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I have noticed that many questions, answers and comments on this site involve the popular and specialized terminology of food, restaurants and gastronomy. I have also noticed that some are deemed off-topic or otherwise dismissed as having little to do with English Language & Usage. Is this site really unsuited to such a discussion? Is there another associated site dealing with these matters? I do not consider "cooking" to be such a site.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Aug 22 '16 at 10:50

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

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    It would help if you could explain why you don't consider cooking.stackexchange.com a suitable site for questions about "the popular and specialized terminology of food, restaurants and gastronomy." They have a "language" tag which seems to have many questions. – sumelic Aug 22 '16 at 5:09
  • You have likely run across the guardians of this site's purity. I don't believe their dismissals are particularly related to gastronomy. – deadrat Aug 22 '16 at 5:14
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    Hi @deadrat. As I said, I think the relevant question is the one I just linked to. I voted to close it since it was asking what "nonpareil" meant on a package of almonds. I wasn't particularly concerned with guarding this site's purity, I just think it's likely a food expert could provide a more useful answer to this question than the people on this site. The Quora question I linked to has an answer by an almond exporter that seems fairly detailed. – sumelic Aug 22 '16 at 5:19
  • Sumelic you ask a fair question about my assertion that cooking.stackexchange.com is not best suited to the popular and specialized terminology of food, restaurants and gastronomy. For food historians, restaurant critics and "foodies" [sic] a site like "cooking" contains far too many recipes and shared discussions on the practicalities of cooking and not enough on the vast and fascinating subject of gastronomy which covers so much more than recipes and cooking processes. – Peter Point Aug 22 '16 at 5:23
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    I guess it may have more questions about recipes, but you don't have to read all the posts on the site to ask a question there. So I don't see why that would matter. Someone asked about why ketchup is often labeled "fancy" and seems to have received some good answers. I think that question seems similar to the one about the meaning of "nonpareil" on almond packages. – sumelic Aug 22 '16 at 5:34
  • Thanks sumelic but it's not just having an opportunity (on my part) to post a question. I relish reading other peoples' questions and answers on the world or gastronomy and restaurants where terminology is vital to any discussion on the subject, leading to, on a more prosaic level, a better understanding, enjoyment and celebration of gastronomy. Reading a litany of recipes and the endless prattle of cooking techniques detracts from that part of "English Language & Usage" which involves itself in gastronomy. – Peter Point Aug 22 '16 at 6:31
  • "Fancy Ketchup" was a most interesting post and just the sort of thing that food historians like to read and discuss. The terminology was discussed in an informative way so as to dispel any notion that non-Americans may have had that a "fancy" ketchup is just a sales puff cobbled together by marketing whiz kids at McDonalds. It's evidently more than that. I would have taken this post and added my own 10 cents worth on the etymology of "ketchup" which comes from the 17th century Chinese word (transliteration) of "ke'chap" , a condiment made from rotting innards of tiny fish. – Peter Point Aug 22 '16 at 6:48
  • @sumelic Nonpareil is a wonderful word. It's been in the language for over 350 years, and for 300 of those it's been applied to sugary treats. The OED finds seven different uses in typography, gastronomy, botany, and lepidoptery. It turns out that for almonds, it's just not a marketing boast. But at least you provided a link to an unsourced paragraph by someone who plays an almond exporter in cyberspace. I'm sure he provided a more useful answer than anyone on ELU could. – deadrat Aug 22 '16 at 6:57
  • @deadrat: I never said it was a marketing boast. It's the name of a variety (or actually, I guess it's a general class that subsumes multiple varieties--I'm not an expert so I don't know the technical details). Like "Red Delicious" is the name of an apple variety. If someone asked what the sticker on their apple saying "Red Delicious" means, it would be irrelevant to quote the OED's definition of "delicious." If you Google "nonpareil almonds," you'll get plenty of other results that confirm this information; I'm not just getting it from that one paragraph. – sumelic Aug 22 '16 at 6:59
  • @sumelic You're missing the point, but place the blame on the transmitter and not the receiver. I'm too tired to offer anything more than congratulations. – deadrat Aug 22 '16 at 7:06
  • Evidently "Fancy Ketchup" it is not the name of a variety but of a grade (prime or A-grade) that the US food industry uses to differentiate and label high grade ketchup from lesser grades. For those Americans not in the know and for all the citizens of the UK and elsewhere, the real meaning of this terminology prevents the mind jumping to the conclusion that it's a "marketing boast", a meaningless puff. It also happens to be a fortuitous godsend for McDonalds. – Peter Point Aug 22 '16 at 7:11
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    Related: Is domain-specific terminology off-topic? – choster Aug 22 '16 at 17:23

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