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Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Our food-obsessed media landscape has proven fertile ground for wordplay. There are now new words to describe every food niche or gastronomical preference.

Can't stand little kids running amok in your favorite Korean fusion restaurant? You might have bratophobia. And you could be a gastrosexual if you use your cooking prowess to attract that new special someone.

In his new book, Eatymology, humorist and food writer Josh Friedland has collected many of these neologisms in a 21st century food dictionary.

Friedland recently spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin, host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Highlights from their conversation are excerpted below.

On the "sourdough hotel"

So this is in Stockholm. There is a place, a bakery, where, you know, if you are devoted to keeping your own sourdough starter and feeding it every day with flour, if you need to go on vacation, you can leave your sourdough with this bakery. They'll keep it on a shelf and feed it daily for you while you're gone. It's like boarding for your pet.

On "brogurt" — yogurt marketed to men

The one that did it was this company Powerful Yogurt. It's on store shelves now, and they target — you know, it's like marketing, like, an energy drink for guys.

On "blood cashews"

This was based on a Human Rights Watch report on the way cashews are processed in Vietnam, which is one of the world's biggest exporters of cashews. So it turns out that in Vietnam, people who are convicted [of] drug offenses are sent to drug treatment centers where they are basically forced labor for producing cashews, for processing them and getting them ready for export. And, you know, it borrows from this idea of blood diamonds, obviously. So yeah, no, the book blends the hilarious and the ridiculous and the quite serious.

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