The “F-Word”


People naturally hate external labels. If one does enjoy being labeled by another he/she/it is a self-absorbed freak.
This is reminsicent of the Great Hipster Wars of Double-Aught Eight. But first, we need to decide what the word foodie really means? Is it someone who likes food? Someone who likes cooking? Just eating? What the hell are we even talking about?

Regardless of all that stuff, here's my opinion. Anyone who's using the word foodie un-ironically doesn't really understand the topic. Really foodie is just new-speak for "pretentious asshole that talks about food too much"

Also, my mom calls me a foodie.
Dunno if you know this, but Gordon Ramsay has a show called "The F Word," shown in Britain and on BBC America. It is the greatest cooking show ever.
Like most nicknames ending with a nickname-y suffix (or diminutive, for those playing at home), I suspect it's mostly dependent on the intention of the speaker.

For instance, when I call someone a Reedie, there's always a certain amount of scorn in there. However, if I were to call someone a foodie, the tone would depend entirely on if they'd recently presented me with an enjoyable meal and wine pairing.
All I know is that just like a hipster, if I can call you a foodie you're probably an asshole. but hey, I like assholes.
@ cookingasshole: +1.

@ atomic: totallie agreedie.
Only in the past few years has "the foodie" gone from just enjoying a variety of cuisine to a more pejorative place on the spectrum. I think we're still in that transition phase with the term, hence the cultural confusion over its true definition. Foodies (the insulting kind) are definitely nurtured. Our choices hasten foodie bullshit. As someone I know said to me recently, "Oh, I'm so over the charcuterie thing." That's bonkers. Yea, I wish I had the luxury of being "over" 15 dollar small plates of cured meats, too.

I don't know if this is a "type" to anyone else (or a subset of the foodie category), but I've come across a few annoying eaters-out who have to constantly hyper-scrutinize the wait staff and note how everything in restaurants in this town doesn't compare to what you find in more cosmopolitan cities.

Is this also a foodie or just a snobbish dick?
I like food.
@two squatting women

I'm going with snobbish dick, or New Yorker.
If Showtime made an accurate show about foodies, the main characters would be a group of smug, pompous, condescending prigs, whose main interest in food is in using it an example of their own perceived superiority. Needless to say, it would be set in Berkeley, and at least one scene in every episode would take place at the Berkeley Bowl.
@ TSW, I'm kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I was reading a bunch of stuff about the food establishment's opinion of Anthony Bourdain/Kitchen Confidential (there was a bookclub thing on Slate from that time), and I remember being surprised that "foodie" was pejorative even in 1999.

Were they labeling him a foodie? Because he constantly rails against foodies on No Reservations.
The problem with the term "foodie" is there isn't a good alternative. Traditionally, "gourmet" is someone interested in (almost exclusively) haute cuisine and so deservedly pretentious. "Gourmand" would be someone with more populist taste, but I think to our ears these days, sounds every bit as pretentious as "gourmet".

Words are how they're used. Foodie is used by foodies, primarily, as a pejorative. It's used by the average person as a broad term that includes all the sorts of people who just love food a lot, whether pricks or non-pricks.

Of course, this all misses one of the biggest points here: a lot of people just don't like others who are passionate about something.

eg, someone on my blog :

I realize your in the position to analyze and, in your own taste, disect a meal, but do you ever let yourself just enjoy a meal? Have you thrown out a days worth of corned beef or pastrami that might be “a tad dry”. No offense intended, my palate may not be as refined as most that visit or contribute to this site, but I have a hard time disecting a meal that one puts together, be it the pot roast at My Fathers Place or one like the one you just reviewed. It seems like most bloggers like yourself go to great lengths to find fault in every meal they order. I just feel that the average diner (maybe I shouldn’t assume) goes to a destination joint like Castagna to try, experience and enjoy something not readily available in this city. Not to pick it apart.

I responded:

I go into every meal in order to “experience and enjoy” it as well. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that the average diner doesn’t critique their meals as well, even home-cooked ones. Think of all the sit-com scenes that take place in front of a dinner table where someone is slyly spitting out their food into a napkin or gagging on dry turkey or wincing as they put some awful sauce in their mouth.

The difference between an expert and lay person often isn’t that they critique, but the level of nuance they can discern when they critique. Whereas the average diner might come out and just say that the meal was okay, but not worth the dough, a more experienced diner might say that steak was overcooked, under-salted, and that the juices ran out because it wasn’t allowed to rest.

Everyone critiques. What you call “picking it apart” is really just making concrete the vagueries that the average diner has a harder time expressing as more than just “great”, “good”, “okay”, and “sucked”.
I've been cooking professionally for 22 years, and I believe people spend far too much time eating and thinking about food. That's the short answer. I'll come back later after I've finished building my new smokehouse.

Good question, Patrick, and good points made by all.
Okay foodies.....hmmmm I love food so much {i'm not fat yet}that I would EAT a vegan foodies corn.All labels change for the most part in time.Most labels are derogetory.What I find funny is how a label/name can change its meaning.Like dick.Hey theres our friend Dick.Cool Dick,how ya doing?Or that dudes a DICK man.Yea aint he a real *sshole dick wad.Or,Honey I sure love your dick.Or see dick run?Yea foodie.I'm a foodie and I don't really care.Someone somewhere already probably called me worse.LOVE YOUR FOOD OR DON"T EAT IT !!!!!!Choose wisely.