Today the Associated Press releases its first ever food section for the 2011 AP Stylebook. What does this mean for food lovers? We can finally settle the debate on what barbecue means: Can grilling and barbecuing be used interchangeably?
Growing up, I would use barbecue to simply mean a party where we grilled foods. We were not eating actual food that had been barbecued: no pulled meats, with either dry or wet rubs coating the skin. We ate dogs and burgers. As I learned more about the severity of the vinegar vs. tomato-based barbecue debates, I became careful not to use the term barbecue when I all I wanted to do was grill jalepeno poppers. Although, now it looks like I’ve been doing it right all along:
barbecue: The verb refers to the cooking of foods (usually meat) over flame or hot coals. As a noun, can be both the meat cooked in this manner or the fire pit (grill). Not barbeque or Bar-BQ.
But this isn’t the only food war settled. Among AP Food Editor Jason M. Hirsch‘s most interesting findings, which he detailed on a call last week:
- Bloody mary is not capitalized, but sloppy Joe is;
- Fluffernutter is trademarked, as well as Broccolini;
- Use foil when referring to aluminum foil, and definitely not tin foil. (“It’s never been made out of tin,” Hirsch discovered.)
Hirsch admitted he was “puzzled over whether to include foodie.” But he deemed the word “pervasive” enough in the culture to provide it a proper definition:
foodie: Slang for a person with a strong interest in good food.
While I hate the term, I do find it useful when describing the current crop of food lovers. It’s more fresh than gourmet: “a person who likes fine food and is an excellent judge of food and drink;” but also sits above the fine line of gourmand: “a person who likes good food and tends to eat to excess; a glutton.” (Or does it?)
My favorite find, though, brings me back to the frightening, yet ridiculous days of post 9/11: the changing of french fries to freedom fries. Why is the f in french not capitalized when talking about these magically fried spuds: “lowercase french because it refers to the style of cut, not the nation.”