Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Death To Foodie


Foodies Don't Know Dick
It's time to kill "foodie" and bury the remains somewhere far from spoken and written English. You may have expected this from a blog with "We have knives. Don't call us foodies" as one of its many slogans, but we all kind of supposed that it would go the way of "Infobahn" soon enough. Well, it's not soon enough. Foodie. Must. Die.

Why? Because it's a dumbed-down, cutesy way of saying something for which several words already existed. What was so wrong with gourmet, ("a connoisseur of food and drink") or epicure, ("a person who appreciates fine food and drink"), or, if you want to be a picker of nits and insist that neither gourmet or epicure capture the foodie's obsession with food knowledge then why not strap on gastronome, ("a lover of food; especially: one with a serious interest in gastronomy")? Gastronomy, by the way, is "the art or science of good eating".

So, why the saccharine smack of foodie? Apparently those other terms were considered too stodgy, snobbish, and outdated by some. In other words, Americans considered those other words too French. Sheesh. Some people never get over anything.

So it was that in the 'merican year of 1980 Gael Greene of New York Magazine first gave the world a fun, not French, term for cuisine connoisseurs, eating enthusiasts, and food aficionados. It would grow to become a term that cast food culture down Paula Deen's gaping maw and plopped it next to a steaming forkful of Aunt Peggy's meat loaf. Now 'merican ppl who can't pronounce epicure or gastronome can bring their bacon sculptures to the table. Um. Huzzah?

Look, the three people who read this blog can testify: I'm no food snob. I only discriminate against poorly-prepared or poorly thought-out food, and I eat what I like, not what I'm told. Sometimes I pair wine with a meal and sometimes I just drink what feels good. I get just as much pleasure from a well-made hot dog as I do from the finest foie gras. I eat everywhere from dives to the divine. Still, I see the pursuit of great meals and the gathering of food knowledge as noble pastimes. I refuse to put on footie pajamas and wallow in the twee with the foodies.

Though it pains me, however, like smoothie and hippie, I suppose that foodie is here to stay. As for this blogger, call me a gastronome. Just don't call me late for dinner, and don't call me a foodie. I'm keeping the knives sharp. Figuratively, of course.