Saturday, January 5, 2008


I consider myself a foodie, because I enjoy talking, thinking, and reading about food almost as much as eating it. But then, looking at various food blogs, and reading books like The United States of Arugula, I start to wonder if I really want to label myself that way. Too many foodies seem very insular and more concerned with having insider knowledge about food, especially the fashionable restaurants, than with food itself. The majority of the food blogs I have seen focus on food in New York, interspersed with meals found during travels to Europe, which makes them hard to appreciate for those of us who don't live there. While some blogs are definitely interested in the food, many are more concerned with what restaurant is opening when and where you can buy the trendiest and most expensive kitchen items (Williams-Sonoma is so passe). These aren't foodies, these are trend-followers and status seekers.

Real foodies exist - I know several of them, and I see their tracks elsewhere. Foodies (in my definition) know that food is about friendship and sharing as well as about flavors and dishes. Reading and talking about food should deepen these interactions, not replace them. The whole point of cooking an interesting meal is to share it with someone you love (even if it is just yourself), not to show off or one-up someone. The fun is in the interaction with the food as you figure out how best to cook it, and with the people who eat it. This is important stuff, so I guess I will continue to consider myself a foodie, just being aware that other people may have other definitions of the word.

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