How to fake being a foodie

Mar 4, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Even if you're not competent in the kitchen, you can still impress family and friends if you have a few of the right culinary tricks up your sleeve.

Woman dining with wine |

Stay on top of trends

Food trends come and go quickly and change often. Some — like local, seasonal eating and artisanal products — are actually a true shift in the collective thinking about food, but trends (bacon everything, cake pops) are often fleeting. So if you’re going to talk about food like you know what you’re talking about, keep on top of what’s new and exciting. Follow chefs and food bloggers on Twitter and Instagram and read food blogs to get an idea of what people in the know are excited to eat.

Have an opinion

Now that you have an idea of what the trends are, it’s time to form some opinions about them so you sound as if you’re not only aware of what’s going on in the food world but also have analyzed the trends and formed some educated opinions. Bacon cupcakes? They’re so 2012. Pulled pork? Let’s start putting something on our macaroni and cheese. Kale? Please, there are so many other green vegetables to try. Find a few food trends that drive you nuts and spout off about them at the next dinner party you go to.

Brush up on
obscure ingredients

There’s no better way to sound like a foodie and impress friends than by dropping a few obscure ingredients in to conversation. has a kitchen dictionary that’s helpful when perusing ingredients to try and come up with the weirdest ones you can find. Each one has a definition so you’ll be able to get a handle on what each might be useful for in the kitchen.

restaurant reviews

One of the best ways to learn the lingo and how to talk about food on a critical level is to devour as many restaurant reviews as you can. The people who write these reviews eat for a living and know how to describe what they’re tasting in an interesting way. By learning about how food critics describe flavours and flavour combinations you’ll have a better grasp on how to do the same.

Expand your food vocabulary

Head online to expand your food vocabulary. That way you can toss out terms that make you sound like you know a thing or two about fancy food. Sites like SOS Cuisine provide a comprehensive list of cooking terms, techniques and anything else you might want to drop into your next conversation with your foodie friends or anyone you might want to impress. Just remember to practice using your newfound culinary words in a sentence so you don’t get mixed up in conversation.

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Make up weird flavour combinations

The next time you and your friends are discussing food and cooking and you’re feeling stuck or out of the loop, or worse, someone asks you what you would make in a particular scenario, get creative. Say you’ve been feeling experimental lately and you’re thinking about redefining your culinary perspective, going for bolder combinations. Then toss out some pairings that sound unexpected or strange. Pink peppercorns and passionfruit perhaps? Ginger and blood orange? Or how about vanilla and gorgonzola? If anyone asks what you plan to do with these ingredients, just say you’re in the testing phase.

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