I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a snob, trying to come up with an adequate definition. People often joke about being a snob, but the truth is that most people are not.

Part of the problem is that people mistake being particular for being snobby. Being particular means being hard to please, mostly because whomever is being particular has some standards that they wish to be met. It doesn’t matter if these standards on any personal preference (No margarine for me thanks”) or some moral code (No meat for me thanks!), these are not actions of one being a snob, but one based in reason.

Snobbery is disguised as reason, but works with an additional set of rules. Not only is there a choice based on some set of standards, but being a snob also comes with a sense of superiority based off of those standards. This superiority allows them to look upon those who don’t share their beliefs as “less”. Whether it’s “less intelligent”, “less cultured”, “less moral”, it doesn’t matter. A snob is one who uses their standards to place themselves as being better than others.

The food world is rife with these sorts of folks, and often thrives because of them.

So, if this is an acceptable definition, who would be a food snob? From my own perspective, I endeavor never to denigrate individual choices, but I have no problem in criticizing institutions. However, I can see where people would think that this would be a snob-like behavior, especially if they are emotionally invested in whatever institution that I’m writing about.

Would you consider yourself a snob? Or do you think that my definition needs some work?