6.11.2006

Am I a "Foodie"?

I'm not sure.
I went to a chili cookoff yesterday with some friends who were in the restaurant business. We talked about food and I certainly enjoyed the conversation, but it made me wonder later how I fit into the spectrum of food eaters/thinkers. I'd heard the term "foodie" before, but am I one?
First, we must look into the definition. Wikipedia (an online collaborative encyclopedia) says that "foodie" is a conversational synonym for "gourmet." And a "gourmet" is: a person with a discriminating palate and who is knowledgeable in fine food and drink. Well, that's a pretty exalted sounding definition. I wouldn't put myself up there. That would be equating myself with someone like Jeffrey Steingarten (a restaurant reviewer and a regular judge on Iron Chef America and the fact that I know who he is does add a mark or two in my favor). I do not think of myself as a gourmet.

I *do* like food, though not to excess. I like cookbooks and have to stay away from the bargains tables at bookstores because they're loaded up with cookbooks with interesting pictures. I like reading blogs about food (Megnut and Grub Report, for example) and websites about restaurants (Alinea, where I got the fabulous picture above). I like thinking and talking about food, much in the same way I like thinking and talking about writing. My attitude toward food is probably best described by using an example of chocolate. I love chocolate, but I'd rather have a small amount of a good quality chocolate than any volume of a mediocre quality chocolate. It's about quality and moderation, though it is tempting to want to be like a hobbit, with 9 meals per day. Our family tradition is to graze on Christmas Day (a dining style I prefer to Thanksgiving Day's sit-down-and-pig-out), but it's just not my habit to think about eating all day long.
The other aspect about my attitude toward food is that I like cooking for others. I enjoy having dinner parties and making food to take in to the office. I'm working on presentation of food and I do think about dinner parties quite a bit.
I'm beginning to think that it's not so much about eating, but more about appreciating fine food and seeking out knowledge about it. In that respect, I am a foodie. I would not say I am a gourmet, as I don't have enough knowledge yet, particularly with wine. Let's say I aspire to be a gourmet one day.

6 comments:

Anne G. said...

I totally love food, but am not a foodie or a gourmet. Domus is one of my favourite restaurants, because the food is perfect, and the tempo is slow. For me, it's as much about being with people and a full sensory experience of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound...

Anonymous said...

I am becoming a "foodie." I guess I am learning from my progeny (as usual).

belsum said...

Have you ever checked out my friend's food blog? Sure, the restaurants are in Minneapolis, so that doesn't really do you any good. But he is going to culinary school and often writes about what he's learning or what he's made for dinner.

Anne said...

I agree that eating should be a full sensory experience. A really well done meal attends to each of the senses. I'm still working towards that myself, but it's a goal.

I checked out your buddy's blog, bel, and it's right up my alley. His (?) scathing review of Trader Joe's Three Buck Chuck is pretty funny. I had to laugh because I just went into Costco's liquor section for the first time and found a Bonny Doon Reisling for $7. I expect it to be much better than the TBC from Trader Joe's.
Thanks for the recommendation!

And I don't mind hearing about restaurants in other cities (like Domus in Ottowa), 'cause I never know when I might be there or know someone who's visiting there. It's good to be prepared.

belsum said...

Well if you're in town, I expect that a Meet & Greet be on your agenda! ;-)

Anne said...

Heck yeah!
I really ought to visit M-SP, 'cause I have another good friend who lives up there.