Foodie

Whenever I hear the word “foodie”, my first impulse is to douse myself in bleach. Like “cupcake” or “moist” or “classy”, it is a sequence of letters which makes me feel unclean.

“Michael, you’re a foodie,” I hear from out-of-town friends. “Any great restaurants we shouldn’t miss when we’re in San Francisco?” My typical response is that I haven’t the faintest idea, owing to the fact that I work in one of them and the last thing I want to see when I’m done for the week is the inside of another eatery. I am probably the last person in San Francisco to whom one should ask this question.

Because I am not a foodie.

This doesn’t mean that I do not enjoy food. Of course I do. I can eat with the best of them. And with the exception of a brief stint selling surf wear and fitted tees as a teenager, every single job I’ve held for the last 20+ years has been food-related: waiter, assistant pastry chef, food stylist, behind-the-scenes cooking show cook-guy, recipe developer, Disneyland orange juice-squeezer/de-concentrator, and food writer. My life is food, so I can understand how one might mistake me for a “foodie”. But, in my estimation, it is such an unpleasant, lazy word. And I’m not even precisely certain as to what it means. The only thing of which I am fairly certain is that it does not mean me.

Here are several examples of why I have the feeling that I am not a foodie:

1. Unless there is something truly interesting/odd/horrible about the food that is put in front of me, I tend not to Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, Pin(terest) or otherwise broadcast the food which is served to me in public spaces.

2. I couldn’t care less about the latest ingredient du jour. There is nothing inherently wrong with kale or quinoa or burrata, but they are things I could never get truly excited about. And I want to give anyone who hails any of these things as “amazing” a time out. Preferably in an undetonated Cambodian mine field.

3. Though I am not an avid follower of food trucks, I wish their owners all the success they can muster, chiefly so that they can one day afford a stationary home with a couple of tables, a few chairs, and a liquor license so that I might enjoy their culinary delights in relative comfort.

4. I think canning and jamming are marvelous, but I haven’t the patience or the cupboard space to perfect my techniques. The only pickling I do in the privacy of my own home is that which I do to my liver.

5. I eat ice cream over the sink in my underwear. And it is not necessarily locally made. Nor is my underwear, for that matter.

6. I happen to think that anything which calls itself “underground” isn’t.

7. I think organic is ideal, but I don’t always pay attention. Sometimes, I go for the bananas which are less expensive, but my enjoyment of said bananas is diminished when my Catholic guilt forces me to consider the person who labored to pick them. And not to think of them in their underwear.

8. I don’t feel like getting up at 7am to go to the farmer’s market on Saturdays and I’d rather stick leeches on my eyelids than go there during peak hours.

9. I love to cook in other people’s’ houses, but at home I often don’t cook unless I have to.

10. I don’t read cookbooks for their porn value. In fact, I rarely read them at all.

11. As the operator of a blog, I do not believe the food I make and consume part of my “lifestyle brand.” What I do believe is that this term and the people who use it deserve to be driven out to the nearest food desert and abandoned.

After working all week in and around food, it isn’t surprising to me that my enthusiasm for the latest restaurant or the hottest food trends pales like a corseted, 19th-century consumptive next to that of my self-described foodie friends, who spend their own professional lives in office chairs, sitting behind culinarily-bereft office desks. For them, food is escapism, a hobby. For me, it’s often a reminder of work, which is sometimes an unpleasant thing to be reminded of.

But certainly not always. Otherwise, I suppose I wouldn’t be writing about it.

I have absolutely no idea what it was, but something drew me to food a long time ago– something beyond the simple consumption of it– and I don’t see myself getting away from it any time soon. Or possible ever. Was it because my father was born above a butcher shop? Or that my grandfather was popped into a warm oven the moment he was born? Whatever the case, it’s in my blood. It’s part of who I am. And, more importantly, the scent of it has permeated my entire wardrobe. I love food. Just maybe not quite like everybody else.

Call me whatever you like: a gourmand, a gastronome, a glutton, an epicure. You can even call me an asshole, if you feel the need to after reading this. But, whatever you call me, please don’t make it “foodie”.

There has got to be a better term.

If you’ve got one, I want to hear about it. I think people who love food, but who do not fetishize it deserve a better term than this cloying, baby word we’ve all been saddled with for far too long.

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About Michael Procopio

I write about food and am very fond of Edward Gorey. And gin.
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87 Responses to Foodie

  1. Irvin says:

    I have ALWAYS hated the word foodie and bristle whenever someone describes it to me. Yet people seem at a loss when I tell them dislike that word. I shall now point them to this post so they can understand why I hate the term and how I am not alone in that feeling.

    That said, I will continue to use the word “moist”. Also, just so you know, bananas are the Humvee of the food world. Unless you live in a tropical region of the world, you will never be able to eat bananas guilt free. You’re welcome.

    • Irvin,

      As much as I dislike the word “moist”, it does have its place and special purpose. “Foodie” does not. At least, not in my book.

      And I will never look at bananas in quite the same way again. Thank you.

  2. foizzy says:

    Finally! You managed to collate the thoughts in my head in a sensible way. I would also like to name and shame the people that use the word out of context. Grrr! You eat a lot and take passable pictures of your food, I get it but that does not make you a f*****. That is all.

    • foizzy,

      Bless you for saying “collate” rather than “curate”, which is another over-(and incorrectly)used word in the food blogosphere that, as someone with a degree in Art History, makes me want to cry acid tears all over the user.

      As for people who eat a lot and take passable pictures of food, they are called “gluttons in need of attention”. At least, that is what I like to call them.

  3. Spencer says:

    Personally, I have a hard time calling you anything other than Procopio, but that’s my own issue. As for ‘foodie’ I don’t mind the term, mostly because I realize most generalizations are broad and inaccurate so the stereotypes that follow them are broad and inaccurate, too. If someone calls me by a term I don’t think I fit, maybe they don’t know me well (in which case their loss), or they have a different perception of the term (in which case…).
    As for calling you ‘Procopio,’ you don’t mind, do you?

  4. Kitten says:

    I was hoping you’d adopt the term because then there would be ONE foodie in the world whose writings and opinions I actually enjoy. (Seriously, people *read* cookbooks?)
    I did get excited about quinoa, though – I had to. I grew up eating only what my mother cooked from the pages of the ubiquitous red-and-white BHG cookbook, so I came into knowledge of some of these things rather late. Off to google burrata.

    • As much as I’d like to help you out, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Deepest apologies.

      I wrote about quinoa a couple of years ago, but I didn’t know it was trendy at the time. I only wrote about it because my best friend in college incorporated it into a pick-up line to a fellow World Arts and Cultures major.

      And do Google “burrata”. It’s delicious but unfortunately people are going to nearly destroy it the way they did the bison.

  5. Sylvia says:

    I’m not fond of the word ‘foodie’ either. I do get annoyed when people describe themselves as foodies. I like to cook and share recipes, but I’m not sure there is a term for that. Probably used to be “mom”.

  6. Susannah Isherwood says:

    Depending on what it is you do at the restaurant cited above, perhaps yours is an job such as “cook.” Then there’s “sommelier” or “wine steward,” “manager,” “waiter,” “maitre d’” or “host,” and so on: all factually accurate food-related handles from which to choose.

  7. Lora says:

    THE most overused word. Loved this post.

  8. Tink says:

    Loved your post! The “foodie” issue is one that doesn’t really bother me. Maybe it’s because I like cute words and things that end in the “ee” sound. But your admission that you eat ice cream over the sink in your underwear is what really got me. Your honesty is refreshing. I try to buy organic as often as possible, but sometimes the cost is prohibitive, I forget to look, or I just didn’t have time to run to the organic section of the market. I blog sporadically, but always from the heart, and I felt your heart when I read this post. Thanks!

    • Tink,

      I share your love for words that end in the long “ee” sound: jury, tawdry, eerie, forestry, teary, weary, and dreary, just to name several.

      And thank you for the kind words. However I should tell you that, if I were truly honest, I would have admitted to eating ice cream in my skivvies, UNDER the sink among the bleach and brillo pads. It is where I feel most at home.

    • Tammy says:

      Having suffered with a diminutive name my entire life (Tammy is not short for anything. And to add insult to injureee, I was named for Debbieee Reynolds’ “Tammy” movieees), I find anything ending with “ee” just depressing. Except perhaps, for Glee. What can I say? I’m a sucker for song and dance.

      • Thank you, Tammy. I now have that song stuck in my head and I don’t know how long it’s going to stay there.

        I’m a sucker for a song and dance, too.

        And remind me to tell you about the night Debbie Reynolds had a couple of drinks (because I kept keeping her glass very full) and wound up telling my horrid bosses what was what. She eviscerated them in the funniest way possible.

  9. Shelley says:

    Just another reason to like you and continue reading your highly enjoyable, very astute blog. I HATE the word foodie – it trivializes both the rough slog of restaurant work and the creativity that drives it. As someone with 38 years of food business work under her belt (and, unfortunately, lapping a bit over it), it makes something cutesie and trendy (and “trending” another lazy word I detest) out of a something that requires knives, flames, a strong back, flesh, blood, and in your case, gracious people skills, great timing and boundless patience. And good, sturdy work shoes. I agree that anyone caught snapping a shot of their line-caught pork chop dusted with fennel pollen on a bed of sprouted baby purple quinoa with picked ramps should be banished to a food desert – with nothing but an Arby’s, a Costco tote full of expired MREs and some flat orange Fanta to sustain them. Thank you for pointing a finger at this aggravating word and explaining why it’s not a good thing…

    • Shelley,

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment. However, I should tell you flat out that all the flattering words on earth can never undo the fact that you gave me an A- in your class.

      However, a cocktail would make me forget all about it.

      xom

  10. I love everything about this post.

  11. Tammy says:

    So by extension, do you not consider yourself a “food blogger?” This is the phrase that trips me up even more than the age-old “foodie” moniker, because while we all appreciate your blog for many reasons, the primary focus of it, as I see it, is storytelling. Food is simply a vehicle through which you tell an interesting story.

    The “food blog” definition is entirely vague. More often than not, a “food blog” is simply a storehouse for lovely food photos and recipes (not that I underestimate the value in this — it’s just not something that sustains me.) Thankfully, yours is much more than this. And that’s how it should be. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    I suppose we should just be grateful that the phrase has not been given a diminutive form yet, or we’d all be walking around calling ourselves “foodie blogees”. Quaint.

    • Tammy,

      That’s a really good question. I used to compare myself to my other food blogging friends and wonder what I was doing wrong. They got thousands of hits, had legions of followers, etc. Of course, they also posted at least 3 times per week. And mostly just recipes.

      And that’s a fine thing because because lord knows we all need to look at beautiful things and find something to make for dinner.

      But the comparing them to myself wasn’t doing me any good.

      In that light, I really don’t see myself as a food blogger in the traditional sense (If one can in fact think of food blogging as having any sort of tradition). Instead, I see myself as a writer whose platform is a food blog.

      Does that make sense? I don’t mean it to sound hifalutin. It just is what it is. If I had to post 3 times a week doing what I do, it would probably kill me. Hell, I found once a week really hard.

      “Foodie bloggies”? That is too terrible to even contemplate.

      • Alles says:

        Well, wait now. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” and I think dear Tammy is onto something. While Foodie Bloggie indeed sounds like the first two members of a pomline, what about the synery?

        Could Floobie be that which we are searching for? Not Flowbee because that’s for self-hating hair stylists. Floobie, insouciantly and ineluctably, combines Foodies and Bloggers yet reveals nary a whit of it’s DNA.

        Besides — if all else fails — you can lift your shirt and yell, “FLOOBIES!”

        • Tammy says:

          Whose floobies are you talking about like that? :) And as long as we’re baring it all, here’s where I sheepishly pull out the 10th grade cheer-leading pictures. Really.

          Now Michael, don’t let this get to your head, but I have modeled most of the format of my own blog on yours, with the premise that I’m a writer first (albeit a novice one) and food lover second. I too have done some comparing to see where I fit in and I still haven’t figured it out. But as Bernstein said, I’m sure that somewhere in the blogosphere (another despised word, and yet…) there’s a place for us.

          That said, let’s see if we can get this Floobie thing to stick. Or not.

          • Tammy,

            I’d take out my 10th grade cheerleading photos, too, but they were all destroyed in a mysterious fire. (I was school mascot for a few weeks before quitting– they wouldn’t let me do any mascot-ing, only game action cheers).

            And I should have you know that it was Stephen Sondheim who wrote “There’s A Place for Us.” Bernstein merely wrote “Dah dee Dah Dah Dah.”

            You modeled your blog format on mine? I am flattered. Honestly. How lovely. The funny thing is is that I’m not even sure what my format is.

            I just had a woman send me a note telling me that she enjoyed reading one of my essays in her advanced expository writing class, which surprised (and delighted) me. She then told me they studied how I fused subjects “x” and “y” together into the piece. I wanted to ask her if they managed to figure it out because I certainly haven’t. I was afraid I might come of sounding sarcastic, which would not have been my intention.

            Michael

            P.S. I may bare my soul here from time to time, but nothing on this earth would get me to bare my floobies.

        • I’m afraid I’m not a yeller, but if you need it to be said with casual derision, I am your man.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I still have a horror of the word “foodie” and visibly cringe whenever I see it, hear it or type it. However, when people point to me and identify me as “foodie”, I no longer have the urge to hit them. I remind myself that language evolves. And I suppose that by now, this particular “F” word does not have to be considered a disparaging term. I have grown to reluctantly accept it, but only just.

    No, wait. I can’t do it. I still loathe it and cannot stop shuddering at the thought that people continue to merrily identify themselves as f -f -f -foo (nope! I can’t even type it any more).

    Speaking of pet peeves, I feel compelled to point out that for #2, you probably meant to say “I couldn’t care less”. Unless, of course, that you could care less than you do already, in which case… never mind.

    • Elizabeth,

      I do not have the urge to strike, but rather the urge to cry or scream whenever that word is applied to me. But I can’t be too far off.

      I love that you referred to “it” as an “F” word. I also love that you pointed out my error in #2. You were correct in your assumption. If it makes you feel any better, I do understand and appreciate the difference, but it was midnight, I’d had a martini, and I was very, very tired.

      I need more readers like you to catch my errors. In all seriousness, thanks for that.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thank you. It does make me feel better, Michael. So few people do know the difference.

        I trust that your martini was in a really nice glass (not necessarily a martini glass, mind). Did it have an olive, a cocktail onion or a twist of lemon?

        • My martini is often served in a champagne coupe– it has a shape similar enough to a martini glass that I won’t feel as if I’m cheating, but sides vertical enough to discourage spilling. And let’s face it– I can’t afford to waste good gin. As for garnish, I am very versatile: olives, lemon twist, cocktail onions (if I’m feeling Gibson-y), pickled okra– whatever I have on hand or in the mood for.

  13. Hooray for this. I have always hated the term “foodie” (so generic), and having spent the past 20+ years writing about food, I find my interest in food diminishing rather than increasing. There are days when I realize that food has become more of a job than a joy. So while I spend a lot of time thinking about, cooking, photographing and writing about food, I definitely do not fantasize about it. I’m glad to know that other bloggers feel the same way.

    • I feel your pain.

      There are times when I am so saturated with food– from being surrounded by it, serving it, and talking about it all night and not from eating it– that the last thing I want to do when I am tired and physically hungry is to cook. This is why I keep things like apples and cheese and crackers and ice cream and pickles on hand to assuage my hunger in a way that lets me not have to really think about it.

      Any food writer who will not admit to neglecting to consider the peach he is eating from time to time is a big fat liar. Or just plain crazy, depending.

  14. Jay Floyd says:

    ‘Foodie’ strikes me as a cute, minimizing word for people with eating disorders — like the word ‘atheist’ is camouflage for the word ‘alcoholic’.

  15. If your friends are still looking for restaurant recommendations for San Francisco, I really enjoyed The Stinking Rose when I visited the city a few years ago. Everything on the menu has garlic! The garlic ice cream was actually really good, though it would have been even better if I had enjoyed it over my sink, in my underwear.

    • The Stinking Rose is a well known institution here. I’ve heard about the garlic ice cream, but have never experienced it. Isn’t the place located near a glut of strip clubs on Broadway? I fear cross-contamination.

      Perhaps it would an interesting gimmick having the girls incorporate eating garlic ice cream in their underwear at The Lusty Lady. Then the club and the restaurant could do cross-promotion.

  16. sophie says:

    Love your post.. My pet peeve is the word ”veggies” rather than vegetables, or in place of naming the actual vegetable . ‘Carrots’ and ‘cabbage’ are perfectly good words and since many vegetables have sustained human life for centuries, I hate to see them trivialized Okay so now you think I’m weird. But I have too much respect for good, simple food, to make it sound ‘cute’ or babyish, unless of course, one is actually talking to a baby. Getting a reluctant tot to eat, takes all hang ups off the table.

    • Thank you, Sophie. I am in full agreement with you.

      The only “ies” ending I could ever stomach was when Barbara Woodhouse would look at her dogs on television and say, “Walkies!” That’s it.

  17. queen artoeat says:

    The word foodie is the nails on the culinary chaulk board. When I was a baby chef and crawled home after a 10 hr. day I found myself hungry. Dilemma! I couldn’t touch food. Triskets and cheese with chopsticks anyone?

    • queen artoeat, I hear you. I’m an (organic version of) Wheat Thins, cheddar, and apple man, myself. Sometimes, slicing the apple is more work than I can handle.

      P.S. Chopsticks?

      • queen artoeat says:

        My aching food oozed fingers couldn’t touch the food. It seemed so much more elegant than forks and knives.

  18. Sharon says:

    Argh! I would so like to join in the renouncement of the dreaded “F” word, for many of the reasons so frankly stated here. But forswearing the label seems to have elitist and “too good for the masses” connotations as well. Yes, it’s demeaning and trite and beneath me, but so is watching Project Runway and I do that all the time. It’s become an unfortunate and inaccurate shorthand for a part of my life that I enjoy immensely. After much internal debate (none of which was conducted in my underwear, but some of which was conducted in pajamas), I’ve decided my favorite post on the subject comes from Besha Rodell in the LA Weekly. I say we let the word live in peace and have cocktails all around.

  19. Anne says:

    I know it can have a negative connotation, but how would you feel about reviving the word “gourmand”? Webster’s defines it as “one who is heartily interested in good food and drink” (although it also defines the word as “one who is EXCESSIVELY…”).

  20. Stephanie says:

    Take bake that callous remark about burrata or so help me god, I’ll slap you silly, boyfriend.

    • Girlfriend,

      There is nothing on earth wrong with burrata. In fact, it is something I enjoy. It’s merely that I cannot summon sufficient moisture to wet myself over it. Or anything, for that matter. Except perhaps watching Turkish oil wrestlers finish a particularly strenuous match and then sit down to discuss the merits of Edward Gorey’s illustrations over a pitcher of martinis.

      Am I forgiven?

  21. The MOTH says:

    Yeah, I like burrata, and I’ve liked it for 20 years. “Foodie” is a term that does not bother me. Sometimes naive folks who were born without tastebuds and self esteem use the word, which gives a good word a bad name in the public sphere. But that is more their problem than my problem. I remain proud of who I am and what I eat.

    • Dear MOTH. I do hope that you haven’t liked the same batch of burrata for 20 years– it’s supposed to be enjoyed fresh.

      And I happen to think you should be proud of who you are and what and who you eat.

      I have no problem with burrata. See: response to Stephanie’s comment directly above yours for my true feelings.

  22. Ben says:

    I can completely understand if being in the food industry burns out your enthusiasm for food-related ‘stuff’. I think you could have stated exactly what I just wrote and I’d be cool with that, but your jaded attitude really bothers me. For starters, I could give a rats ass about the term ‘foodie.’ I laugh at the amount of time and blog posts people dedicate to discussing that word. Who cares? Someone step up with a new term that describes food-forward people than or stop complaining. I am enthusiastic about everything you said you hate – I love tweeting my dinners, I love my ever-expanding cookbook collection, I love finding or coming across new or seasonal ingredients, I love food trucks, I love getting up early for farmers markets. You just come across like you’re too cool for any of that and the people who do these things are below you.

    • Oh, my jaded attitude has bothered me since I was seven years old, so I’ve got at least 30 years on you regarding that.

      As for the rest, if you re-read the above list, you will find that there are only two things I consider worthy of punishment: the constant hailing of things as “amazing” and the use of the term “lifestyle brand.” The only other thing I find truly irksome is when someone keeps interrupting the flow of dinner conversation/prevents me from sticking my fork into my food with the constant snapping of photos at the dinner table.

      I have lots of friends who love doing most of the things on my list and I hardly think I am too cool or above them. The reverse is likely true in most cases. These things are simply not activities I am drawn to because they do not jibe with my specific personality.

      Cheers,

      Michael

      • Ben says:

        It’s been a few days since posting my comments and having re-read them, I realize I came off a little stronger than I intended. I hadn’t visited your blog before until I saw a link on Twitter to this specific post. I am a passionate and enthusiastic when it comes to food, cooking, and dining out and I had a hard time understanding how someone with a food blog could have a certain level of disdain with things that make food so fun for me. But that’s my shortcoming as I’m sure I’d learn more about you had I read through your past blog posts.

        I have probably held back my friends on more then one occasion to take a picture of their food before they devoured it and I know this could annoy certain people. A commenter below doesn’t care for the picture-taking either. While I don’t take a snapshot of every meal, I take pictures of my food for the same reasons people take pictures of themselves on vacation – to capture and remember the memory for a later time.

        A lot of people hate the term ‘foodie’ so I know you’re not alone. I think Bourdain even mentioned one time how much he hated it. It just never once bothered me or made me wish that there was something better. You can’t choose your nickname, right?

    • John Smart says:

      Wait….”food-forward people”… is that a real thing? Who made that term up? The image I’m getting is pretty funny….there’s a lunge…a big smile…and a danish….

      Also, taking pictures of food out right disturbs me. Almost unnerves me. I think we’ll look back on this era of food snapshots with mild alarm….with a “what odd people those foot shutterbugs were” taking photos of dinner, during dinner…it’s just so….odd.

      • Ben says:

        I don’t think I made the term up and didn’t see a problem with it. If someone’s really into technology, more so then your average Joe, wouldn’t they be technology-forward? I guess I thought it was just a politically correct way of describing someone who has a greater passion than most.

    • Jay Floyd says:

      “Food forward people” also conjured disturbing images for me. Mainly, people who vomit more than most.

  23. Cheryl says:

    Right here on my desk, on top of Roget’s Thesaurus (which I haven’t cracked since I discovered dictionary.com) and underneath a photo of my kids, sits the late, great Sharon Tyler Herbst’s Food Lover’s Companion. There is a reason she titled her book with those three words. If she’d written The Foodie’s Companion, I a) never would have bought it; b) never would have used it; and c) never would have used the adjective “great” in describing Herbst above.

    Let’s bury “foodie” deep in the dank earth, where it belongs.

    • And let’s bury it in non-organic certified soil, just to add insult to injury.

      I am now imagining myself as The Foodie’s Companion: dragged to farmer’s markets at 6am in the dead of winter; waiting patiently to eat my dinner as my Foodie lover styles our plate of wind-dried-seawater-braised organic sheep’s head kelp tagine to get just the right angle for his Instagram photo; watching our meal get cold as he selects the perfect filter to get the right “feel” to it; keeping the thread of our conversation alive when he checks for “likes” and comments every 45 seconds. And oooooh the sex.

      Just imagine the sex. Or, on second thought, it’s better if you didn’t.

  24. Michelle Dudash says:

    Now I’m cracking up. Thank you. And I didn’t realize you had such the blog! I still remember your “Toast” reading at Greenbrier, though.

    Michelle

    • Michele–

      Well hello there, my dear woman. I didn’t realize I had such the blog, either.

      I remember that reading in the quiet room. I really learned a lot that day. Harrowing to read your own stuff in front of peers, isn’t it? And yet, we survived.

      xom

  25. I can now say that running through my mind is the worst possible insult to most of us here – a withering glance, a raised eyebrow and saying scathingly, “You *FOODIE*…”

  26. A popular culinary guide here in Paris is called Le Fooding. I nearly tripped on the cobblestones when a French companion suggested that we go “fooding.” I could only assume he meant that we should go to a hyped-up restaurant, order anything with Joël Thiébault’s name appended to it, take photos for thirty minutes, eat half of it, then write a disparaging review on Yelp.

    • Diane– Le Fooding? The way you describe it makes it sound so wonderfully cynical. Please tell me more.

      Thank you for making me laugh this morning, Diane. Apologies for taking so long to reply to your comment!

  27. Sean says:

    I’ve found ‘bloated pleasure seeker’ to be accurate and succinct.

    • Sean– “Bloated pleasure seeker” is excellent. I like to cary water pills with me whenever I go to a restaurant. I hand four of them to the waiter and ask him to serve them to me every half hour with one finger of whiskey. Unfortunately, the finger I usually get from him is his middle one.

  28. Ruthy says:

    I hate the word foodie, but not nearly as much as I hate the word “nom”. Just stop it. Stop it right now.
    Also this: “I happen to think that anything which calls itself “underground” isn’t.” So true!

    • Ruthy– The only way I will remotely tolerate the word “nom” is when it is short for “nomination”. Even then, I like to have it spelled out for me. Cheers to our like-mindedness.

  29. Caroline says:

    Why do people care so much about labels ? Who cares if someone calls you a foodie… you know what you are… I enjoy food (quinoa, kale, burrata included). I also enjoy taking pictures of my food, as I like to remember meals I particularly enjoyed or hated. I ALSO (oh goodness) like knowing where good place to get food are. Life is too short to eat bad food. I don’t particularly like food trucks, because I don’t like waiting in line or standing in the cold. I don’t read cookbooks, don’t wake up early (so farmer’s market is out of the question), and I also find myself buying the cheapest non-organic produce sometimes. By your definitions, I’m apparently somewhere in between is and isn’t…but you know what ? who the heck cares ? Saying your not a foodie, when you clearly enjoy food, is almost as pretentious as saying you are one. It’s just another dumb word. Let’s all move on.

  30. Jim says:

    Thank you, Michael. The term felt fresh and fun back in the early ’80s, but in it’s current resurgent form, “foodie” sounds just a bit fetishistic, like “furry.” Um, no, thanks, not while I’m eating.

    I’m especially turned off by the competitive, acquisitive connotations of “foodie” and the bragging rights that come with seeking out peak experiences, with being the first, the most highly attuned. Why do we need a special term for people who enjoy what they eat? Isn’t that pretty much all of us?

    • Jim– I was wholly unaware of the term back in the ’80s, but this is very likely because I was still enjoying macaroni and cheese wot came from boxes and packets of orange powder.

      Yes, it’s the acquisitive, competitive connotations of “foodie” that make me ill-at-ease. And, of course, the other things I have listed above. I like to think of myself as a guy who likes to eat and cook and read about eating and cooking. I’m not about to try and sum up my relationship to food in one little word.

  31. Tamara says:

    I am laughing so hard I’m afraid I might wet myself! What fresh insught. As an atheist I had no idea I was actually owning up to be an alcoholic, but I won’t argue. And “Bloated Pleasure Seeker” ? Absolutely! I have met the enemy and it is me.

  32. Christine says:

    The only time I’ve photographed food I was eating was in the private dining room at The French Laundry about a decade ago. It was only so I could match things up with the menu (which Keller tweely autographed – It’s all about finesse) and remember what I ate. Haven’t even been tempted to do it since that occasion. Oh I just fibbed – I took a photo of a roasted pork lunch I was having in Florence last year, but it truly was a pornographic sight to see.

    I blame digital cameras for this but I love my digital cameras without remorse.

  33. Alanna says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the comments. Clearly, I have too much time on my hands.

    I find the term “foodie” unpleasant, and didn’t realize that other people felt this way, too. I also didn’t realize that disliking the word made me jaded and pretentious, but I’m glad to have finally found that out – it really explains a lot. Now if you’ll excuse me, this Floobie is off to go fooding.

  34. Appeal says:

    “O, floobie-dee-dee!” she exclaimed reminiscent of some Scarlette O’Whoever. “Christ on a Cross; what a way to spend Easter — without my moist owlette.”

  35. little daisy says:

    I came across your blog through your flan post at LC. I have a cat myself but may not be brave enough to use the can for baking that said flan. That aside, I truly enjoyed reading your posts and I did LOL over some of the comments!

    Just so you know, I don’t get hyped over something that doesn’t really interest me. But I do took photos of my food, and my cat. Then blogged about it. ^_^

  36. Johanna says:

    I never believed in love at first sight until today when I came across this blog and this entry. Marry me.

  37. Mr Procopio

    Perhaps it’s been too many years since I slogged it out in a restaurant kitchen or created a food product that romances palates. The term “foodie” is hardly worthy of all this fervor. At the end of the day, foodies, gourmands, gourmets and Julia Child have contributed greatly to our discussions about food and the importance of good food in our lives. Sure, I had a few issues with Martha Stewart, but she’s done some important work and contributed greatly to home cooks in America.

    At the end of the day, food is one of the hottest subjects on the general populous’ tongues these days with every over dramatized Food Network secret basket full of surprise ingredients combined into a hot mess or something half way edible. While I personally don’t feel that these shows have anything to do with food or cooking and I abhor watching this schlock, it has done some good.

    I remember catering a party in Chicago a few years ago, I was getting my tools unpacked and mis en place set up and the building engineers began to comment about my knives and asking me if I was a chef. These engineers glowed about their coveted barbecuing secrets and rubs and secret techniques. I shared a few knife suggestions. Not too many years ago, men would have been embarrassed to speak about their cooking prowess.

    People are learning about the value of good healthy food and preparing a meal at home with friends and family. Not everyone has had the good fortune to go to the latest greatest restaurants and some actually fear kale and romesco because they’ve never had the opportunity to taste it. Foodies write about their experiences at food producers across the spectrum, as with everything, we use our own filters to decide whether that commentator is in line with our personal tastes.

    As a struggling food writer and cooking instructor, I am personally thrilled to meet people afraid to boil water, pick up a sharp object in the kitchen and make a healthy, delicious visually appetizing meal. Some people call me a foodie, it has never offended me. I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Jacques Pepin or Alice Waters, but I’ve had the good fortune to meet the proud farmers that grow some of the best kale and chard I’ve ever seen (organic or conventional). I’ve taken numerous friends and family to our local farms to harvest their own produce taken them home and created a delicious meal for their families or made up a killer batch of blackberry jam.

    I’m personally thankful that all this food talk (television, food bloggers, magazines, etc) is so in our faces because everyone gets an opportunity to learn and do better. I write my food blog because I want to share my passion for great locally grown food. We have access to some of the best produce available in the world. I want to inspire home cooks to get in the kitchen with a glass of wine and create for their family and friends. I want to introduce people to new foods from persimmons to pomelo and see their faces when they take that first bite.

    This food buzz nourishes our souls and permits us to make a living in this exciting area. Let’s go easy on the term foodie, complements of any kind are few and far between, given your rich food experience be honored your not called a curmudgeon.

    Wikipedia’s description of a Foodie:

    A foodie is a gourmet, or a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages.[1] A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out for convenience or hunger. While gourmet and epicurean can be used as synonyms they have fallen out of favor and bring to mind a stodgy or snobbish attitude.

    • Perry,

      What a wonderful, wonderful comment. I apologize for taking forever to respond in kind (I took a month off from so much as looking at my blog and am now catching up.)

      I love people who take joy in the growing, preparing, and eating of food. It has been my life for the past 20 years. It’s just… that word I take issue with. Along with “moist”, “classy”, and “slacks”, it’s like nails on the chalkboard to me. Or, more accurately, like discovering a banana slug has somehow crawled into my mouth as I lay sleeping. It gives me that level of discomfort. But that is my issue to deal with.

      And what makes you think that being called a curmudgeon is not an honor I have already had bestowed upon me?

      In all seriousness, thank you very much for your 2¢. I enjoyed reading it.

      Cheers,

      Michael

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