Merriam-Webster has added 250 new words to the dictionary, including “froyo,” “sriracha,” “California roll,” “bibimbap,” and “word salad” among several other food-related terms.
“Froyo” is an abbreviation for “frozen yogurt.” Though the origin of this healthier alternative to ice cream dates back to the 1970s, froyo’s popularity skyrocketed in 2006 after Yogurtland opened the first self-serve shop in Fullerton, California. This move inspired others to follow suit, and now, over ten years later, the term has earned its rightful place as an official food noun.
Another addition to the 2017 dictionary is “sriracha,” which is defined as “a pungent sauce that is made from hot peppers pureed with usually garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar and that is typically used as a condiment.” Similar to froyo, this spicy condiment has gained significant exposure to foodies worldwide. As Beyoncé once said, “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.”
“California roll” represents another long-established food that was once a trendy novelty but has now achieved dictionary status. Merriam-Webster defines North America’s signature contribution to sushi as “a type of sushi roll containing avocado, cucumber, and cooked crabmeat or imitation crabmeat with a wrapping of seaweed and rice.”
Other new entries to Merriam-Webster include “choux pastry,” defined as “a very light, egg-based dough used to make pastries (such as cream puffs and eclairs)”; “Saigon cinnamon,” which is “the dried aromatic bark of a Vietnamese tree that yields a sweet and spicy cassia sold as cinnamon”; “bibimbap,” defined as “a Korean dish of rice with cooked vegetables, usually meat, and often an egg, either raw or fried”; “cross contamination,” which is “the inadvertent transfer of bacteria or other contaminants from one surface, substance, etc., to another especially because of unsanitary procedures”; and, last but not least, “word salad,” which defines, “a string of empty, incoherent, unintelligible, or nonsensical words or comments.”
Next to each new food-term is its proper pronunciation. So if you come across a tricky word on a restaurant’s dinner menu, there’s less risk of you embarrassing yourself in front of your server and your date. However, you’re probably pronouncing these 30 food words wrong.