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What is a "Foodie"?

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When I was reading a post on another thread - "(buying)Instant coffee....
I feel like the Food Police are gunna hunt me down at the checkout and remove my "foodie" badge." - it got me thinking what exactly is a foodie?

If you derive great pleasure from eating something, should it matter what others think of it? Does it have to be expensive? Do you have to like offal? Can you be a connoisseur of fast foods or junk foods?

I'm interested in all your thoughts.

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    1. Well my friends started calling me a foodie because of my nosy questions. If they mentioned on the phone for example that they were eating dinner soon I would really want to know what they were having. So for me it's someone who is extremely interested in food, and not just their own food. But how about this: when I found chowhound I felt like I had come home.

      1. There are many definitions, I suppose, some kind and some unkind. I tend to think that foodies are people who "live to eat" instead of "eating to live."

        So in the case of the instant coffee poster, an "eat to live" type, when asked why he was purchasing said coffee, would say "It's quicker and easier and let's me get on with my day. A "foodie" when asked the same question will stare back at the questioner with a deer-in-the-headlights look and say "I just couldn't help myself. I . . I LOVE it!"

        But I'm projecting. That would be my response when caught with Shake 'n Bake. (Stop laughing!) Don't get me wrong, I'm not one-dimensional. No foodie is. I'll betcha that instant-coffee adherant is also helplessly attached to chocolate chip cookies or southern-style barbecue or pho or truffles or the perfect taco. Or all of those or none of those. A big budget does not a foodie make. A foodie is a person who is dedicated to good food. Cheap or pricey, domestic or ethnic, comfort or cutting edge -- these preferences do not exclude you from being a foodie. Ideally, a foodie is willing to try new tastes with an open mind, but we all have our limitations. I am not looking forward to the day when someone offers me durian, but if that day comes I hope I will be brave enough to overcome my innate prejudice against food that smells like dead stuff. Frankly, if the opportunity ever presents itself, I will probably cut and run and scream like a little girl. But I hope I won't, because the person offering it to me would be another foodie, and we should respect eachother. In a perfect foodie world, anyway.

        And to all of the posters who are considering blasting me about my opinion of a foodstuff I've never tried -- I know, I know. I'm sure durian is delicious. I am a flawed and imperfect foodie. As are we all.

        4 Replies
        1. re: chefbeth

          Sigh. I gave up a chance to try homemade chittlins once. I guess I knew deep down that I was a foodie when my favorite character in the Popeye cartoons was Wimpy. Sir I will gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today. That guy rocked! Another clue was when I noticed on weekends or other days I didn't absolutely have to leap out of bed I tended to lie there eyes closed slowly untangling myself from my dreams until I would think What delicious food can I eat today??? I would jump out of bed, brush my teeth and start deciding what to sink them into first!

          1. re: givemecarbs

            I think a foodie is interested in all food , high end and low end; for example,
            best hamburger, best foie gras, a true foodie will go out of his way to find both; I consider myself a foodie in theory because the subject interests me greatly, hence reading these forums for entertainment and to acquire knowledge , but deep down, I am not a real foodie, I sit through 2 hour dinners at fine restaurants and wish I could have a piece of grilled chicken and diced carrots and be done with it.

            I am more of a dessert foodie, I'll look at that part of the menu before ordering my main dish, or I'll pick a restaurant based on my knowledge of their great desserts.

          2. re: chefbeth

            Right on ChefBeth. And I am right there with you on the durian - tempted! but eeeewww!!!

            1. re: chefbeth

              Why get into it...however if you must, this is worth looking at, if only for fun, mockery and what not:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foodie

              1. It's something you melt with Smores.