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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Am I a "Foodie?"

I don't consider myself a "foodie." Really, I just hate the term "foodie" and I also dislike "gourmet." Do others consider me a foodie? I started thinking about this from reading this Slate article yesterday, Cooking Their Books.
These days, a true foodie won't bat an eye unless you can identify every ingredient in every dish—a party trick that requires either an excellent palate or close attention to the recipes in Alinea.
Well, I guess that makes me not a foodie then. It's part of the fun of eating - not knowing exactly what goes into something gourmet.

So, I did some more research. I found the article, What is a Foodie, Anyway? on slashfood, which basically says that anyone that loves food is a foodie. Well, I can only think of one person that I know that doesn't love food (not mentioning her name here, I wonder if she knows I'm thinking of her?). That definition seems pretty vague.

There are some things, though, that make me a foodie, I guess. I read cookbooks for fun. I buy cookbooks on a constant basis. I have many cookbooks that I have never made a recipe from, but that I love to look at. Do these qualities make me a foodie, or does it make me a weird cookbook-freak? A cookbookie?

While I love cookbooks, I do not watch much of the Food Network. I do love Alton Brown and watch his show sometimes. I love the cake shows - Food Network Challenges and Ace of Cakes, but I don't actually have any interest in decorating cakes myself (they would end up on Cake Wrecks). I can't stand Emeril and most of the other shows on it though.

I love to cook, though. However, I'm not a gourmet cook. My cooking revolves around easy to make things that are delicious and healthy. A perfect recipe for me? A dinner recipe that takes 45 minutes or less from start to finish, contains no more than about 10 ingredients, doesn't contain anything that is especially hard to find or expensive (saffron, truffles, ethnic ingredients not readily available at normal grocery stores), uses few dishes, and requires a minimal amount of chopping of vegetables.

I do bake, occasionally, but I don't bake as often as I did when I was a teenager. Cakes tend to exhaust me if they require too much decorating.

I don't always eat gourmet food. I enjoy eating at restaurants, but not always nice ones. I have a disdain for chain restaurants, specifically TGI Fridays, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, Outback, Carrabba's, Macaroni Grill and the like. I do like some of the more upscale chains, like McCormick & Schmick, PF Chang's, Cheesecake Factory, etc, although I find them too pricey. I will eat in gourmet restaurants, but I often will have a better time at a hole-in-the-wall joint. For example, the W Steakhouse at The Wynn in Las Vegas was a little bit too fancy for me (I was there for my 28th birthday), but I have a special place in my heart for the GA Pig, where I stopped with family lots of times as a kid going to Disney.

So, what do you think? What makes a person a foodie? Am I a foodie?



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