Today’s muffin top is yesterday’s love handles, according to the latest online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Known as the “protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers,” the muffin top plays off the crunchy top section of that breakfast food. And someone who sports a muffin top may have feasted on too many of the other delicious new words that appear in the OED.
Updated four times a year in March, June, September, and December, the OED serves as a cultural barometer of trends and tastes. While such texting-inspired initialisms as OMG (Oh my God) and LOL (laughing out loud) made the online edition this month, we were more intrigued by the agflation (increased demand for agricultural products) of culinary words. Some of them, like pulled pork and spiedies are regional favorites in the U.S. while others including banh mi and kleftiko are imports. All reflect our hearty appetites. Here are a few of our favorites from OED’s website.
Babycino. A drink of hot milk that has been frothed up with pressurized steam, intended for children.
Banh mi. A Vietnamese snack consisting of a baguette (traditionally baked with both rice and wheat flour) filled with a variety of ingredients, typically including meat, pickled vegetables, and chili peppers.
Chermoula. In North African cookery, a sauce or marinade for fish or meat, typically containing olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro.
Eton mess. A dessert consisting of a rough mixture of whipped cream, pieces of meringue, and fruit, typically strawberries.
Flat water. Ordinary tap or bottled drinking water, as opposed to sparkling water.
Flat white. A type of coffee made with espresso and hot steamed milk, but without the froth characteristic of a cappuccino.
Gremolata. A dressing or garnish made with chopped parsley, garlic, and grated lemon zest, served as an accompaniment to meat or fish.
Kleftiko. A Greek dish consisting of lamb marinated with lemon juice and herbs and cooked slowly in a sealed container.
Mac1. Macaroni, as in mac and cheese.
Momo. In Tibetan cooking, a steamed dumpling filled with meat or vegetables.
Nom nom. Used to express pleasure at eating, or at the prospect of eating, delicious food.
Pork bun. A Chinese snack consisting of steamed or baked bread dough filled with barbecued pork.
Pulled pork. Tender, slow-cooked pork that is pulled apart into pieces and often prepared with a barbecue sauce.
Rugelach. A bite-size cookie made with cream-cheese dough rolled around a filling of nuts, poppy seed paste, chocolate or jam.
Sammich. A sandwich (I’m jonesing for a pastrami sammich.)Slow food. Fod that is produced or prepared in accordance with local culinary traditions, typically using high-quality locally sourced ingredients.
Spiedie. An Italian-American dish consisting of marinated pieces of meat cooked on a skewer, and often served in a roll.
The OED also acknowledged the 10- (or 3-, 5- etc.) second rule that “allows for the eating of a delicious morsel that has fallen to the floor, provided that it is retrieved within the specified period of time.” And to that we say “boo-yah” (an expression of joy, especially over a well-played or victorious moment).
—Mary H.J. Farrell