As the title suggests, I am wondering how do we describe food which has gone stale or food that has gone cold after being left out there for too long? I checked jisho and 大辞林 but I did not manage to find anything conclusive. Thanks for any help!


For food that has gone cold (doesn't need to be so cold, but like coffee that is not hot enough anymore) you use 冷める, so in most cases a structure like 冷めてしまったスープ works best.

I am not a native English speaker (either), so I don't fully understand "gone stale", but I think there are many different ways to describe food that are no longer in their optimum state. E.g. for noodles that have swollen when kept too long in the soup, you use "ラーメンが伸びた". For bread that became hard,かたくなった, for vegetables くさった etc.

  • Before Chocolate comes and corrects me again (いつも本当にありがとう!) to be on the safe side I changed the bread part from "かたまった" to "かたくなった" as I started to hesitate the first one...
    – Tuomo
    Jun 10 '19 at 0:43
  • As a native English speaker I only think of your bread example when I think of the word 'stale', but your other examples are good to know too. Jun 10 '19 at 7:47
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    @user3 その "stale" って、食べられる状態ですか? 「スープが冷めた」「ラーメンがのびた」「パンがかたくなった」とかだと、なんとか食べられそうですけど、「野菜・肉etcがくさった」だと、もう食べられないですよね。(「いたんでる」はどうなんだろう・・「しなびた野菜」くらいなら食べられそうな気も)
    – Chocolate
    Jun 10 '19 at 9:28
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    @Chocolate Off the top of my head I can only think of three foods that can go stale: bread, cake and beer. For bread and cake it would only refer to when they have dried out. In that case it would still be edible but not nice to eat. You could turn it into something tasty though e.g. bread and butter pudding. If it is that horrible pre-sliced supermarket bread then it is likely to go mouldy at the same time as it dries out. In this case I wouldn't use the word stale. I'd just say "it's gone mouldy" or "it's gone off". As for stale beer, well if you like vinegar then its probably harmless. Jun 10 '19 at 19:31

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