The discussion that follows is transcribed and edited from an agenda item at the Editorial Collective’s 2020 annual general meeting, addressed via Zoom across sometimes inconvenient time zones. We talked about what the use, or deliberate non-use, of italics can signal when it comes to writing and reading about food, and the assumptions and norms embedded in typographical choices.

It bears noting upfront that the end goal of this discussion was always concrete and practical: to provide clear stylistic guidelines to authors who wish to be considered for publication in the journal. But that seemingly simple instruction—do, or do not, use italics for certain food items or dishes—must be (at least internally) justifiable.

So, what does foreign food mean in 2021? Described by a non-English word, but consumed and recognized by English-speaking people around the globe? Sushi, for example, comes to mind. But does sushi mean something different than...

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