For the past 5+ years I have been assailed from all sides by this term “foodie”. I dislike the word and stare slightly cockeyed at anyone who willingly uses that moniker to describe themselves. Supposedly, if you are a “foodie” you are willing to try and experiment with different foods and are open to new and exciting culinary experiences. However, I have come across many self-proclaimed foodies who are just mindless followers of the newest food trends. They really don’t seem to have an expanded palate at all and are using the term like a badge of honor. Trying new and tasty cuisines shouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary! People have been eating various and sundry foreign foods for hundreds of years. Those who love the posh, expensive, rare and complex gustatory delights are called gourmands or gourmets. Even these titles are ridiculously snobbish and highfalutin!
I like to describe myself as a glutton. Living in America has made it possible for me to eat pretty much anything and everything my senses demand. Ok, so fugu (blowfish that is poisonous unless prepared correctly) may not be sourced here, but there is so much that can be purchased and consumed. America truly is the land of the melting pot. I have eaten durian, jackfruit, snake, gator, ostrich, pawpaws, crickets, mudfish and yes even worms (mealworms) all here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. The only continent from which I have not had food from that was imported to America would be the Antarctic. I love to try new cuisines from other countries, but I do not run from food fad to food fad. I have a bucket list consisting of edible delights. There are things are out there that I know I want to try, and then there are also the unknown things just waiting for me to discover. However, there are certain things that to this day I regret eating, like whale meat (in Japan), Rocky Mountain Oysters (just call them sheep balls!) and all sorts of brined and fermented fish, squid and their innards (that you can surprisingly find in America). I take pride that I am game for pretty much anything as long as it does not leave me worshipping the porcelain goddess.
These food adventures do not make me a “foodie”. I would rather swallow a whole jar of fermented yak butter than ever be called a foodie. Foodies follow food fads and make for fair-weather friends. Sometimes I wonder if foodies truly enjoy the food they are eating, or just enjoy the cachet of being able to post it on Instagram. They follow the lead of other foodies and may not know what a truly delicious ssam is or what a real bowl of ramen should convey to their taste buds. Their food minds are immature and unable to find sources to broaden their digestive senses.
I would rather be a snotty glutton with opinions on food than ever consider myself a “foodie”.