Tag Archives: seasoning

11 Pretentious Food Terms


One of the biggest complaints people have with the food industry is the pretentious attitude.  The food world is full of people and establishments who reek of self-importance. We’ve developed a culinary lexicon that has become so convoluted, The gastro-glossary of words around the word is long and often confusing with many kitchen terms that chefs fully understand confusing their customers when they hit the menus in the dining room.


1.Hand-anything – hand-chopped, hand-pulled, hand-cut, hand-glazed…

Wow. What an ingenious method. So ingenious in fact that every grandma since the dawn of civilisation has been using this innovative method to prepare food.

2. Artisanal

So over-used, it’s losing its meaning. I mean, if every bakery down the road calls itself “Artisanal”, which really sounds more like “I’m just starting out, don’t have the funds or the time to do more than this”, then where is the line drawn between a true artisan and a wannabe?

3. Bespoke

Custom-crafted cocktails, madam? Yeah, and that $30 price tag that comes along with it. It’s all right. I’ll stick to that glass of boring wine.

4. Deconstructed

Oh, the things you learn from Master Chef. Here I was thinking that “Deconstructed” dishes meant the creator thought of a concept BEFORE he started plating the dish. But in reality, it seems like deconstructed is just a convenient term for when things start going awry in the cooking or plating process!

5. Foraged

Ok, yes so maybe those darn Chanterelle Mushrooms were really foraged from some forest in Scandinavia but, I’m not quite sure how to react when I see foraged items in urban city centres. Maybe I shouldn’t diss that poor weed growing out of the asphalt streets, after all.

Oh, how “lucky” am I that there are at least 5 artisanal bakeries in my neighbourhood – so I can learn essential skills in life, like being able to tell the difference between a fougasse and a flatkaka

Yes, and please charge me $30 for that alcohol-infused bespoke strawberry smoothie

What lovely mushrooms growing in the grass patch next to my car park. I wonder if I should forage for them?

6. Curated

We get it. You studied the fine arts of vegetables and have personally “Curated” what should appear on my plate. Heaven forbid, that damn carrot ruining the verdant look of lush forest greens.

7. Chef’s Menu or Omakase

This isn’t so much about the words Chef’s Menu or Omakase. It’s the way the staff hold on to the information about what’s on the menu with secrecy befitting the CIA.

Yes, it is a damn secret, I know. But really, I am already sitting at your restaurant, willing to splash out the moolah, so what’s up with not telling me even as I order the Chef’s Menu about what I am getting? Yes, they ask you about allergies and there’s always religious considerations. But what if you don’t have any of those restrictions but you just don’t really, really like a particular food? Like you may love some bacon bits in your appetiser but you absolutely cannot handle a full-on pork belly for a main. Do you just blanket tell them you don’t eat pork and miss out on trying other dishes of theirs?

8. No-description menus

You know, the ones that read like this – Beef|Pearls|Citrus and you’re like what?? What am I ordering, guys?

9. Giving me a geography lesson I do not need

Like telling me that the line-caught fish is from Moldova or something. Wait, do they even fish in Moldova? 

10. Giving me a French lesson that, again, I do not need

Yes, it’s a beautiful language where even saying “you’re a bloody ass of a cook” sounds so fancy, but it’s OK. You can still call a mashed potato a mashed potato and if it’s the silkiest, creamiest mash I have ever eaten, I will not care that it wasn’t a pomme puree.

11. Mouthfeel

Only usually ever uttered by the most pretentious wannabes, it’s meant to tell the rest of us plebeians that really, you are using ALL your senses when you dine. Clever girl.

Would this be more interesting if I said it was a locally-harvested Tiger Prawns, accompanied by hand-tossed gluten-free pasta in a prawn head organic chilli oil?

Curated puffs of delight, swimming in hand-pulled milk from a free range, organic bovine farm from the Scottish Highlands

“Oh, the mouthfeel of a Dragon Fruit”, she exclaimed, sighing with pleasure. Oh, did you mean you like the way the seeds pop in your mouth, say like, fizzy pop candy?


SMOKE POINTS of Cooking Oil: A general summary about seasoning

How does this work? As oil bakes past the smoke points, it leaves a black patina finish, (carbon).  This carbon is polymerize as the oil is seared onto the cookware through the process of heating at a high temperature.  Once the oil has burned away, it will leave this finish known as seasoning.  Many manufactures preseason cookware but in time, re seasoning may be required. Once the oil has been heated, it is cooked into the surface of the item and when cooled, the first level of patina finish remains and once cooled will have a smooth touch.  Over time, through use, more oils are added while cooking and when kept properly, only gets better through time.  

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Over time, through use, more oils are added while cooking and when kept properly, only gets better through time.  

What oils work best?  Cooking oils whether vegetable or animal fat both work.  I have used different oils over time seasoning many different types of cast iron cookware with great results, but only oils at or above 350 degrees (f) seem to work best.  I like bacon grease, although vegetable oils work fine and as I often cook using olive oil,  it too, works great.   What you use, truly is up to what you like and use in your home. What perhaps is more important in selecting what oil you use, is deciding which not to choose.  Since most cooking is around 350 degrees (f), do not select a Low smoke points oil.  many will argue bacon grease over vegetable oil, or coconut oil over cottonseed, but truth is, they all work as they are all higher smoke points.   While Avocado and Coconut (refine) have the highest smoke points, any oil with 350 degrees (f) will provide a sufficient finish. If the item comes out sticky, just reheat and cool again as most often, a sticky finish is because you either did not reach smoke point or did not heat long enough.

Smoke Point Chart

Fat Smoke Point °F Smoke Point °C
Unrefined canola oil 225°F 107°C
Unrefined flax seed oil 225°F 107°C
Unrefined safflower oil 225°F 107°C
Unrefined sunflower oil 225°F 107°C
Unrefined corn oil 320°F 160°C
Unrefined high-oleic sunflower oil 320°F 160°C
Extra virgin olive oil 320°F 160°C
Unrefined peanut oil 320°F 160°C
Semi refined safflower oil 320°F 160°C
Unrefined soy oil 320°F 160°C
Unrefined walnut oil 320°F 160°C
Hemp seed oil 330°F 165°C
Butter 350°F 177°C
Semi refined canola oil 350°F 177°C
Coconut oil 350°F 177°C
Unrefined sesame oil 350°F 177°C
Semi refined soy oil 350°F 177°C
Vegetable shortening 360°F 182°C
Lard 370°F 182°C
Macadamia nut oil 390°F 199°C
Refined canola oil 400°F 204°C
Semi refined walnut oil 400°F 204°C
High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil 405°F 207°C
Sesame oil 410°F 210°C
Cottonseed oil 420°F 216°C
Grape seed oil 420°F 216°C
Virgin olive oil 420°F 216°C
Almond oil 420°F 216°C
Hazelnut oil 430°F 221°C
Peanut oil 440°F 227°C
Sunflower oil 440°F 227°C
Refined corn oil 450°F 232°C
Palm oil 450°F 232°C
Palm kernel oil 450°F 232°C
Refined high-oleic sunflower oil 450°F 232°C
Refined peanut oil 450°F 232°C
Refined Safflower oil 450°F 232°C
Semi refined sesame oil 450°F 232°C
Refined soy oil 450°F 232°C
Semi refined Sunflower Oil 450°F 232°C
Olive pomace Oil 460°F 238°C
Extra light olive Oil 468°F 242°C
Soybean oil 495°F 257°C
Safflower oil 510°F 266°C
Avocado oil 520°F 271°C

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