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Who or what is a "foodie"?

Old Sep 24th, 2004, 03:01 AM
  #1  
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Who or what is a "foodie"?

A recent poster asking about food in France declared she and her husband are not "foodies". Sometimes it seems to be used as a pejorative and other times with pride.

So, what is a "foodie"?
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 03:17 AM
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Formal meaning: A person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment of good food and drink.

Informal meaning: A fella who knows a good hamburger when he tastes one and who will walk an extra few blocks to find one.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 03:32 AM
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some people see food as merely fuel, and will not devote too much time or money on their holidays seeking out great restaurants or lingering for hours over a glass (bottle) of chianti. These people would rather grab a sandwich and ram it down their throats as they run to the next museum.

These people are not foodies.

Other people, like me, see food and drink as a major part of the travelling experience, and will spend much of their holiday planning where and what to eat next, taking time out to linger over that bottle of chianti, and saying "stuff the boat trip, I'd rather spend the money on a great meal at that recommended restaurant".

That's a foodie.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 03:38 AM
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And a superfoodie turns up their nose at the recommended restaurant because they're sure they can find the perfect experience at a restaurant that only they and a few other cognoscenti know about.

Whether they're right or not is another matter (speaking as a food-is-fueller with a totally wrecked palate).
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 03:46 AM
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I think its used as pejorative because some people who declare themselves to be "foodies" come across as arrogant snobs who can't be satisfied with simple food, but must have expensive food made from complicated recipes and served in lavish surroundings.

That is a real shame since it gives frugal "foodies" or chowhounds a bad name.

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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 03:49 AM
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Frankly, I think Kate has given us a very good look at the "pejorative" side of the term "foodie":

"these people would rather grab a sandwich and ram it down their throats..."

There are many ways to "enjoy" food and drink, but apparently some "foodies" think there is only one RIGHT way..theirs, of course. Really very shortsighted and unfortunate.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:05 AM
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amelia
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Degas: Are you a Calvin Trillin fan? He would agree with alacrity with your hamburger search definition. He scoffs at the "Casa de la Casa" interpretation of the "excellent" restaurant.

In one of his books he talks about scouring Paris for the perfect pomme frittes. His late wife Alice was a gelato expert.

I don't think that being a foodie excludes other trip interests, though. I know that I am a "foodie" because for trips I spend hours and hours researching restaurants. That does not exclude, however, an equal interest in art museums.

My sister, an even more intense foodie (every day spent in Paris has to include a visit to some outdoor market) could also be termed a "shopper." To her, all that is art in Paris can be found in the shops!
 
Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:12 AM
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Hi js,

We foodies would rather fly coach and stay in B&Bs in order to spend our money on a 3oz slice of pan-seared foie gras with truffles and a 1/2 bottle of wine.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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Topman, I think you missed the tongue-in-cheek point I was trying to make. Non-foodies think "foodies" are food snobs who only eat in the best restaurants. But really, a foodie is someone who just loves food (and drink) and sees it as a major part of their hols. Great food can be a lavish meal but is just as likely to be a lovely fresh tomato off a market stall.

On that note, I'm off to grab lunch in Borough Market. Now THAT'S a foodies paradise.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:19 AM
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Actually, aren't singular foodies just a foody?

And is it just a polite description for the fact that I'm a big fat greedy pig.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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>... is it just a polite description for the fact that I'm a big fat greedy pig.<

For you, possibly.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:26 AM
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True foodies know and appreciate good food.
False foodies just think they do.

A good example of false foodies are those people who recently declared "it is impossible to get good food in a chain restaurant". These are food snobs who wouldn't know good food if it jumped up and bit them. They have a false sense of only eating the best and won't accept that sometimes simple food or inexpensive food can be wonderful. Regardless of what the quality is at a particular restaurant, they would refuse to try it because they already "know" there's no way it could be good since the restaurant is "corporate owned" or some other silly restriction that has NOTHING to do with quality of the food itself.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:30 AM
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amelia, thanks for the tip on Calvin Trillin. I'll check on his work. Wasn't he the fella that said: Health food makes me sick? That cracks me up.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 04:47 AM
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Degas: The first book I ever read by Calvin Trillin was "Travels with Alice". Alice is his late wife, although she was still living when he wrote it. He decided to rent a house in Uzes for one summer so his kids could learn a culture and a language. And of course, as all parents can attest, his goals and the outcome were quite different. His totally non-foodie daughter only learned one vocabulary term, "Pommes frittes." But, as he points out, at least she became an expert on them.

Anyway, there's a collection of some of his food/travel books called "The Tummy Trilogy" that's worthwhile. He actually had written far more about other topics than food. Sometimes when I read some of the good entries on this forum, I wonder if he's here under an assumed name.

By the way, if I recall correctly, he won the James Beard award for food writing.
 
Old Sep 24th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Can't a foodie be someone who likes to cook? Someone who tastes something and tries to duplicate it? Someone people ask to cook for them?

In general, a foodie just likes good food... whatever it is, and isn't necessarily a "snob" about it.

On the other hand, I don't think a "foodie" understands the "yuck" impulse about something one hasn't even tried...foodies are curious, what if it just tastes great? Be it a tomato or bits-o-beast?
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 05:11 AM
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I apologize for apparently getting the wrong impression from your post, Kate.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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ira
 
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>I don't think a "foodie" understands the "yuck" impulse about something one hasn't even tried...<

Oh, I do.

My older daughter spent one year living on Kraft Potatos au gratin. She tired of that and switched to Kraft Macaroni and cheese the next year.

My younger one was more diplomatic. We would have this dialog about 4 nights a week:

"Have I had this before"?
"Yes".
"Did I like it"?
"Yes".
"Well, I don't like it anymore".
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 05:28 AM
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Perhaps the ultimate incarnation of the foodie is SlowFood (.com), which is far more interested in education than snobbery, and doesn't believe that it has to be complicated to be good (often the opposite, in fact).

I guess I'm a foodie. I write about food on my website and elsewhere, love to cook, and love to eat. Even I occasionally get a craving for a MacDonald's hamburger, and so far they haven't drummed me out of the foodies' union!

best regards,
Deirdré Straughan

http://www.straughan.com
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 06:39 AM
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I'm the one who posted about not particularly being a "foodie". My definition of a foodie is simimar to Kates.

I consider "foodies" to be people who put a lot of emphasis on food and restaurants while on vacation (or at home, I guess). My personal thoughts on it has nothing to do with snobbery; I just think that some people put a greater emphasis on food than others. I dind't think it had to be fancy or formal restaurants; just more of cherishing a good meal with a great glass of wine.

While my husband and I love great food and finding good restaurants, I don't really consider us "foodies" because we are such picky eaters that its sometimes hard to find restaurants that serve food we'll even like!

This was just my thoughts on it.
Tracy
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Sorry, that's supposed to be "similar to Kate's". Don't want to offend the grammar police!
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