I just read this article and had to reflect: Is “Foodie” a Put-Down?

 I love food. I may be coerced into trying some challenging bites while keeping an open mind and what I find delicious may be repulsive to most. I’d like to think I have a natural relationship with food in general; there’s seduction and chilly indifference. I even dig ‘food porn’.

However, by the following definition, I am not a foodie:

Jim Leff, cofounder of Chowhound, defines the foodie thus: “They are a separate breed, an avatar of that 1960’s archetype, The Gourmet. Foodies eat where they’re told; they eagerly follow trends and swallow the hype.” — Is “Foodie” a Put-Down?, Chow.com

Oh the places I’d go… if I had a limitless budget. However, often those who are not harnessed by their purse strings become living clichés, dropping names, eating names, drinking names, and wearing names. They spend so much of their time and money becoming the person who can spew lingo ostracizing others at a cocktail party.

The whole business of loving food can confuse people. My focus is to travel China and learn home-style recipes taught by families in their homes. A friend treated me to dinner at Babbo once and while strolling home he asked me if I knew who Mario Batali was. I admitted I didn’t. “What?! You love food and you don’t know who Mario Batali is?” I felt brittle; my intelligence was flash-fried. Why during the two years I’d backpacked China to the kitchens of home cooks did I never encounter Mario Batali? Hmmm… I met Chef Yu Bo! :-)

David Kamp, coauthor of The Food Snob’s Dictionary, says: “When people ask me, ‘Are you a foodie?,’ it’s like nails on a chalkboard.” But, he admits, “Their intent is not malevolent.” The problem is that there isn’t a positive or even neutral term for “someone who is passionate about food.” — Is “Foodie” a Put-Down?, Chow.com

So what am I? A friend suggested I coin a different term for myself. I like the idea, although by way of etymological evolution, my term may become the next ‘gourmet’ or ‘foodie’. Presently, my business card reads ‘Storyteller | Food Explorer’. Can I call myself a ‘home-cookie’?

If you have any suggestions for what I might call myself, do let me know.

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5 Responses to I am not a foodie

  1. Mr Noodles says:

    Very interesting post. I can’t really relate to that type of ‘foodie’ who slavishly ‘follow’ celebrity chefs and ‘collect’ restaurants.

    And I also think, with a few exceptions, the celebrity chef concept is a western one. No one really cares about the chef being a name in the East. The main thing, as it should be, is whether the food is any good!

  2. It’s possible to disregard the fundamental question, ‘Does it taste good?’ when blinded by the glamour haloing the food world… and then again, taste is subjective and dependent on exposure. If only there were a palate in the kitchen who could please all others — that would be less fun though. :-)

  3. NOch Noch says:

    call yourself “her yumminess”

  4. Thanks Enoch! ‘Her Yumminess’ would like a steamed barbecued pork bun.

  5. Bill says:

    None of us at wearenotfoodies.com are foodies for the same reasons as you discussed. We feel it is a ‘put down’, but it is hard to come up with a succinct answer to what you are if not a foodie.

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