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What is a "Foodie"

Is it a person who lives to eat?
A food snob?
Someone who embraces all food?
Or is it someone who is thinking about the next meal while eating a meal
Tell me O Chowhounds

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  1. Noone replied to this thread! I'm not sure if I qualify as a foodie, but basically, I think it can be all of the above. (Though we don't like to think of ourselves as "food snobs". ;-))
    I don't consciously go around labeling myself or my food-loving friends as "foodies", but I really really like food. One of my friends and I write constant emails to each other about our "latest food obsession". I think I also have strong opinions about food. So if I try a recipe and like it, I have to share it with fellow CHers or friends, or make it for someone and ask them what they think of it, etc. If I went to a restaurant and really liked a dish, ditto. I'll also try to recreate that dish (assuming it's not complicated). When I'm eating out with my "foodie" friends, we both mentally do this. I mean, we talk about other stuff, too, but we could easily spend the entire evening talking about "this works b/c this flavor and that flavor go well, but this doesn't", etc.

    I don't nec. think about the next meal while eating a meal, though, unless I'm traveling.

    I don't like "wasting" my calories on meh food--e.g. chains, or fru-fru fake food (e.g. PF Changs), so I'll usually veto any such suggestions, though I don't want to be a pain, so if we're traveling, and most of the people want to stop at a McDonalds, I'll just bring fruit and eat it. I'd rather eat that than waste calories on fast food, which is not to say that I don't eat junk food, b/c I do like pizza and mac and cheese.

    However, unless I'm traveling with a "hungry-and-must-eat-now" type of person, when I'm traveling, I'd far prefer to go hungry and eat good food later than to just stop at the closest random touristy food place.

    I think the easiest definition imo is someone who just has opinions about food and enjoys food.

    1. A foodie is anyone with a refined, discriminating palate that is knowledgeable in fine food and drink. A foodie is devoted to finding the highest quality, the most enjoyable, experiences when it comes to foods and wines. So a foodie is someone that embraces all food and wine with the ability to find the best in everything.

      2 Replies
      1. re: The Ranger

        I think you are kind of mixing definitions here. I am guessing you pulled your definition from wikipedia, since there is a direct quote in your post from it (I found out when I plugged "define: foodie" into google. But you are blending gourmet and foodie into one definition (if we are to go by these sorts of definitions, which I tend to view with caution).

        That being said, I laughed at your question Jodymark, b/c it made me think of my family. My friends always comment that at my family's big events, food is the constant discussion. Our holidays tend to be three day fests with multiple meals and snacks. At the end of each meal, we always have to perform an autopsy on the meal, at the end of which we initiate discussion of the next meal even before leaving our seats.

        1. re: Cachetes

          I did combine definitions: I don't consider a foodie exclusively a gourmet. I consider a foodie someone that embraces all foods and wines and is very discriminating. I consider a gourmet someone that is not only knowledgeable but receives more than simple pleasure from fine foods and wines. The stereotypical food critic in movies would be someone that I'd consider a gourmet; can and will be able to speak about the most detailed trivia with authority. This detailed knowledge is often viewed (right or wrong) as snobbery.

      2. I don't take the label "foodie" very seriously. To me, it's just somebody who enjoys food. There are limitations though -- ie. I probably wouldn't call a person who loves to eat McDonalds every day a foodie. But for some reason, the whole chowhound versus foodie thing sparks a lot of debate. Here's an example:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/410531

        1. A foodie is someone who takes pleasures in all good foods. A foodie is not a snob, and tries to mentor those who have not yet found the satisfaction in taste and texture. A foodie who is also a food snob is, like all snobs, not welcome in jfood's definition.

          8 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            This comes close to my definition:

            A person passionately interested in all types of food: an egalitarian, inclusive gourmet.

            But I don’t really like the word “foodie” at all. It doesn’t adequately describe the depth of interest and passion of those who love food in all forms.

            It’s the damn "-ie" ending that bothers me. A word with an “-ie” ending usually connotes something small or sweet: doggie, cookie, auntie, bootie, hankie, cutie. So “foodie” seems ill-coined to me -- it lacks the gravity and heft to describe one passionately interested in food.

            But the alternatives don’t quite fit either. “Gourmet” has been over-used to the point it means nothing anymore, and has an elitist connotation, which “foodie” does not. Gourmand is too pretentious and seems to picture Sebastian Cabot. “Bon vivant” conveys the right openness of spirit but also seems to imply one who consumes copious amounts of wine.

            Granted, “foodie” emerged as a word chronologically after hippie, yippee, yuppie, preppie and other sociological and urban classifications for people, so it isn’t exactly a diminutive. Even so, foodie *sounds* like a little, less significant version of something. As such, it’s just not (at least to me) a good fit for the thing -- the magnitude of interest -- it's describing.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              I totally agree with what you say. The word really bothers me - the "ie" somehow removes some credibility. You are right - it is so inadequate to describe something that invokes so much power and emotion. I am more than passionate about food - it is more like an obsession. If I am not cooking I am planning; if not planning then eating; if not those then I am reading about food. When asked whether I am a foodie I suppose I am in some peoples' sense but they truly do not understand how deep seated the feelings and emotions truly are. I usually just say I am eat, breathe, sleep and dream anything culinary. And I am obsessed to the point of flying to various countries for culinary pursuits. :)

              1. re: chefathome

                Thank you. I thought my comment was lost, because of all the traffic down thread. Appreciate your note.

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  I always got the impression that "gourmand" implied eating to the point of gluttony, which may or may not apply :-), and being somewhat less concerned about the quality than the quantity of food but cf. the ever-popular Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gourmand

                  1. re: grayelf

                    The definition from Wikipedia (a questionable but nonetheless oft-quoted resource) does differentiate between a new and old defintion/connotation of "gourmand":

                    "A gourmand is a gourmet, or namely an individual who has a discerning palate, and is a connoisseur of good food.

                    "An older usage of the word is to describe a person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink, synonymous with 'glutton'.

                    "In this latter usage, there is a parallel concern among the French that their word for the appreciation of gourmet cuisine (gourmandise) is historically included in the French Catholic list of the Seven Deadly Sins. With the evolution in the meaning of gourmand (and gourmandise) away from gluttony, towards the appreciation of good food, French culinary proponents are advocating that the Catholic Church update the infamous list to refer to 'gloutonnerie' rather than "gourmandise' ."

                    I always like the usage comments from the American Heritage Dictionary. This is what they say:

                    "A gourmet is a person with discriminating taste in food and wine, as is a gourmand. Because gourmand can also mean “one who enjoys food in great quantities” or even “a gluttonous eater,” care should be taken to make clear its intended sense. An epicure is much the same as a gourmet, but the word may sometimes carry overtones of excessive refinement. This use of epicure is a misrepresentation of Epicurean philosophy, which, while it professed that pleasure was the highest good, was hardly given to excessive concern with food and drink."
                    http://www.bartleby.com/61/80/G020800...

                    I mentioned the connotation of "gourmand" to be someone who over-consumes with my reference to Sebastian Cabot.[Does anyone remember him" He played Mr. French, the nanny/valet/gourmand on "Family Affair", an old TV show.]

                    I'm delighted to hear that's an old definition/connotation. Gourmand is a good word, though one not oft used.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Yup, that's me alright; and I thought I was just a chowhound.

            2. a foodie is someone who thinks about what they eat, and does not eat indiscriminately.

              1. I think a foodie is someone who enjoys eating and does think about food. I disagree that foodies are all about the highest quality or necessarily have discriminating or sophisticated tastes (I count myself as a foodie and yet, I *love* some things like Spam that are by no means the most sophisticated foods on the planet, but do bring me pleasure for one reason or another). I think it's someone who derives pleasure from food and puts some energy into figuring out which foods are most pleasurable, personally (now for some this may be extremely refined and sophisticated foods, but for others it may not be, and it may simply depend on the person's mood). I think there's also an element of adventurousness to a foodie - the desire to try new foods, but not necessarily all new foods (so someone may be a foodie who loves hamburgers and wants to try new types of hamburgers but is not interested in trying the newest fancy french restaurant in the city). Sometimes a foodie will enjoy trying a new food because it's a new experience, even if s/he does not ultimately like the particular food much. I think there is also the idea of not wanting to "waste" a meal on food that isn't pleasurable to the person, as well - that's not to say that foodies will only eat their favorite foods every day, but rather than a foodie will expend extra effort to have something s/he likes or something new that s/he wants to try rather than something blah.

                  1. In the old pre-CNET Chowhound, Alphahound Jim Leff forced every visitor to www.chowhound.com to click through his wonderfully worded Chowhound Manifesto, in which the differences between "foodies" and "Chowhounds" are clearly defined:

                    "We're not talking about foodies. Foodies eat where they're told. Chowhounds blaze trails. They comb through neighborhoods for culinary treasure. They despise hype. And while they appreciate ambiance and service, they can't be fooled by flash."

                    From http://www.chowhound.com/manifesto

                    Sadly, the manifesto is now relegated to a microscopic link at the bottom of the screen, and newer folks need to ask the question about what a foodie is :(

                    I do wish the old Chowhound Manifesto appeared as the main splash screen again...

                    http://web.archive.org/web/2000051006...

                    Ahh, the good old days, before that Google search engine was implemented!

                    Mr Taster

                    69 Replies
                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Taster. Indeed, that manifesto was one of the reasons I knew that CH was a keeper site for me: I've always had a visceral negative reaction to the word 'foodie', even though I can't really explain why, other than that I've met very few people who self-identify as foodies, but who blaze new chow trails.....or maybe I just associate it with the word (and the persona) 'yuppie'...

                      (There are of course exceptions to everything so I do have to say that some of my favorite hounds have 'foodie' in their screen names, and don't at all fit my negative stereotype!)

                      1. re: susancinsf

                        I have the same visceral reaction. That said, I don't know that I blaze any new chow trails, and have CH to thank for introducing me to a lot of foods/cuisines I'd never tried before, as well as deliciousness at lower prices. And I agree with your parenthetical!

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          MMRuth, please see my analysis of "trailblazing" on the "site talk" link, and reply there

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/532567

                          Mr Taster

                        2. re: susancinsf

                          "I've always had a visceral negative reaction to the word 'foodie',"

                          I certainly understand this reaction, but at the same time, I feel that the word "foodie", like many other labels, has multiple meanings. And the reactions to the word or label are dictated by each person's previous experience. For some, "foodie" is a positive term. I associate the word "foodie" with a great sense of discovery and inclusiveness. When I first heard the term, I felt great relief that there were others out there like me, who obsessed about good food, and made food a priority. I had a different experience than others who perhaps first encountered the term in the context of food snobs who only eat where they are told and who refused to try to blaze trails for new deliciousness.

                          But that is the point about labels. The term itself is often fairly benign, it is the perceptions and baggage that comes along with it which causes the problem. But when do we ever leave our psychosocial baggage behind? Consider many other terms, such as "Mod" (in the musical/fashion sense of the word) vs. "Rocker". Or consider political terms, such as "socialist", "conservative" or "feminist". People can have some very visceral reactions to many labels, it is hard to avoid the baggage.

                          In the end, I consider myself a foodie, even despite the finely stated Chowhound manifesto. I consider myself a Chowhound too, and I think my actions support my belief that I still qualify for this exalted label. I try to avoid the emotional baggage that accompanies labels (although I concede this is very hard to do). If someone calls me a foodie, I try to look past the negative connotations, and look at the intent of the person using the term. Are they sneering at me because they think I am not "Chow-worthy?" Or do they think they are paying me a complement? I try to let the intent guide my behavior, not the label. Sometimes people don't understand what they are saying, and sometimes it is hard to standardize definitions, so it is understandable when there is confusion about a definition.

                          1. re: moh

                            Absolutely. I don't get offended or anything! And would prefer no labels really ... it's not that I think of someone negatively necessarily because they choose to use that word. Rather, I just don't like it myself.

                            1. re: moh

                              I think moh hit the nail on the head.

                              One of my favorite words is "idiolect." An idiolect is an individual's unique dialect of whatever language they speak. No two people have exactly the same idiolect, which is another way of saying that no two people speak the same language exactly the same way.

                              So it strikes me as futile, with a term like "foodie," which has a broad range of connotations, to try to codify a single definition. We will never all agree on what the word "foodie" means. And no, I don't mean that words can't be defined, only that most words have multiple meanings, and that meanings are constantly changing. Some definitions are clearly wrong -- a foodie is not a pine cone or a hubcap. But some are merely alternative correct definitions.

                              1. re: jlafler

                                Jlafler, thanks for this word "idiolect"! It is new to me, but perfectly describes the experience I have clumsily attempted to explain. Language is an imperfect yet fascinating tool, and communication is the imperfect process by which we attempt to understand where others are coming from. That's why I love food. I may not be able to speak the same language as the person eating next to me, but the look of joy on both of our faces when we eat something delicious needs no translation. Also, admiring a lovely fruit or vegetable in an open market with a stranger, often an immigrant grandmother who has never learnt a word of English, exchanging smiles as we pick out our produce, such an intimate moment!

                                1. re: moh

                                  I know what you mean about that connection. That's one reason that when I travel I try to find a place to stay that has a kitchen. I like to go out to eat, of course, but there's no substitute for going to the market and mingling with people as they shop for food, even if you don't speak the language. It's surprising how often cooking instructions for an unfamiliar food given in an unfamiliar language actually work.

                              2. re: moh

                                I agree with you. I'm sure some of my friends would label me as a "foodie", though I personally don't like that label. Also, I feel even weirder self-labeling myself as a "foodie". I don't mean to bash anyone, but every time I see these queries on my home board saying "FOODIE looking for great eats in SF" or "Hi. We are major foodies, visiting ______ for one week and are soliciting restaurant recs." it always strikes me as odd.

                                I mean, why can't people just say, "Hi. I'm visiting SF for a week. I like x,y,z. Can you give me some restaurant recs for _______?"-sort of thing? Do people take your request more seriously if you proclaim yourself as a foodie? Will they give you better restaurant recs? But I see this on the SF board all the time.

                                1. re: anzu

                                  Yes yes yes yes yes!

                                  I too have that exact same reaction when I see people unabashedly declaring themselves as foodies (for reasons I elaborated on extensively elsewhere in this thread.)

                                  It's the same reaction I would have if someone proudly declared themself a yuppie. The whole idea of describing yourself in a trite one word cliche is absurd to me, and I am likely to dismiss that person's input, based on the idea that their advice to me would be as trite and clice. But then we all have our individual criteria about whose advice to accept and whose to reject.

                                  I freely admit that I may well be losing out on some great tips and advice because that person's idea of the vague term "foodie" is different than mine.

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    Curiosity: Do you have the same visceral reaction to a post proclaiming "CHOWHOUND seeking/soliciting great eats in XYZ," which is also common?

                                    1. re: The Ranger

                                      can't speak for Mr T, but as someone else with a visceral reaction to 'foodie', I would say no, I don't, for the simple reason that Chowhound is a term that I would apply to anyone on this site: if you post here, I think it makes sense to refer to yourself as one, and to me it doesn't have connotations beyond being a poster on the site.

                                      1. re: susancinsf

                                        Sure it does. You're implying the very same things about "Chowhound" as you are about the term "foodie." The only difference is that labeling oneself a Chowhound is more exclusive; you are the one blazing trails, discovering lost jewels, and thus in-the-know.

                                        Personally, if you're posting here, you're already considered a CH so adding it to a subject is redundant. I wouldn't expect someone to post "Jersey eGulleter Looking for the Best <fill in the blank>" or "Yelper Drumming for Los Compadres reviews".

                                        1. re: The Ranger

                                          Well, perhaps someone did imply those things about the word 'Chowhound', but I don't think it was me: I think all I said was that I had a visceral reaction to the word 'foodie'. I am not sure I follow how that means that I am using CH in an exclusive way; as I was trying to explain I think the term "Chowhound" in the context of a post on this board is just another way of saying 'me' or "I" when used on this site.

                                          (I guess I should clarify that when I said I was glad Mr Taster brought up the subject of the manifesto, I didn't mean that I agreed with all of the statements in that manifesto, only that it struck a chord.That said, yes, it is true, I'd rather be called a Chowhound than a foodie...)

                                          As for redundancy, I think redundancy is more common than not in most posters' writing styles, (including even mine on occaison :-)) , so I don't think that the fact that someone includes it in a title even though it might seem redundant can lead one to conclude that it has more than the obvious meaning for them.

                                          Of course, if any of this answer seems unreasoned or somehow illogical to you, I think it would help to remember what a visceral reaction is: by definition, it is deeply felt, perhaps quite emotional, but certainly not based on intellect or reason:

                                          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictio...

                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                            The answer isn't illogical at all, in fact it was well-reasoned. :)

                                          2. re: The Ranger

                                            There's something about the word "Chowhound" itself that lends a down-to-earth feeling... the image of a hound with its nose to the ground is a more humble image than a trendy yuppie/foodie with nose high in the air.

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              We will need to agree to disagree on the imagery because my view and definition of a foodie is simply the polar-opposite. :)

                                            2. re: The Ranger

                                              I think the difference is that "chowhound" really only makes sense in the context of this board. It's not a word that you use in conversation unless you're trying to explain the concept to someone or you're talking to someone who posts here. It's often used humorously or as an expression of group pride or membership.

                                              As I've said, ad nauseum, I don't think there's anything particularly virtuous about being a Chowhound vs. a Foodie. But *on chow.com* the word "chowhound" is not only a way of labeling oneself, but a way of establishing or claiming a relation to the group.

                                              1. re: jlafler

                                                That's true. It's all semantics, and in my real life I too would never refer to myself as anything but "someone who loves to eat."

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: jlafler

                                                  Honestly, after reading a few of these chowhound versus foodie threads, I'm starting to get a negative visceral reaction to the word "chowhound." I think I need to stop reading these threads. : )

                                            3. re: The Ranger

                                              I have to admit that I think foodie (in my subjective opinion) has more snobbish connotations than "chowhound", so I'd probably react more negatively, but I think as you said, it is redundant, so I'd just prefer people to just say "Boston resident seeks restaurant recs for x,y,z." The very fact that they are posting and soliciting recs makes that person a foodie/CH, whatever, so no need to self-proclaim this.

                                          3. re: anzu

                                            I think there are different reasons why people post things like "foodie in SF for a week." A lot of posters on this site (especially those doing research for a trip) are not regular posters. After CNET took over Chowhound, I've seen an influx of one-time posters. I think many of these people post the word "foodie" to connote that they don't like to eat at Red Lobster. I'm pretty sure they didn't read the manifesto.

                                            Now, when I do research for a trip, I do say "hound visiting ..." -- not because I think I'm a person who blazes trails, etc, but just to let people know that I'm a regular poster on this board and have read the boards of the city/country I plan on visiting. That's all.

                                          4. re: moh

                                            2-3 years later and the tide is officially turning against "foodie"

                                            http://www.thefeast.com/newyork/resta...

                                            I'm a trailblazer! :)

                                            Mr Taster

                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                          Huh... just noticed that CNET has modified the manifesto to significantly pare back Jim's flowery, descriptive language and eliminate the reference to Zagat.

                                          From web archive:

                                          "We're not talking about foodies. Foodies eat where they're told; they eagerly follow trends and rarely go where Zagat hasn't gone before. Chowhounds, on the other hand, blaze trails, combing gleefully through neighborhoods for hidden culinary treasure. They despise hype, and while they appreciate refined ambiance and service, they can't be fooled by mere flash."

                                          I though the "new" manifesto looked a little spare. Surprised I hadn't noticed before.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            I've done a line-by-line analysis of the changes over at the Site Talk board. Please direct all replies here:

                                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/532567

                                            Mr Taster

                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                            See now, I'm aware of Jim's definition, having been haunting these pages since darn near the beginning. But I've never personally agreed with it.

                                            My friends and I have called ourselves foodies (not food snobs at all) for decades, and I still like and use the word. Much as I enjoy the discussions here on this board, I would feel silly and pretentious calling myself a Chowhound anywhere else. Foodie to me just means I enjoy food and drink, from the unpretentious to the elaborate, eating it, preparing it, and talking about it, as long as it's good stuff.

                                            It's just semantics really, it's all in how you choose to use the words.

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              I've always disliked that manifesto. It seemed oddly dictatorial (and snobbish) for something that was ostensibly about blazing one's own trail.

                                              1. re: jlafler

                                                When I read the Manifesto, I don't detect even the slightest bit of snobbery coming from Jim. The reason is that his unabashed enthusiasm in the manifesto belies any sense of exclusion or elitism. However like anything, if you approach it from a certain angle, I can see how one could come away with a snobbish opinion of the thing.

                                                However, I know that's not where Jim was coming from, and like any conversation in life, he can't be held responsible for how others misconstrue his intent. Everyone comes into the party with their own story, history and baggage... where one sees rainbows, another sees showers. I believe what matters is the intent of the speaker, and if I trust him and know his heart is true, I'll work at trying to understand even if it initially rubs me the wrong way.

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  "Everyone comes into the party with their own story, history and baggage...." Wasn't that what moh was saying, above, to suggest that "foodie" means different things to different people?

                                                  The problem with trusting intent is that the only way to discern intent is through what people say and do. I don't know Jim personally, and I certainly don't know what's going on inside his head, I only know what he writes. In choosing to define "chowhounds" in opposition to "foodies," he's making a judgement. I don't think I'm misconstruing his meaning when I interpret it to mean that he thinks it's better to be a chowhound than a foodie.

                                                  The point of a manifesto is to state a strong, even extreme, position. That's fine. But if it's the first thing you read, and you have no reason to trust the writer, the "chowhound vs. foodie" stuff could be very off-putting. If my sister hadn't been so involved with chowhound, and so enthusiastic about it, I probably wouldn't have come back after the first read.

                                                  [edited to clarify a couple of points]

                                                  1. re: jlafler

                                                    Like others have written here, I've always had a immediate visceral negative reaction to the word "foodie." What I'm going to say will likely offend certain people, but I'm trying to explain here the history and baggage I'm bringing to the table that I'm not at all offended by Jim's "foodie" definition.

                                                    When I hear "foodie", my honest gut reaction is to immediately picture snobby, hip, young rich people following trendy crowds and raving about things they know nothing about. I realize that is offensive to people with a different idiolect (love that word!) than mine, who define "foodie" in a more benign way. I don't know how I came to this conclusion. I've never actively used the word myself as a descriptor for myself or others. Perhaps it is as others have suggested... the "ie" ending sounds like "yuppie", which I also have an immediate negative gut reaction to.

                                                    Having established my perspective on that definition, Jim's original manifesto plays well to my ear because it fits in well with my negative preconception, accurate or not, of what a "foodie" is:

                                                    "Foodies eat where they're told." Check.
                                                    "[Foodies] eagerly follow trends." Check.
                                                    "[Foodies] rarely go where Zagat hasn't gone before." Check.

                                                    The Zagat statement caught me off guard. In fact, I used to fill out the Zagat Survey every year in order to get a free copy... but it never totally satisfied me. I always hoped that my little local finds would appear in the next edition, but they never did. Imagine having to wait a year to find out if someone replied to your comment on Chowhound... that's what it was like for me.

                                                    When I found Chowhound, I found an outlet that could immediately gratify my passion for both sharing my little-known finds and helping me to find new avenues of deliciousness.

                                                    I loved that Jim addressed this Zagat issue directly in the Manifesto splash, because it spoke directly to my latent Chowhound. I had drive, but no real direction. I felt that I had found a hidden treasure in Chowhound, and this guy Jim, whoever he was, was living the adventurous eating life that I wanted but didn't really know where or how to start.

                                                    So even though I didn't know Jim, I never used internet discussion boards (and still don't, except for chowhound), and I fell in love with his baby. It was just as Jim described it...

                                                    "No media outlets serve chowhounds. There are no chowhoundish newspapers, magazines or TV shows. And they've never had a place to gather and exchange information. This discerning, passionate crowd has long been completely invisible and utterly disenfranchised.......until now!"

                                                    Until now! (exclamatory!) Yes, Jim-- that's it! Scream it out and let the world know we're here!

                                                    Everything he stated in that manifesto clicked with my perspective and life experience. I percieved his enthusiasm for Chowhound as being pure, unadulterated, untarnished by any of those snobby yuppie foodie personal characteristics that I found so unappealing. I saw here a good natured, passionate guy who loved great food, and wanted to encourage others to do the same, with not a hint of snobbery... in fact this was anti-snobbery. It was anti-foodie... it was Chowhound! (exclamatory!)

                                                    Just my 2c

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                      calling JIM LEFF, anyone seen JIM LEFF?

                                                      1. re: bigjeff

                                                        As Mr T (sorry) said, take a gander at the thread he started focused more on the manifesto changes themselves. Jim is all over that.

                                                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/532567

                                                        As far as this whole foodie thing is concerned, I think we've discussed this to death so many, many times over the years, I don't know why anybody bothers to bother. I certainly think Jim has better things to do.

                                                        Look - you're in one of two camps.

                                                        Deliciousness is good, everything is fine. Every opinion is as good as another. Don't insult others just because they like chains. Have a nice life.

                                                        or

                                                        Food involves learning and critical thinking. Some folks know more than others, *they're on this site* - learn from them! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, everyone is not entitled to their own facts. If you go through life copying everyone else, you're just a schmuck - do some original thinking, some original looking! Chains are for profit and have to shoot for the lowest common denominator in one way or the other - the low rung of the creativity and learning ladder. Avoid them like the plague or they'll multiply and take over the food world leaving you with nothing but the worst ramen you ever had in your life. every day... for the rest of your life...

                                                        The actual terms foodie vs. chowhound are just semantics - but the basic personal philosophy one buys into regarding what food is to their life makes all the difference in the world.

                                                        In any case - we're just here to tell each other about what we've found and sometimes learned. We entertain ourselves with these silly arguments, but nobody thinks we're actually convincing anybody else to think the way we do.

                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                          Sorry, I'm not in either of your two camps.

                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                              You mean you want me to explain myself? See my comment below:

                                                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/52740...

                                                              I'm probably closer to your camp number two, except that I violently disagree with "If you go through life copying everyone else, you're just a schmuck - do some original thinking, some original looking!" Not being adventurous or original doesn't make you a schmuck.

                                                              I know people who are the same way about sex that chowhounds are about food. Always looking for the new experience, always critiquing, always talking about it, always wanting recommendations for new stuff to try, and new people to try it with. Maybe they think I'm a schmuck for being married, monogamous, and vanilla (sorry if this is TMI), I don't know. But whether you're talking about food, or friends, or sex, or music, or places to live, some people are perfectly happy with what they've got and don't see any reason to look for something new. I really don't see anything wrong with that.

                                                              Now, I do think that there are arguments to be made about whether certain foods, or ways of producing foods, or ways of eating are good for you, the environment, and the economy. But to me that's really a separate issue from taste. Simply put: I might try to convince you not to drink Coke, but I wouldn't try to convince you not to like it.

                                                              1. re: jlafler

                                                                Actually , that "copying everybody else" statement was going to get edited out - not that I don't believe it, but it has little to do with that part of the philosophical differences I was trying to illustrate. It's about learning throughout life, and valuing the more learned experience higher vs. everything has the same value. Ignorance is bliss, and the masses are indeed blissful. We chowhounds, however, struggle.

                                                                I like vanilla. Especially if it has the beans. That is, definitely, TMI. But it's a good analogy - it's not always about more complexity or more flavors - just the right ingredients.

                                                                I already answered your other down below.

                                                          1. re: applehome

                                                            I wouldn't really put myself in either camp. What I want is to have as many people to post food-relevant information as possible. Critical thinking implies doing the analysis yourself, and for the most rigourous analysis, I'd like as much raw data as possible.

                                                            Given that I'm mostly looking for places to try, the basic piece of information is just that a place exists, perhaps a price point, and the dishes served.

                                                            So I'm in the first camp because I think that's the way to maximize the amount of raw data that I can use. More people implies that we will become aware of more places and dishes. I won't necessarily weigh all the information equally, but I'm happy to do the weighing myself.

                                                            But I'm also in the second camp because I want the least biased data, which requires people to be independently minded. Meaning that they not only come up with their opinion, but also try places nobody has ever been or dishes nobody has ever ordered. If someone merely copies everyone else, it reduces the range of the data that I would like to have.

                                                            As for chains, new chains pop up all the time. Per the required critical thinking, I'd prefer to try them before I draw a conclusion. One of the better Cantonese meals I had in the last few years was at a a chain restaurant called Lei Garden that had branches in Singapore and HK/Kowloon. None of the Cantonese independents that I've eaten at in Boston even came close imho. I wouldn't be surprised if there were slightly better places in Singapore, but Lei Garden was very far from what I'd consider the lowest common denominator, even in Singapore.

                                                            1. re: limster

                                                              No fair pointing to foreign chains. Do you remember any US chains that you'd put in the category of better than the equivalent independents? The idea isn't that eating at a chain is a sin or some sort of moral outrage, but that's it's typically no great discovery. The nature of a chain is to establish a profit layer, so bite for bite, it's either got to charge more or do things cheaper. That's not to say that chains can't be better than independents - there are certainly good and bad independents. But it's a rare chain indeed that is at the very top of any category.

                                                              Ultimately, people get what they demand and deserve. If they can't tell a good Cantonese dish from a mediocre one, they'll get lots of mediocre. If enough people want the better dish, market demand will result (sooner or later) in a place that provides the better dish. The chances are that an independent will react to the marketplace quicker and ultimately better than a chain that is mired in its corporateness and profitmaking - but most certainly there can be exceptions.

                                                              From your stated goal of more data points to try for yourself, why should you care if it's a chain or not? But eventually, you would care, if every other block had a Lei Garden or a PF Ka-Chang, and independents simply stopped being viable businesses.

                                                              Back to the thread. Do foodies eat at chains while chowhounds do not? Well - that's the extreme case for argument's sake. People who follow the crowd and feel that it's all good will have a greater proclivity towards chains than people who understand and value food information differently, and who like to hunt down new experiences.

                                                              1. re: applehome

                                                                As a general rule, you cannot hold Asian chains to the same blandification standard as you can with American chains, and he's why. Foreign chains are not necessarily operated on the same philosophy as their US counterparts. American chains operate on the philosophy of consistency and having the same experience no matter where you go (an extension of the very American idea that "I can get it when I want it, no matter where I am." Now I've never been to Lei Garden, but more often than not I've seen Asian (and Indian) restaurants simply pass on or sell their famous name to friends or family, and as the chain grows each branch retains its own standard of quality and food, which can be wildly inconsistent.

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                1. re: applehome

                                                                  According to several of my relatives, Lei Garden is better than most of the Cantonese independents in Singapore too (some rank it at the top tier); perhaps that's a fairer comparision?

                                                                  If every block had a Lei Garden it be like having gold on the streets. I really am not exaggerating when I say that PFC and Lei Garden are about as different as Olive Garden and the French Laundry.

                                                                  Din Tai Fung is a chain with a US presence that some consider a xlb benchmark, at least the ones in LA; I haven't been to the Taipei branch but hear great things about it. (Incidentally, the Singapore franchises are ok, not great, which means sometimes each outlet needs to be evaluated independently.) Don't know if one would consider the Arizmendi cooperatives but that's another example of the same products being produced at more than one location. Similarly, Acme has more than one location in the SF Bay Area.

                                                                  I just don't buy the argument that chains drive independents out of business. Bad choices made by consumers drive independents out of business. The key is to use a site like this to help everyone make better choices.

                                                                  As far as discovery goes, I feel that chains aren't any different from independents, new chains (not new franchises) start all the time and if someone finds that a particular branch is good, thats a find.

                                                                  1. re: limster

                                                                    limster - i have to disagree with your statement that chains don't drive independents out of business. here in NYC for example, the spread of Duane reade stores has all but eliminated the small independent pharmacy. they just cannot compete on the same level. Starbucks has made it much more difficult for the small coffee house to survive. the effect of walmart on small mom & pop stores around the country is well documented. Now some may think this is a good thing, some a bad thing, but it is undeniably a real thing.

                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                      I merely wanted to point out that there are additional layers to the equation. Just because a chain opens in the same general area as an independent, doesn't necessarily mean that the independent goes out of business. It's not a done deal, nor is it a direct cause and effect.

                                                                      The important part of the equation is the consumers, who have a choice, and if they make an critical, informed decision about who to patronise, then "bad" chains (see applehome's definition in this sub-thread) won't be able to drive out the independents.

                                                                    2. re: limster

                                                                      Perhaps my definition of a chain is different. I don't consider, for example, the many restaurants Mario Batali has pieces in to be a chain. Where a chef establishes a "school of cooking" (although not necessarily called such), and he actively encourages those that stay with him to move up the line, to take sabaticals to travel and work in Italy - and then makes room at the top by creating more restaurants, where the students can become the teachers and their own execs - then that's not a chain, even if it's all of a single style or even some shared menu items. This is simply extending the vision and craft of the chef. This vision might be to bring the most authentic and wonderful Italian food to America, or the best XLB. The way these people think is to singularly create the product of their vision - the money will follow.

                                                                      A chain, in the nefarious sense, wants to maximize profit by centralizing and controlling the product costs (including procurement, and some of the core production) and increase revenue by advertising, and change their formula (menu, ingredients, process) in sync, and only through the use of modern marketing techniques, including focus groups and data mined from the computerized till. I have nothing against optimized capitalism - I just don't want to have to eat it. And I do have to agree with thew - the nefarious ones, by my definition, do well in a lazy and often ignorant marketplace, and will drive out independents - even those that were quite strong and would have had a chance otherwise.

                                                                      It just doesn't sound like Lei Garden fits the second group, or my definition of a chain. I know that Mr. T mentioned the Asian practice of using the same names in a family or with friends in the business. They get help getting started from an established business, but then are left alone, more like the successful visionary chefs. I know of a case here where there is an Indian restaurant of the same name and even logo in Waltham and Lowell, but the story is that the couple that started the Waltham location becomes very irritated when you mention their "Lowell branch". There is usually some animated explanation of in-laws and poor quality ingredients and a complete and utter disownment! (The food in Waltham is much, much better.)

                                                                      I guess it is just a self-serving device for me to define nefarious chains as bad and good chains as good, and therefore not chains at all. But the point is that there are these nefarious chains out there, whatever the semantics, and that they serve mediocre food, and often drive good places away. They do, perhaps, serve the function of bringing a higher and more consistent level of mediocrity to the masses, so we ought to give credit where it is due.

                                                                      Insofar as the Foodie vs. Chowhound debate goes, based on the predominant connotation in this thread, where Foodies are followers and Chowhounds are discoverers, I would say that you will more often hear Foodies singing the praises of PF Chang and Cheesecake Factory, than Chowhounds. And that you will hear Chowhounds singing the praises of previously undiscovered and untouted places much more often than you will hear them speak of even eating at PFC or CF, (usually out of necessity or desperation). This is not snobbery, but just a reflection of the philosophies we live by.

                                                                      1. re: applehome

                                                                        Lei Garden's pretty corporate, AFAIK. But the underlying point that I wished I had stated more clearly instead of just citing examples, was not about the merits of chains in general (or the definitions thereof), but rather that sweeping generalizations about any category of restaurants or dishes or cuisines are not useful. Because there are always going to be exceptions (and chowhounds thrive on the exceptional!), it is important to assess everything critically, on a case by case basis.

                                                            2. re: Mr Taster

                                                              Visceral indeed! I guess I'm at the opposite end of the semantic spectrum then. I don't know any "foodies" that fit Jim's definition. In my crowd, foodie is simply the opposite of what we refer to as "fuellists" - those to whom food is something they just want to fill up on, who would sooner eat at Appleby's because it's familiar than try something new and different.

                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                feullists; funny! people who eat in order to have calories, but wish they could eat more efficiently, faster, without the whole bother of actual ordering/making food and sitting down to eat it. I know only a handful of people like that; tough life.

                                                        2. re: jlafler

                                                          I understand what you're saying. It's kind of in the vein of, "Chowhounds are better than those Zagat-wielding 'foodies' because we blaze trails as opposed to following guide books." There's a bit of an "us versus them" implication. Not saying that it was Jim Leff's intention, but the manifesto can come across to me as a bit snobbish.

                                                          There was a thread somewhere on the Site Board where some people started using the manifesto to defend their views about food, talking about how we shouldn't talk about Chains because it goes against the whole idea of blazing new trails. Sigh...

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                            I always find it embarrassing when the conversation about Foodies vs Chowhounds comes up. I imagine that folks who describe themselves as foodies are into food. period. varying degrees of interest and participation exist but I find the desire to create distinctions a bit silly.

                                                            1. re: fern

                                                              i personally think of myself as a foodie in general. to me a chowhound is one who posts on this board.

                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                Yes, for me it's not a matter of identity. When describing Chowhound to people who aren't familiar with it, I usually say something about how the assumption of the board is that all food -- no matter the cost or cultural origin -- can be explored and critiqued with great interest and passion.

                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                  Actually, the word "chowhound" precedes the chowhound website; it wasn't coined by Jim Leff.

                                                                  1. re: limster

                                                                    Do you know the origin of the word? I read a bit online about its source in the Chinese 'chow', but am curious about its etymology. My father has used 'chowhound' for years to describe us kids (and now his grandkids). He always uses it with great approbation (my father loves to cook and eat), to describe a child who is a good and hearty eater.

                                                                    1. re: limster

                                                                      i'm aware of that, but it wasn't much used, as far as i knew.

                                                                      (we used the word belly-god)

                                                                      i just don't agree w/ jim's definition of a foodie at all. and if asked i'm more like to describe myself as a foodie, unless i'm talking specifically about this site

                                                                2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                  One more point... snobbery comes from a place of power and elitism, and the way I read the manifesto is that Chowhounds are clearly the underdog in our culture of culinary mediocrity. But yet I still get called a food snob once in a while for asserting my passion for food.

                                                                  A recent example... I convinced my coworkers to take a departmental lunch at Langer's Jewish deli in downtown Los Angeles. Langer's is well known for having some of the best pastrami on rye sandwiches in the country, for reasons you can explore on the LA board. None of my coworkers were Jewish, but all claimed to be fans of pastrami, so I tried to guide them towards the traditional way of eating it... the way I grew up eating it, as my parents and my grandparents from New York did before them... which is to say with a dab of spicy deli mustard. Despite my good efforts, my manager ordered it on white bread with mayonnaise. I ribbed him for it, and one of my coworkers called me a snob.

                                                                  I said to him-- "What if you were traveling in Korea, and you were feeling homesick and were tired of kimchi, and you really wanted some great pizza. You go into a local pizzeria, and when they serve it to you, it's topped with corn and sweet potatoes. What would you think?" His reaction-- "That's not a proper pizza," and I said "And that's not a proper pastrami sandwich! So are you a snob?" He seemed to understand me then.

                                                                  So when considering if someone is a food snob, I feel it's more about the person's attitude rather than the actual food in question... but I think a lot of people mix this up.

                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                    But isn't there a difference between thinking, or even saying, "that's not a proper pastrami sandwich," and ribbing someone else (as you did) about ordering it "wrong"?

                                                                    1. re: jlafler

                                                                      I think you can disagree with someone's taste without being a snob. Think about that kid in 5th grade who would mix toothpaste catsup into his coca-cola and then claim to love it. Would you be a snob for claiming that's not a proper drink?

                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                        Of course you can disagree with someone's taste without being a snob. You can disagree passionately and vocally. But you cross a line when you make fun of someone's taste; I think that's snobbery.

                                                                        I agree with what you said about snobbery being about power and elitism. Elaborate rules about things like which fork to use, or the proper way to address a duke, were a way of putting the lower orders in their place, even if they had money. But there are other kinds of power besides social or economic power, and one of them is knowledge.

                                                                        If I had gone to that deli with you, I would have taken your advice about what to order, because you're the expert and I respect that. (I would never order a sandwich of any kind on white bread, anyway. Feh.) But if I didn't like it, I wouldn't feel obligated to order it that way again. If your manager was refusing to try something new, I would say that's sad for him. But his taste is his taste; should he eat things he doesn't like because he thinks he *ought* to like them? Not according to me.

                                                                        Years ago I was staying at a B&B in Sonoma with my husband (who wasn't my husband yet) and we got to talking with some folks from another part of the country. After a while, one of them said "You seem to know something about wine. Could you explain why the waiter sneered at us last night when we ordered white Zinfandel?" So I tried to explain a little about what wine afficionados (and I, though I'm not an afficionado) think is wrong with white Zinfandel. Then I added "But you know, you're the one who's drinking it, and you're the one who's paying for it. You should order what you like, not what you think you should like. If they don't want to serve it to you, they shouldn't put it on the menu, and they certainly shouldn't sneer at you for ordering it." I'm very proud of that conversation.

                                                                          1. re: jlafler

                                                                            That is indeed a great conversation - because you took the time to teach someone something about food (wine) - a person more knowledgeable, teaching a person less so.

                                                                            While I agree that the waiter shouldn't have sneered and chowhounds (or foodies) don't need to make fun of each other, you have to admit that the waiter's sneer achieved its objective - the person that was sneered at knew something was wrong, and turned to you for help. If the waiter had never sneered, the person would have been deprived of a wonderful education - perhaps a start down the path of understanding wines much better than he did. Ignorance is bliss isn't part of the chowhound manifesto,

                                                                      2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                        " snobbery comes from a place of power and elitism, and the way I read the manifesto is that Chowhounds are clearly the underdog in our culture of culinary mediocrity."

                                                                        The original manifesto had a role at a time and place that is different from the here and now. At the time the manifesto was written, the predominant food movement was indeed overrun with people wanting to try to the latest and greatest, and there was a lot of hype. The Ch manifesto is an attempt to take the food movement away from marketing and hype, and to concentrate on deliciousness as the primary goal. It had to be extreme, it had to be over the top, it had to be contrary. All revolutions start this way.

                                                                        I have no problem with the "foodie" movement. The way I see it, it had to happen to allow food to become the important issue it is today. By having a bunch of well-heeled, somewhat obsessed customers running around trying to find the hot new place to eat and drop their cash, an important consumer group was created. Suddenly, it paid to pay attention to food. Suddenly there was a major force in the economy, people who were willing to hunt out and pay for good food. And pay a lot. This consumer force is necessary, because it opened up the eyes of a lot of marketers and business people. It made food a hot and viable commodity. I don't think we'd have all these great organic producers and restos and food products we have today without out those original foodies, whatever we might think about their snobbism and elitism.

                                                                        CH became important because it espoused a new way of approaching food. And at the time, yes, perhaps Chowhounders were in the role of the underdog. Revolutions are usually started by underdogs.

                                                                        But now, I wouldn't make the case that CHers are underdogs. When revolution is successful, the revolutionaries become the establishment. In fact, it is very easy for CHers to have reverse snobbism about foodies. The persecuted very quickly become the persecutors. I'm quite ok with the changes in the CH manifesto. I don't think CHers need to feel inferior any more, and I think it is true to the CH mentality to fight food snobbism of any kind. Good food is good food.

                                                                      3. re: Miss Needle

                                                                        Here's my interpretation of the said manifesto:
                                                                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/50148...

                                                                        The dichotomy that Jim used is just a device to get us to go beyond just loving food and having great taste, but also to eat more independently, to go explore unexplored restaurants and turn up something delicious on our own.

                                                                        Rather than being snobbish, I feel that the idea behind it is inherently empowering and egalitarian: that anyone can decide for themselves what and where to eat, without resorting to so-called "experts." If we think critically and eat critically, we don't need others to do the eating and thinking for us.

                                                                        To that ends, the boards on chowhound could serve as a place where hounds could help each other out by sharing tips or collaborating on dissecting a restaurant.

                                                                        1. re: limster

                                                                          I like your interpretation, but it's really hard for me to see "Foodies eat what they're told. They lap up hype about the "hot" new restaurant/cookbook/ingredient. They'll explore unfamiliar neighborhoods, but only with their Zagat securely in hand" as anything but an attempt to belittle. Maybe he was trying to empower people to make their own discoveries and choices, but then why not talk about differing attitudes, which can be changed, rather than setting up a dichotomy between kinds of people, one kind clearly being superior?

                                                                          1. re: jlafler

                                                                            I should say, that quote in the above comment is from the FAQ, not the current manifesto. The manifesto has been toned down, presumably because someone decided it wasn't quite sending the right message.

                                                                            1. re: jlafler

                                                                              Have you seen the current Site Talk thread about the manifesto?

                                                                            2. re: jlafler

                                                                              If one wasn't clearly superior, there wouldn't be an effective distinction. Having a clearly superior target seems to be one (of many) ways of making obvious what we should aim for. I see the "Zagat" reference as a "don't do this" rather than an attempt to belittle.

                                                                              At the end of the day, clinging on to device or a label, rather than going for the underlying goal is not going to be productive. To just repeat my previous post:

                                                                              "Unfortunately, some people take it literally, and continue to hang on to those terms and their distinctions as described in the manifesto/FAQ. Some use it to mean that one label is better than the other.

                                                                              The truth is, we can forget those labels, but we need to remember that we shouldn't just accept blindly what is good and delicious just because some "expert" or "critic" said so. Instead we need to think for ourselves, to decide on what we consider delicious and to continually explore and seek out new delicious stuff of our own."

                                                                              Per an old Zen saying:
                                                                              Mountains are mountains, waters are waters.
                                                                              Mountains are not mountains, waters are not waters.
                                                                              Mountains are really mountains, waters are really waters.

                                                                              1. re: limster

                                                                                I think you should write a new manifesto, limster. You say it so much better!

                                                                                1. re: jlafler

                                                                                  Many thanks for your kinds words. But I think the best and most effective expression of the manifesto is the range of delicious things that hounds have found and reported on the boards. I hope there will be lots more chowy stuff to come.

                                                                    2. I think its all of the above and I think that also describes a Cantonese person as well.

                                                                      "Cantonese will eat anything in the sky but airplanes, anything in the sea but submarines, and anything with four legs but the table and chair". I have to add no panda bears too.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: designerboy01

                                                                        "FOODIE: A category of generally affluent hypergourmet that developed as a reaction to "progress." This is primarily a North American designation; a foodie from Italy, by comparison, is known simply as an Italian. The most extreme foodie may insist on incubating her own free-range vintage artisanal yeast. A more moderate one may merely want the option of buying a loaf of bread made with ingredients considered edible by human beings."

                                                                        1. re: Barry Foy

                                                                          "A more moderate one may merely want the option of buying a loaf of bread made with ingredients considered edible by human beings."

                                                                          Now THAT I can agree with!

                                                                      2. Isn't it just someone who has a real interest in food and who enjoys eating delicious food?

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: fern

                                                                          That's what I say. What fern said. Although, I've been known to really enjoy a box of mac n cheese.

                                                                          1. re: melly

                                                                            a good old box of mac n cheese can be delicious in my book, too.

                                                                            1. re: melly

                                                                              delicious is in the mouth of the beholder... er taster.

                                                                          2. If you eat and enjoy food, what's the difference?

                                                                            However, if you want to get into definitions, foodie has the intonation of yuppie attached to it..and it's an overused and meaningless term. If I hear someone use it as self-reference, it raises some doubts and experience usually confirms this. I'd rather have a conversation or hear recommendation from someone who would never use that term, let alone what it means...but knows food.

                                                                            As for Chowhound...I don't know if there's a lot of trails left to blaze, at least here in the Bay Area and not with the internet and blogosphere ripping along. On some sites you see reviews of places that haven't opened yet! I will try new places but if you can read and read between the lines...you can save yourself a lot of pain.

                                                                            Any way, I understand/appreciate the spirit and intelligent conversation (or I wouldn't be here) but what old Italian or Chinese woman who can spot or smell quality produce at 50 paces is going use any label, CH or foodie?

                                                                            For that reason, I'll stick with old fashion glutton...looking for more.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ML8000

                                                                              I remember googling a couple of restaurants in SF recently and could barely find anything about them. There's certainly a lot less unknowns as you point out, but I doubt that we have a complete catalog of every dish in every restaurant, even in SF. Once in a while, I encounter good new dishes that I had never tried before, even in places that I had been to before. I've eaten with a good number of hounds that know certain cuisines very well, and they've often persuaded chefs that specialise in those cuisines to cook dishes that are not on the menu. I still think that there's a lot of chow out there that we don't know about, and there are still many unbeaten trails that can be worth checking out.

                                                                              1. re: limster

                                                                                There's definitely still stuff to be discovered and worth checking out...but the information closes very fast now, meaning fewer trails to blaze.

                                                                                I go to a couple of other food sites (one being Yelp) and I see stuff no one mentions here, not good or bad...but there's volume. The reviews on Yelp are scattered but that's why there's CH, way more in depth and informed. The specific recommendations and knowledge at CH can be impressive however.

                                                                                One thing about the web and information, the more you read, the better you get at reading between the lines and faster you can spot a potential bummer. This isn't necessarily good..but it's semi-real.

                                                                            2. A foodie is a person who, given the choice between great food and great sex, hesitates.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: MobyRichard

                                                                                oh, that is great, MobyRichard! lucky us, we really can have it all.

                                                                                1. re: MobyRichard

                                                                                  That is actually not bad Moby, it made me chuckle.

                                                                                  That being said, IMHO it is stupid to refer to yourself or anyone else as something which cannot be universally defined.

                                                                                  If someone tells me they're diabetic, I know what that means. Same goes for vegan and vegetarian (though I know there are sub-sects to these groups)

                                                                                  I visit this site to share my thoughts and information about something I am passionate about - food, wine and beer - with other like-minded people. There are people on this site who are the epitome of what the Manifesto stands for, and there are others who are the epitome of everything this site is NOT about.

                                                                                  The term "foodie" can be interpreted in many ways. When a friend of mine with similar interests says "hey, my buddy _____ is going to Seattle / SF/ Whistler, BIG FOODIE, what should he check out" I know that "Foodie" is being used as a compliment.

                                                                                  However, when I hear someone say "Oh, he's one of those FOOD-IES" I sense disdain coming from the speaker's mouth.

                                                                                2. I hope a foodie never lectures anyone on the lack of virtue of any food.

                                                                                  A foody celebrates all food form.

                                                                                  1. Foodies get a bad rep when they do things like go on and on about things like the "Slow Food culture" like they invented pot roast.

                                                                                    I live near Seattle and there is a eat local movement here. Sometimes I hear local foodies make some pretty ugly comments about people who say import tomatoes in the winter. When you point out that it is easy to eat locally when you have natures bounty at your footsteps they get hostile. Frankly, it makes me want to go out and buy a box of South American bananas, cut them into a flame of jamaican rum then pile them ontoa boatload of Tahitian Vanilla ice cream. Hmmm.. Yum!

                                                                                    1. similar thread over here:

                                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/533473

                                                                                      gets right to the point: chowhound vs food snob

                                                                                      1. "Simplify, simplify, simplify (Why did Thoreau say it 3 times?)
                                                                                        Foodie: Better to go hungry than eat at a national chain.
                                                                                        Fini

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          Maybe I can just agree with you all!
                                                                                          TIME TO EAT!!!!!