Fighting The Inner Foodie?

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m a ‘foodie’.

People toss the term around a lot these days, from reality shows to the neighbors next door, and I’ve never really thought of myself as part of the crowd. I was thrown into the food industry by way of marriage and entrepreneurialism, not by intended pursuit. Surprisingly, though, I’ve found myself quite happy to be entrenched in good food, industry developments, and true culinary professionals. I’ve learned a great deal – cooking tips, wine choices, how to determine whether your restaurant wait will be twenty minutes or two hours – and have certainly come to appreciate all that the food industry has to offer. But I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the ‘foodie’ label.

I guess I just have a funny idea of what a ‘foodie’ could be. I think stuffy, unhappy, difficult. So, I don’t think of myself as a ‘foodie’ at all. Instead, I think of myself as someone who truly appreciates the taste of a meal. I don’t eat just to satiate my hunger pains or get something down before the next meeting. I try to make sure my meals are consciously prepared, utilizing the best in organic ingredients, so the final taste is not only for the benefit of my body but also my taste buds. I think a great meal can be found at the local greasy spoon or a high-end downtown bistro. Either way, I try to enjoy the experience of eating, whether it’s Kobe beef or veggie burger.

Does that really make me a ‘foodie’?

Turns out, at least according to my old friend Wikipedia, it just might. It sorts food aficionados into two categories – gourmets and foodies – and even goes so far as to suggest that ‘gourmet’ has become passé!

“…foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food..there is also a general feeling in the culinary industry that the term gourmet is outdated.”

A list of ‘foodie’ interests include restaurant openings and closings (check!), publishing and reading food blogs (check!), specialized kitchenware stores (check!), and the ‘institution of the celebrity chef’ (check please!).

Who knew. I guess from now on I’ll say it loud and proud.