How to say that food is hot (temperature) without the listener thinking that I mean “spicy”?

There is an excellent discussion of spicy vs. hot here: Difference between "spicy" and "hot"

However, having read the previous question, I did not see any answer that tells how to say unambiguously that food is hot (temperature) without being misunderstood.

If I say that my food is spicy, a listener will unambiguously understand that I am referring to the sensation associated with eating.

However, I can’t think of a good way to say that my food is hot (temperature) without a listener possibly thinking that I mean spicy.

In the referenced question, a poster described how to unambiguously say that food is spicy. How can I unambiguously say that food is hot?


It’s a genuine inadequacy in English vocabulary, with no simple fix:

  • “Hot” is ambiguous
  • “Spicy” is also ambiguous (certain kinds of cake, for example, are spicy but not hot)
  • “Piquant” is not frequently used, so could seem pretentious.

You must therefore keep an eye on context, and add information where necessary.

Most of the time, when talking about food, “hot” refers to temperature, except in the context of mustard, horseradish, and non-Northern-European cuisines. So unless you have explicitly established that those foodstuffs are in-scope, it’s pretty safe to assume that “hot” refers to temperature.

Source : Link , Question Author : Vivian River , Answer Author : slim

Leave a Comment