Suddenly, everybody is into gourmet food. Or just regular un-gourmet food. Or if you’re like me, just stuffing your face in general. But lately it all seems to have gone way beyond a hankering for a cheap and fast drive-through gut-bomber.
There is now a name for people who think they know, want to know, or actually do know everything about things we eat, things we cook, or things we hope to someday be able to afford to order in a fancy restaurant.
They (whoever ‘they’ are) call them “Foodies.”
When do you know that you’re a Foodie? You know you’re a Foodie when you shell out half the cost of a major appliance for an entrée the size of a deck of cards.
You know you’re a Foodie when you watch all 250 weekly cooking shows on TV. And most of the re-runs.
You know you’re a Foodie when you snuggle in for a nice relaxing evening with a good book, and that book is a cookbook.
Those with the celebrated Foodie affliction (or possibly psychosis) wear the moniker proudly. A little too proudly, some would say.
Like those who make a big deal about ordering just the right fermented grape juice from a wine list the length of War and Peace, and who, finally, with great flourish, choose one bottle that immediately triples the price of the entire meal.
Those people have a category of their own: “Wine-ers.” But that’s another story.
No, a true Foodie often carries a dash of superiority, a sprinkle of snobbery, and a pinch of snootiness.
A Foodie refuses to acknowledge the existence of even one of McDonald’s eight billion restaurants.
A Foodie has a conniption if you apply salt to your food before tasting it.
A Foodie has actually eaten Prairie Oysters (don’t ask) and survived.
Not all of these self-appointed expert food-obsessors limit their “foodyness” to upscale restaurants with menus written entirely in Parisian French. Many who talk the talk, really do walk the walk, or in this case, cook the cook. So to speak.
I personally think it’s wonderful that people can spend three days preparing a four course meal for their friends, a meal that lasts five hours and involves much stimulating conversation and hearty fellowship until someone (me) spills that expensive wine on the white table cloth.
Unfortunately, by a regrettable requirement of Foodie Law, these dinners always contains some sort of creepy gourmet fish with exotic names like Purple Google-Eyed Snapper, or Farm-Raised Ugly Grouper.
The good part, is that by and large, Foodies create many healthy food courses consisting of many exotic salads and greens all containing something called “kale,” as well as many “palate cleaners” like “sorbet” (pronounced “sherbet”). And unfortunately, more fish.
Most Foodies can recite off by heart the Canada Food Guide Recommended Four Food Groups (three of which are fish), and can cleverly work in the phrase “organically grown” into any conversation.
I’m quite happy to consider myself a small “f” foodie when it comes to the kitchen – a place I go to quite often to check the fridge for snacks. Once in a Blue Moon (another type of fish) I actually try to make something in the kitchen.
On a good day I can knock together some fairly impressive Kraft Dinner if I do say so myself and I’m confident a real Foodie might be able to choke down a forkful of my KD if he or she really had to.
As long as they had the right wine.
But by far the best part of the Foodie Craze is the growing abundance of nice classy restaurants where any regular person can be a capital “F” Foodie for a night.
All they have to do is line up in a cramped restaurant “waiting area” for an hour or two, take out a line of credit on their Visa so that they can cover the five-figure bill and the four-figure tip, and bring along a Food Dictionary to decipher the cryptic gold-plated Foodspeak Menu.
Which, unfortunately, contains a lot of fish.
Harley Hay is a local filmmaker and freelance writer.