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Suppose I classify dishes in a restaurant menu. I would like to classify them by two categories:

  • Category 1:
    1. entree
    2. main course
    3. dessert
    4. etc.
  • Category 2:
    1. meat
    2. fish
    3. vegetables
    4. cheese
    5. etc.

What would you call category 1 and category 2 ?

share|improve this question
Perhaps simply by course type and content type? Though I'll admit these sound a bit like variables in a script, rather than actual, useful describers. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 20 '13 at 13:31
As you suggest, the first category is course/s. The second? 'Food category'!? Do you really need to have category labels? And if your 'etc' goes with 'cheeses' rather than '4', 'cereals/carbs' and 'fruit' are missing. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 20 '13 at 13:32
Related: What is the hypernym/category for restaurant dishes that includes: plates, platters, saucers, bowls, trays, porringers, salvers, mugs, pitchers, casseroles, tankards, tureens, carafes, urns and the like? – tchrist Oct 20 '13 at 13:48
In the US, the main course is often called the entrée, just to confuse Europeans – Henry Jun 12 '14 at 23:49

The first group can be called courses

a part of a meal served at one time: the fish course

The second category can be called ingredients

a component of a mixture, compound, etc, esp. in cooking

If you want to be more precise, you could say main ingredients.

share|improve this answer
Foodstuffs might serve slightly better than ingredients – jwpat7 Oct 20 '13 at 16:04
@jwpat7 While I don't disagree that foodstuffs might work, ingredients is the standard term used in recipes. I guess it depends on where OP will use it and how offbeat/mainstream he wants to be. – bib Oct 20 '13 at 16:08
Foodstuffs is a better hypernym for the listed items: it's more precise and more limiting than ingredients. There are recipes for all sorts of things besides food, and all kinds of ingredients that have nothing to do with food. But I agree ingredients might serve the desired purpose. – jwpat7 Oct 20 '13 at 16:17

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