It seems lately, with social media influencers, that cooking has become less of a necessity and more of an art. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: watching time lapse videos of people decorating cakes or seasoning steaks can be relaxing and even educational for aspiring cooks. But with all these fast paced trends and internet slang, it can be hard to understand the newer terms out there, including in the food community. Here’s some terms and phrases you may not know, what they mean and how to use them in a hip fashion!
- Artisan – you may have heard this term used referring to everything from loaves of bread to hard cider and never really questioned the meaning of it. Borrowed from the French in the 1600’s, it means something made with skilled expertise. It’s also common to use it as a noun, with an “artisan” being the person who makes the product. The term artisan in the “edible” sense refers to high-quality food. Think bread, cheese, fruit preserves, cured meats, chocolate and oils. These products are made in a traditional way, rather than modernized with a lot of help from technology. Think of it as a retro way of cooking. Artisanal food tends to be more expensive as it takes more time and labor than mass produced food. You’ll likely see the term artisan referring to local eats. Google collects data on word trends, and it’s no surprise the word artisan has been used with increased frequency since 2004. In fact, the word artist has been steadily declining for more than a decade, while the word artisan has been steadily increasing. Some artisans use their traditional cooking styles as tourist attractions where people can pay to watch artisans cook and of course, customers can sample the newly made dish on the spot! These events are a quick Google away, but may be a farther drive, so do your research!
- Nut Milk – this is an umbrella term used to describe lactose and animal free-milk made from different nuts. Yes, you read that right: nuts. The process is a little different from traditional cow, goat and other animal milks. Whatever nut is the base of the milk, say almonds, they are blended together in a water base until it’s a liquid consistency. Depending on the brand and type, sweeteners and flavors are added to make it more appealing to drinkers. Other non-dairy based milks that are becoming increasingly popular across the internet include oat milk, coconut milk, soy milk and even rice milk. These are beneficial for those with lactose intolerance as they are made with vitamins to be as close to cow’s milk as possible, but as far as health goes, these milks are simply another trend. According to nutritional experts, cow’s milk has the most vitamins and health benefits for your body. There is a battle waging between dairy milk producers and plant-based milk producers within the FDA. Dairy farmers maintain milk needs to be secreted from the mammary glands of an animal; while plant-based producers maintain their products should be called milk.
- Rolled Ice Cream – a process that became popular through internet videos, this type of ice cream is made a little differently than hard or soft serve. The person making the ice cream will use a heavy cream and condensed milk and pour it onto a cold metal sheet, mixing it right there and adding any flavors desired. Once it is properly mixed, it’s cooled until frozen and a spatula is used to literally “roll” the ice cream off the sheet. It’s then put into a cup, the rolls standing vertically, and toppings are added! This trendy style of ice cream eating actually started in Thailand in the early 2010s and became increasingly popular online about a decade later – not only being delicious to eat but fun to watch people make!
- Sous Vide Cooking – this is a slow process cooking technique that has been around for a while, but is gaining traction due to the internet. Sous Vide is considered a “fancier” way of cooking and it consists of vacuum sealing the food in a bag and cooking it to the ideal temperature in water. The upside to this is evenly cooked meat that can’t be achieved in any other ways. Plus, the meat marinades and cooks in its own juices, which are absorbed and don’t go to waste. Once the food is done cooking it can be toasted, grilled or fried to add an extra crisp coating. You don’t have to worry about burning since you know the inside is already evenly cooked!