Do you gobble, devour, scarf, grub, or chow down on your food?  Consider gobbling down on a bowl of smoked turkey & andouille gumbo, devouring smoky sweet ribs, scarfing down Momofuku’s brown butter custard pie, grubbing escargots, or just chowing down on pork chow mein.


This word, which means both “to eat hastily” and “to make the throaty cry of a male turkey,”. c.1600, probably partly echoic, partly frequentative of gob, via gobben “drink something greedily.”

Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo
Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo

Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo

The word gobble brings turkey to mind.  Male turkeys are called “gobblers” because of their famous call, which is their version of a rooster’s crow. They use it to attract females and in response to other males—sometimes one male’s call can lead to a group of others joining in.


  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1½ lb. andouille, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. granulated onion
  • 2 tsp. mesquite seasoning
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 1½ lb. smoked turkey breast, cut into ¾” pieces
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

[Get the recipe]


The word devour conjures a beastly manner of eating. Early 14c., from Old French devorer (12c.) “devour, swallow up, engulf,” from Latin devorare “swallow down, accept eagerly,” from de- “down” + vorare “to swallow”.

Smoky, Sweet Ribs
Smoky, Sweet Ribs

The Ultimate Smoky, Sweet Ribs


  • 2 (2 1/2- to 3-lb.) slabs St. Louis-style pork ribs
  • Smoky Dry Rub
  • 1 cup applewood smoking chips
  • Rib Braising Liquid
  • Sweet-and-Spicy Barbecue Sauce

[Get the recipe]


The word scarf can mean “to “eat hastily,” 1960, U.S. teen slang, originally a noun meaning “food, meal” (1932), perhaps imitative, or from scoff (attested in a similar sense from 1846). Or perhaps from a dialectal survival of Old English sceorfan “to gnaw, bite”; a similar word is found in a South African context in the 1600s.

Momofuku's Brown Butter Custard Pie w Cranberry Glaze
Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cranberry Glaze

Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cranberry Glaze

Momofuku pastry chef Christina Tosi uses a cinnamon-sugar crumb crust, brown butter filling and a cranberry glaze in the creation of this custard pie.


  • 2 teaspoons plain powdered gelatin
  • Reserved browned butter solids from Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce, pureed and strained

 [Get the recipe]


Grub can be used to refer to food itself, to the supplying of food, and to the eating of food. The slang sense of “food” is first recorded 1650s, said to be from birds eating grubs.

Escargots à la Bourguignonne (Snails in Garlic–Herb Butter)
Escargots à la Bourguignonne (Snails in Garlic–Herb Butter)

Escargots à la Bourguignonne (Snails in Garlic–Herb Butter)


  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. white wine
  • 1 tsp. cognac or French brandy
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt, black pepper, and nutmeg
  • 24 extra-large snail shells
  • 24 canned extra-large snails
  • Rock salt
  • Country bread, for serving

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Associated more with meals of substance than snacks, the phrase chow down incorporates the word chow, which was perhaps brought to us from the Chinese pidgin English word chow-chow meaning “food.”

Pork Chow Mein
Pork Chow Mein

Pork Chow Mein

In American Chinese cooking, chow mein a stir-fried dish consisting of noodles, meat, and vegetables. According to Wikipedia, there are two main kinds available on the market: steamed chow mein, and crispy chow mein, also known as Hong Kong style chow mein.


  • 8 oz. steamed chow mein (Chinese noodles)
  • 2 oz. pork
  • 5 shrimp
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 stalks scallions
  • Salt to taste

[Get the recipe]