Foodie. It’s a label that’s become almost synonymous with knit-capped hipsters who are trying to figure out a way to get a picture of their food in a dark, cramped restaurant before receiving looks that say: ‘C’mon, don’t be that guy.’ We have all met someone who self-identifies as a foodie and though the usage of the word has become corrupted by pretentious over-proclivity, what a foodie really means is someone who likes food. That sounds simple, we all like food, right? But it’s a little more complicated.
A foodie is someone who can appreciate their mom’s—albeit slightly dry (sorry mom!)— meatloaf while at the same time understanding how beautiful a slab of wagyu beef is. A foodie is someone who revels in the weird food combinations that shouldn’t work but do. A foodie looks at food as a challenge, a thing that must be overcome, and they have a desire to keep tasting, to keep trying and changing their assumptions about food, for as long as they can. 1000 Year Black Fermented Egg may sound aversive to the common palate but a foodie is someone who sees that on a menu and thinks: there’s no way I can’t order that!
The essential thing is really about curiosity. Curiosity about other cultures and how, despite differences from country to country— culturally, politically, socially, etc.— the tradition of gathering to eat has always bound us together. In the modern culinary world, we’re no longer confined to those overdone kitchen standards that make you think of drive-ins, tin-foil TV dinners, and red-checkered Italian restaurants with bowls of spaghetti so large they seem primordial. No. The food-world of today has become something that transcends the necessary function of eating. It has become an experience in of itself, like going to a Broadway show or seeing a movie, and the foodie seeks this experience out of desire, not need. And while food for a foodie is about the way it looks to an extent, it is ultimately about the flavor and the innovation of flavor.
A person who cares about food only so they can get likes on their pictures is not a foodie. Even if they say they are. So, if you think you really are a foodie, go out, experience, eat, and don’t forget to try everything at least once because the real proof isn’t IN the pudding but in the EATING of the pudding.!