Emoji is the fastest growing language the world has ever seen.
That’s right, language. It’s syntactic enough that the UK Guardian printed an emoji transcript of President Obama’s last State of the Union Address, and the Library of Congress recently catalogued its first emoji title, Emoji Dick, a faithful translation of the Melville classic. Four in ten of us have sent messages entirely made up of emoji, and only 2 in 10 texters can finesse meaning and nuance well enough to completely go without.
Food emoji 101
Emoji is overseen by the same Unicode Consortium that creates worldwide standards for all of the computing industry’s encoding and representation of language. Since emoji originated in Japan, it makes sense that many are emblematic of that country’s culture. Nowhere is this more obvious than with food emojis where symbols include a bento box , fish cake , and rice ball . New emoji characters are regularly added as part of wider updates to the Unicode Standard, and recent additions reflect the growing influence of American texters. The last batch included the burrito , cheese wedge , hot dog , popcorn , and the taco , which made the cut after Taco Bell advocated for its inclusion, collecting more than 25,000 signatures on a Change.org petition. Never satisfied, food-loving texters and bloggers are constantly sharing their wishlists for the next round of emoji introductions. First We Feast nominates the red Solo cup, the Chinese takeout container, and portraits of notable food celebrities; Thrillist wants to see a waffle, a pretzel, and a shot glass; and everyone’s wondering what, no bacon?
Emojis are catalogued in the Emojipedia which currently lists 59 in the food and beverage category.
Here’s what you can do with them:
- You can search the recipe archives of the New York Times by emoji,
or cook with a Bon Appétit Magazine emoji recipe.
- Follow the emoji diet profiled in The Atlantic.
…This diet is essentially the opposite of Atkins. Of the 59 food emoji, eight incorporate rice, and 11 are desserts…
- Read a Bloomberg Business emoji restaurant review.
- Tweet a food emoji to order takeout.
- Recreate your favorite food emojis as their real-world correlates,
or as Rice Krispie treats.
- Wear your favorites as a sweatshirt.
The Unicode Consortium has named six new food emojis that are being considered by the Unicode Technical Committee for inclusion in the next update scheduled for mid-2016. They are croissant, avocado, cucumber, potato, carrot, and yes, finally, bacon.