FOODIE is an F Word

popsicleI JUST FOUND OUT I’m a foodie.

I didn’t always exemplify the word, but today I’m as foodie-like as it gets. After all, if photos and text are all it takes, then let me tell you: I rarely dine without my camera and Moleskine.

Once upon a time two years ago, I recall “food lovers” were so-called for their eating enthusiasm and years of feasting expertise. Even then, only journalists with culinary backgrounds were considered food professionals. (Frank Bruni fell short of this arbitrary qualification. So as a junior editor in the tallest of ivory towers, I actually learned to look down on the man.) Nowadays, a Yelp profile is all one needs to brand himself the next ZAGAT. Or a twitter account.

After multiple attempts to digest the term, “foodie” still leaves a dry taste in my mouth. I love to dine – not so I can dissect the experience – but because I get two uninterrupted hours to catch up with friends over Cryovacked cod and mini macaroons. I panic when I’m left alone in the kitchen with new ingredients; I balk when Jason asks me to bake tilapia fillet; I just learned who Julia Child was a year ago; and I feel bad for not feeling bad about the shuttering of Gourmet.

But, yesterday, a good friend checked in to make sure I was OK: Picture 2

I didn’t realize I was obliged to an opinion. From someone who eats and writes about the F word, only one emotion is expected anyway. For me, the news of Gourmet was equivalent to hearing about the passing of a great-aunt of a friend’s mother’s classmate from Choate. I never met the woman but am sorry for the loss.

The New York Times said, “Killing Gourmet…may have made business sense for Condé Nast. But to the food elite – especially of an older generation – it felt like a gut punch. (Full article here.)

15821830My gut’s doing great, but it has nothing to do with or without Gourmet. Yet the comment begs the question: are the “food elite” the real foodies? Are real foodies old? (I hear “foodies” are food snobs…)

The answer is yes to all of the above – but only a fraction of foodies are truly elite, old, or pompous. Food evokes feelings and some people merely emote louder than others. My take on “foodies” swing between “Down with these Foodiots!” to feeling a thrill for those who enjoy, raise, source, and cook food, all the way to the blogger who’s happy he found a forum to share what went down at dinner.

In the end, foodies (in all its incarnations) come, food fads go, and ice pops go gourmet. Remember when kids made their own with Tropicana, toothpicks, and ice cube trays? These days we wouldn’t come within two feet of a refrigerator at Morton Williams unless the ice pop’s organic, made from 110% juice, and proven to fight cancer. I don’t feel like a food snob though. In fact, I feel great for supporting the girl who’s been scraping and packing ice under the Brooklyn sun. What’s more, her slushies come in Dora the Explorer Dixie cups, which is more than Popsicle can claim.

(Image at left courtesy of @multisync. Main photo by me. The blackberry pear ice pop can be found at Brooklyn Flea.)

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October 8, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Blogs, Brooklyn, Fort Greene, ZAGAT SURVEY.

One Comment

  1. Tom House replied:

    Dear Amy:

    I am one of your newest readers / fans of your videos and articles, as you probably have ascertained by now. I just read your story above called I JUST FOUND OUT I’m a foodie.

    This is delectable stuff, and made me question my own foodie-nessifications! (Just made that one up) I don’t want to get into how old I am or how long I have been doing this restaurant reviewing and all the other hospitality, food and service related ways I’ve parlayed into a glorious money making machine, however (should I add a period or risk extending one of the longest run-on sentences in comment history?), your writing is refereshing and an eye-opening experience for this alleged “foodie”(I went for the run-on). I should can the loquaciousness and just say THANK YOU!

    THANK YOU!

    Respectfully,
    Tom House

    Loved the Frank Bruni and Gourmet Magazine references…still laughing…

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