You heard it here first: the foodies are taking over. A "foodie" is someone who lives, breathes, and eats food; someone who has five kinds of olive oil in their kitchen, and uses terms like "mouth feel." Foodies are a bit like locusts, only instead of cornfields they devour pan-seared foie gras and bone-marrow risotto. And they're everywhere. They're at the grocery store, fondling pomegranates and reading the labels on vinegar bottles. They're on the internet, posting loving photographs of esoteric meals on their blogs. They're on the school board, revamping cafeteria menus in the hopes of indoctrinating future generations of foodies. Most of all, they're in restaurants, using the appropriate silverware, drinking coffee out of tiny cups, and eating the parts of animals that most people consider inedible. They've infiltrated the culture (ciabatta sandwiches at Wendy's? Thanks a lot, foodies!). Unless you want to end up a second-class citizen in the foodie-dominated future, you better learn to speak the language. The Mercury's foodie guide is here to help you do just that, with a handy glossary of food terms, insider tips from food experts, and a helpful directory of foodie hot spots. So dive in, and take a bite of the one food guide that won't make you turn your nose up.