregular shape and rustic toppings.
    • Artisan Pizza, Medium Plus
  • Authentic     /ɔːˈθɛntɪk/     adj.
    • Something made in the OG method, as they did back in olden times. Most foods were gluten-free before the invention of Wonder Bread in 1921.
    • Authentic Foods, Medium Plus
  • Barrel Aged     /ˈbærəl ˈeɪdʒɪd/     adj.
    • Originally used to hold liquids for long-term storage, oak barrels also cut the edge on harsh unaged spirits. Mexican-styled pear ciders and $15 cocktails can also benefit from the attractive magic of barrel aging.
    • Wyder's Barrel Aged Cider, Medium Plus
  • Classy     /ˈklɑːsɪ/     adj.
    • Being classy is all about enjoying the finer things in life, like aged wine, aged hard cheeses, and aged Wagyu beef. People need not be aged though, as most who say the term classy are youthful in spirit.
    • Classy Wine, Medium Plus
  • Cuisine     /kwɪˈziːn/     noun
    • This term is often reserved for restaurants with a niche in Indian, Thai and/or Chinese foods, tailored to the strict American palette. You are dared to type “cuisine” into Google Maps, for any American city.
    • Indian Thai Cuisine, Medium Plus
  • Family Friendly     /ˈfæmɪlɪ ˈfrɛndlɪ/     adj.
    • These establishments are strong in the crayon department, though likely lacking in Tequila body shots.
    • Family Friendly, Medium Plus
  • Fancy    /ˈfænsɪ/     adj.
    • Things that classy people like, such as restaurants without happy hour, and laboriously crafted cocktails. A glass of sparkling Rosé drank al-fresco in the afternoon is both fancy, classy, and damn decadent.
    • Fancy, Medium Plus
  • Farm to Table     /fɑːm tuː ˈteɪbəl/     adj.
    • Unlike most sinister establishments, FTT restaurants acquire their vegetables and animal products from honest farms, and serve the resulting meals on a table. It is key that each item on a FTT menu list the name and provenance of most items, protein especially. See “locally-sourced” to learn more.
    • Farm to Table, Medium Plus
  • Fresh     /frɛʃ/    adj.
    • If an ingredient is not described as such, assume that it has been sitting around for a while. Fish, mozzarella, oysters and mint are top contenders for the freshness title. As an aside, if you are new on the job, you are “fresh meat”.
    • Fresh Meat, Medium Plus
  • Hand Crafted      /hænd krɑːftɛd/     adj.
    • Beware of robot or machine crafted products, which lack the soul and charm of hand-crafted goods. Items crafted by the hands of artisans take on greater poetic meaning, and boast higher objective quality.
    • Hand Crafted, Medium Plus
  • Handmade     /ˌhændˈmeɪd/     adj.
    • A term similar to hand-crafted on the surface, handmade is in fact very different. The term dispels the quaint arts-and-crafts nature of the former, venturing into serious territory of goods not to be overlooked. “Handmade in the USA” carries significant weight, especially if vintage.
    • Handmade Vintage, Medium Plus
  • Healthy    /ˈhɛlθɪ/     adj.
    • Simply put, assume that foods with quinoa and avocado are healthy. Caution: they may lack cheese, cream, gluten, dreams, sunshine, laughter and umami.
    • Healthy Mexican Food, Medium Plus
  • Libation     /laɪˈbeɪʃən/     noun
    • It’s not just a drink. The modern classy lady and gent should only partake of libations, for that is the fancy thing to do. Drinks that take less than eight minutes each to prepare are not libations.
    • Handcrafted Libations, Medium Plus
  • Limited     /ˈlɪmɪtɪd/     adj.
    • Get it while it’s hot! We’re talking about FOMO, or fear of missing out. Most precious things come in limited supply, for a limited time. You only live once, so go after your dreams!
    • Limited Time Offer, Medium Plus
  • Locally-Sourced     /ˈləʊkəlɪ sɔːst/     adj.
    • We learned from Farm-to-Table that quality agricultural products come from a farm, and are served at a table. Not on a TV tray, nor a minivan backseat. These items should be acquired locally, humanely, and sustainably. Farming may not be fancy, but eating locally-sourced sure is classy.
    • Locally Sourced, Medium Plus
  • Mixologist     /ˌmɪkˈsɒlədʒɪst/     noun
    • An expert practitioner of cocktail arts. These maestro men and women of craft can be identified easily, by suspenders, bow ties and vintage sleeve garters. Men may sport a wax-twisted moustache, women a coiffed Gasby-era do. Looks aside, mixologists are known for painstaking libation preparation, curt manners, and smug interpretations of hospitality.
    • Mixologist, Medium Plus
  • Old Fashioned     /əʊld ˈfæʃənd/    adj.
    • This quaint term is not only applied to the delicious potion bearing its name. Soda, sarsaparilla, tonic, and potato salad can all be made in the old fashioned way, which is with out a doubt the only proper way.
    • Old Fashioned, Medium Plus
  • Original     /əˈrɪdʒɪnəl/     adj.
    • The first, the best, the original. Don’t settle for the new – old is better. Stick with what you know, and be happy.
    • Original, Medium Plus
  • Quality     /ˈkwɒlɪtɪ/     adj.
    • If a product fails to state its inherent greatness, watch out. You may be dealing with a dollar store ripoff or foreign fake. No fakes allowed.
    • Quality Notebook, Medium Plus
  • Sommelier     /ˈsʌməlˌjeɪ/     noun
    • The ultimate expert of beverages is the intrepid sommelier. Identify this guru of the grape by well-tailored suit, shiny lapel pin, and sterling tastevin at the ready. Never cross a sommelier, less you risk being given an off-vintage Cru Bourgeois at the next LARP picnic.
    • Sommelier, Medium Plus
  • Small-Batch     /smɔːl bætʃ/     adj.
    • Big batches spell big trouble. All those vats and machines are up to no good, and the resulting products hide nothing. Stick with small-batch Bourbon, ice cream, or Bourbon Ice Cream, and assure highest quality.
    • Small Batch Bourbon, Medium Plus
  • Traditional     /trəˈdɪʃənəl/     adj.
    • Learn how to be original by applying the traditional method. What’s old is new, and new is old. Any artisan craft can be perfected via use of traditional methods.
    • Traditional, Medium Plus
  • Upscale     /ˈʌpˈskeɪl/     adj.
    • Stay classy and shop upscale. No more faded Ross onesies at happy hour, it’s time to go rogue. Impress your friends and colleagues with some upscale swag, and maintain proper quality control.
    • Upscale, Medium Plus
  • Vintage     /ˈvɪntɪdʒ /     adj.
    • The modern mixologist and craftsperson must master the original methods of traditionally styled elixers, by carefully sourcing vintage knowledge and materials. New ideas are dangerous. Eschew the cutting edge, and maintain focus on the anachronistic.
    • Vintage, Medium Plus

 

Any suggestions for other essential terms? Let us know!

Pronunciation details provided by Collins Dictionary. Check out their audio pronunciations!

Article presented by Medium Plus, 2015.