David Kamp Brings Aid to Would-Be Food Snobs

No food snob should leave home without it.Photo courtesy Doubleday Publishing

Few writers have learned the language of contemporary food culture as fluently as The United States of Arugula author David Kamp, or seen through its pretensions as sharply. That’s obvious from our galley copy of The Food Snob’s Dictionary, an acutely perceptive little book coming out this fall. A few of Kamp’s definitions, to tide you over until then:

Cèpe: "Cloying French synonym for porcini mushrooms, used to confuse diners who think porcinis are old news."

Line-caught: "Pet phrase of lyrical menu writers, denoting a fish that has been caught in the old fashioned rod-and-reel way, presumably by a small-time fisherman, rather than swooped up in a net with its entire school by a crew of unfeeling Russians on a huge, rusty trawler."

Lusty: "Stock adjective deployed by food writers to confer an air of unbridled peasant sensuality upon foodstuffs. By the time I finished off the last of the lusty beef-cheek ravioli, Mario had reduced me to a quivering mess."

Omakase: "Immoderately priced Japanese tasting menu … Often prepared and eaten right at a sushi bar, the omakase meal, with its triple-digit price tag, businessman demographic, and strange air of simultaneous intimacy and awkwardness between host and guest, is the closest gastronomical approximation of the escort-john experience."

Related: Really, Is It You? David Kamp Shares His Five Favorite N.Y. Food Books