Hey all you Foodies

Aug 22nd, 2002, 09:35 AM
  #21  
dean
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I have a little problem with the term foodie. It covers such a range of people and tastes. While I watch Food TV, there are some appaling shows that do not in any way promote whit I think of as "foodie". Unwrapped is an expample.

There is the foodie who rushes after new tastes and experiences without the understanding of the culture that produced the food they are enjoying.

I am a devotee of authentic and artisinal production. I find it everywhere. There are incredible foods available made in California or any other state that will rival the best anywhere. I can't get an incredible amierican brie but I can get a crescenza from Cowgirl Cremery or Bell weather farms (I forget which) in northern california that will put most Italian versions to shame. But there is no such thing as a parmesan from anywhere else but the Emiglia Romagna (and there is a lot of low quality stuff that is made there!).

I was a foodie long before I ever went to Europe. I have been int he wine and food business since I was 16. My love of food and wine led me into the business and thats how I first went to Europe, on a buying trip. Now I go every year and just for pleasure.
 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 09:44 AM
  #22  
Therese
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Born this way, so far as I can tell. Refused to take more than one bite of my very first peanut butter and jelly sandwich (as per my mother---I was too young to remember) and haven't had one since.

Nature reinforced by nurture in the form of summers spent on my grandmother's farm: everything (produce, meats, dairy) produced on site, everything amazing. My mother's a very good and experimental cook as well, so that helped.

I live in Atlanta now, and count myself particularly fortunate, as there's lots of terrific food available. The list of things that I can't find here is very short, and gets shorter all the time. My grocery list routinely includes Nutella (or alternative chocolate and hazelnut spreads) and arugula (or other cool greens).

 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 11:59 AM
  #23  
Kate
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I believe that my children were born foodies
They both loved goat cheese and caviar - although not together- before they started school.My husband would make complicated dishes for dinner now and then and let them help, tasting as he went along. Oysters, Calamri, Pate , were among their childhood favorites.

Today they both love trying new tastes and travel quite a bit so they are expanding those tastes to the rest of the world.
An excellent way to bring new foodies into the world, IMHO.
 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 12:12 PM
  #24  
Red
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This is my personal opinion, but I think the corporatization of American farming has ruined the taste of food. Granted we are cranking out the food and feeding everyone, but look at what we've sacrificed. If you are lucky enough to find a farmer's market that is selling you stuff they just pulled out of the ground that morning, then count your blessings.

Remember those big, juicy, red, lucious tomatoes you used to pick out of the garden? I still dream about those tomatoes.
 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #25  
njgirl
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Red,
We still eat those tomatoes.
Here in Bergen County, NJ.
 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 01:04 PM
  #26  
francesca
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The last time I had real tomotoes was in Massachusetts and I live in France, home of Provence etc.--eg. lousy (but beautiful) tomatoes. There are great things in the US and great things here in France. In the US you have charbroiled hamburgers anywhere you want, great donuts, real bagles with real cream cheese and lox. You have pototoe knishes dripping with gravy and real pastrami on moist rye bread with half-sours, a thing unknown in France. You have Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and Krispy kreme donuts, real BBQ and hushpuppies and and and

In France, we have great salad with delicious vinaigrette in any café you happen upon, delicious cheese, great bread like Flute de Gana, foie gras quickly fried in a pan with gingerbread crust etc etc but...not what you have in the US:
Let us appreciate the fantastic foods found in each country, never to be found in the other. Be thankful!! Never mind food, I would give anything just to have Tom's of Maine Toothpaste (spearmint) in my nearest pharmarcie.
 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 01:33 PM
  #27  
kate
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Yummmmmm hush puppies! Haven't had one of those in about 20 years!
I can send you some Toms I send it to my son in Japan!
 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 05:12 PM
  #28  
wendy
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I WISH I had been 'born' a foodie... I was reared on frozen fishsticks, kraft macaroni and cheese and hamburger helper.

It wasn't until I visited Europe and South Africa that I began noticing that the world doesn't exist on hamburgers. (NOTHING wrong with a good hamburger, especially char-grilled and topped with blue cheese...)

I have to side with Dan that 'I am a devotee of authentic and artisinal production.'

Someone asked me once why I am into the food and wine aspect of Europe versus the history of the museums and monuments... I answered, "as great as those things are, they are 'objects'...I get real history from watching this man in Naples recreate his great great grandmothers pizza with her techniques, a history of the products, where they come from, how they are grown and prepared... it becomes more than object,...it becomes personal."

The term foodie means (to me) that I care about what I eat, where it comes from, how it is prepared, how it looks, and how it tastes... it can be fantastic from the hamburger to the foie gras.

Sometimes I go to the 'grocery' store in the states for lettuce, simply ANY kind of lettuce...and then see that ALL the lettuce in front of me is wilted and unpleasant looking.

In France and Italy it is considered rude to touch the produce in front of you simply because the owner/vendor took pride in picking it a peak ripeness, in season, polishing and presenting it...they've done the hard part for me, all I have to do is choose any piece and 99% of the time it is perfect. No wonder I go to the store and only find picked through produce...everyone has picked through it looking for something decent..left with taking SOMETHING as it is simply all there is to choose from. I want to hold it up to a manager and ask, "Um, are you PROUD to sell this!? Would you eat it?"

Thank goodness for some fantastic farmers markets. I'd rather shop everyday for something that is fresh, ripe and appealing versus ...

On the other hand, there are wonderful things about the food in the states that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.

It doesn't make one side of the ocean better than the other,...but one simply either by birth or experience chooses to care about what they eat.

Wendy

 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 02:22 AM
  #29  
Siobhan
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NJ Girl is right about the tomatoes! I am from her neck of the woods and my father actually grew them in our back garden. I have never had such beautiful tomatoes since. I try to buy organic here in Ireland and go to small veg shop as the ones in the supermarket are horrible and tasteless.

Being abroad all these years I used to miss american "junk" food but now my tastes have expanded and it made me a better cook. I miss all the great Italian restaurants in NY/NJ as well as pizza....well I make my own sauces, dough and any dishes I cannot find here from scratch. Some of them I think are even better that I used to get at home!

Salads are the one thing I miss though. They are just not nice here
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 03:41 AM
  #30  
Martha
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Can you imagine any self-respecting European buying a peach and then taking a free brown bag with it -- so he/she can let it ripen on the counter at home? It would never happen. American fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe and shipped cross country to a supermarket where they are improperly stored before being tossed out for sale. It is not unusual in rural areas (I'm living in WV) to take home fruits and vegetables that look okay on the outside, but are brown and nasty on the inside because they got frozen overnight in the unheated storage area of the store. Food taste better in Europe (especially Italy!) because the food is better. Meat tastes better because the animals aren't pumped full of hormones. And have you noticed how beautifully orange-yellow the egg yokes are? I'm a foodie wishing I were in Europe right now!
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 03:44 AM
  #31  
Martha
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Can you imagine any self-respecting European buying a peach and then taking a free brown bag with it -- so he/she can let it ripen on the counter at home? It would never happen. American fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe and shipped cross country to a supermarket where they are improperly stored before being tossed out for sale. It is not unusual in rural areas (I'm living in WV) to take home fruits and vegetables that look okay on the outside, but are brown and nasty on the inside because they got frozen overnight or superheated in the day in the uncontrolled storage area of the store. Food tastes better in Europe (especially Italy!) because the food is better. Meat tastes better because the animals aren't pumped full of hormones. Produce tastes better because it is harvested at the peak of flavor and taken a short distance to market. And have you noticed how beautifully orange-yellow the egg yokes are? I'm a foodie wishing I were in Europe right now!
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 07:14 AM
  #32  
Red
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NJgirl - how can we arrange for you to send me some of those tomatoes?
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 08:24 AM
  #33  
elvira
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oh geez Jersey tahmaydahs - there's nothing like 'em in the world. I'd kill for one right now.

Here I am, right next door to California, living in the Sonoran desert with 12 mos of growing season... and every FREAKING tomato in our supermarkets is HOT HOUSE GROWN.

Interesting story about Washington State apples. Years ago, these were some of the best apples in the world, but they weren't always pretty (lumpy, blotchy color) so supermarket shoppers didn't like them. Growers began breeding pretty apples - no lumps, no bumps, uniform red color. People bought them...but found they had no flavor, and sales have dropped off. The entire apple growing industry is in financial straits.

I suspect that's happened to much of our produce - consumers want pretty, and taste is sacrificed. Those Jersey tamaydahs my mom grew were sort of misshapen, sometimes had a funny dark strip in the skin, but tasted like manna. The little tennis balls that pass for tomatoes in the supermarket are perfectly round, all the same color, all the same size - and taste like sand.
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 08:58 AM
  #34  
mark
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Once again - a major beef recall is occuring. America's assembly line - faster faster - anything to save pennies approach to food handeling and processing needs to be seriously re-evaluated. I very rarely buy ground beef but when I do I go to my butcher, who I trust. A lot of Americans don't want to make the effort and are willing to settle for bland, over-processed, highly sweetened foods - it's a sad commentary about American culture. Of course - this is the land of strip malls.
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 09:03 AM
  #35  
njgirl
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Red, I think the best way for you to enjoy a Jersey "tomaydah" would be to come visit NJ They don't travel well, as I have learned the hard way. One of my favorite summer pasttimes has been to pick tomatoes, warm from the sun, and bring them in and just cut them up and a dash of salt and eat em up!
Elvira, no need to kill just wander on back here and I will be happy to share my summer tomatoes with you.
You know-in NYC, they still are selling those small perfectly round tennis balls that are completely tasteless and cost so much more than the fresh off the farm ones, I think sometimes that people really do not know what a real tomato tastes like anymore.
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 09:28 AM
  #36  
Jess
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NJGirl, what is your favorite NJ tomato farm? I'm looking to go fruit & veggie picking this weekend, or a tleast farm stand browsing. I've given up on buying anything but grape tomatoes, as even the farmer's markets in NYC seem to carry less-ripe ones. I'm hoping the rain won't keep me from my fresh-picked peaches--yum!
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 09:35 AM
  #37  
njgirl
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We have tiny little farms in the area, one is in Closter NJ called Trautweins.Fresh corn, zucchini, peaches, all sizes and shapes of tomatoes. Also home baked fruit pies, and donuts!!!
Have a good visit!
 
Aug 24th, 2002, 06:09 AM
  #38  
Janda
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Thank you all for adding to this fun thread. It is alot of fun to read about all you other foodies. i think that each of us can find food locally that will give us a hint of Italy, France, or wherever it is we like to dream about. Best wishes to everyone.
thanks
Janda
 

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