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In Defense of Foodies and Orangettes

February 16, 2011
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I identify myself as a “foodie”.

There, I said it.

I identify with a word that brings about utter loathing in more than a few people lately, and the loudest seems to be a certain book review from the Atlantic this month.

I am a foodie because I enjoy cooking. I enjoy trying new things, whether it be taking on the challenge of tempering chocolate, mastering a gluten free pizza crust, or simply trying new flavors that I haven’t combined together before. I enjoy going out to nice restaurants, and drinking wine that is meant to be more than a mere vehicle to transform shy people into extroverts over the course of an evening. Currently we don’t have children, we don’t have pets, we don’t go see movies or concerts and the decor of our 50m2 of sacred space is drearily austere and minimalistic. So I don’t mind spending money on quality food, either when eating out exploring a new place, or purchasing ingredients at the market to use when I cook at home.

So why all the negativity with the word? Because some people think being a foodie is by definition a state of elitism, resulting in an innate need to push said food-related pretension onto the masses with the zeal of religious fervor. But really, how is being a food snob any different than being a snob about anything else? Isn’t showing off ostentatiously to allow yourself to feel better at the cost of the egos of everyone around you the very meaning of snobbery, which has existed in some form, not exclusive to matters of the stomach, for oh I don’t know, several millennia?

Are there people who take the enjoyment of food to religious levels, so much so that their opinions and beliefs around which their worldview of food centers start sounding like a fanatical evangelistic sermon? One whose goal is to either convert the rest of us to their beliefs, or at least to try to make us feel very guilty for not “drinking the kool-aid”? Sure there are.