New AP Stylebook Includes Food Writing

BlogHer Original Post

The newest edition of the AP Stylebook, which was released today, features a full section on food writing for the first time in its history. The 16-page section clarifies capitalization, usage and definitions for food writers who follow this style in their choice of media. Among the words now codified in official AP Style? Foodie, which is defined as "Slang for a person with a strong interest in good food."


On his blog, J.M. Hirsch, the Associated Press' Food Editor, explained he had been keeping a cheat sheet for his own reference, but felt it was time to include that in the full styleguide:

…the explosion of food media — from blogs to all those magazines crowding the newsstand — made us think there were plenty of other people who might appreciate access to the research we’ve done.

Because whether we blog, write books or edit magazines, all of us in the food world are judged by the clarity and quality of our writing. And anything that makes that easier is worth a look.

Stefanie Gans of Endless Simmer appreciates the fact that the new guidelines will put to rest some arguments about how to refer to certain cooking techniques or food items:

We can finally settle the debate on what barbecue means: Can grilling and barbecuing be used interchangeably?

Growing up, I would use barbecue to simply mean a party where we grilled foods. We were not eating actual food that had been barbecued: no pulled meats, with either dry or wet rubs coating the skin. We ate dogs and burgers. As I learned more about the severity of the vinegar vs. tomato-based barbecue debates, I became careful not to use the term barbecue when I all I wanted to do was grill jalepeno poppers. Although, now it looks like I’ve been doing it right all along…

At Ameredian, Carolina Madrid noted the number of international food additions included in this version of the reference book. "Huitlacoche, tzatziki, kielbasa, sashimi and couscous are a few of the 140 new entries in the AP Stylebook’s Food Guidelines section," she wrote. "The latest food additions are telling of America’s growing interest and use of international foods and spices."

How do you think the new section of the guide will change food writing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories.

Image credit: Image by jspatchwork, shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.


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