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Aug 12, 2009 12:30 AM

What is a "food snob"?

Lately it seems I find people calling themselves food snobs as if that were a badge of honor. But, I am not exactly sure what that term means.

I love food. All food. From the greasy spoon to haute cuisine.

So what is a food snob? What does it mean to you? What makes a food snob and is it good to be one?

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  1. Someone who should eat more and talk less.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Veggo

      All snobs are boring so just walk away.

    2. People who "think" they know food.

      Personally I am like you. I just like food, everything from rustic to gourmet. Can be cheap or expensive as long as it is good.

      1. Without exception, every single "food snob" I've ever known is someone that has come lately to food knowledge.

        They found out yesterday about sea salt. So today, regular salt is not good enough for them.

        They found out yesterday about European butter. So today, the butter you've got in your fridge isn't good enough for them.

        They found out yesterday about some obscure new cheese. So today, a nice warm, homey pot of queso isn't good enough for them.

        What they really are is boring.

        16 Replies
        1. re: Jaymes

          EUROPEAN BUTTER???!!!?!?!?!


            1. re: BobB

              I'm thinking there is some snobbery involved. And possibly a soupcon of waaaaaay to much disposable income.

              1. re: jmckee

                No snobbery whatsoever - if you can taste the difference (as I and the many, many other 'Hounds on the aforementioned threads can) then it's up to you whether it's WORTH the difference. We're not talking $50 a pound for butter here, I think I pay about the same for my favorite Irish Kerrygold as my wife does for locally-produced Kate's, which she prefers. In either case around $3 every couple of weeks. If you consider that "waaaaaay too much disposable income" my sympathies on your poverty.

                I'm not saying it's not POSSIBLE to be snobbish about European butter, just that for a large number of us it's a simple matter of taste.

                1. re: BobB

                  I just think there is a difference in the way you might present your unique tastes. I love Fiji water but I just drink it, I do not look down on the regular water drinkers of the world, I just do it.
                  I have a friend who actually said to me, " Well, I only eat in private clubs." I know for a fact that he dines in many restaurants other than private clubs. He was in a private club a few times and now it is his thing.... That is pretty food snobbie.

                  1. re: Alica

                    But I'm not looking down on anyone, I just like Kerrygold butter (and if you read the threads I linked to you'll see that I'm hardly unique in that). I only responded because a poster above implied that the very idea of buying a European butter was laughable.

                    1. re: BobB


                      The poster, above, that made the comment about european butter was not implying that it was "laughable", only implying that if a person who is new to european butter all of a sudden won't eat your regular butter if it is offered to them. That being that they would have a few days before.

                      1. re: danhole

                        I just reread the comment in question and that's not how I parse it, but I guess it could be interpreted either way. No big deal, it's a trivial point in the grand scheme of Chow.

                        On to bigger and butter things!

                        1. re: BobB

                          I *love* French butter. I think specifically I like butter from Normandy and Brittany, but I'm not informed enough to be sure about that. ;-) I'm hoping the fact that I'm stupid about it will cancel out the snob-factor. In a pinch, I'll buy Kerry, which is just as good as the French stuff, but it's just that I love the distinctive sour-creamy tang in the French products.

                          But I also LOVE Land 'O Lakes. That is the butter of my childhood and, to this day, it remains my gold standard. I try to buy Cabot, to support businesses here in New England, but in truth I secretly pine for the LOL.

                          I'm thinking maybe I'm a butter demi-snob. So don't feel badly; you're not completely alone.

                          About other food, no. Wailing on a big ole tablespoon mounded with Jif, followed by a chaser of Fluff, makes me just as happy--and often happier--than do foie gras and sweetbreads.

                          1. re: Normandie

                            There is nothing wrong with "having refined tastebuds". If you have experianced nice things, of course you are going to enjoy them and at times perfer them! By the way, where do you buy French butter?

                            1. re: Alica

                              One can always find President brand in various supermarket chains here, and usually Beurre de Baratte. And smaller specialty stores, such as butchers or bakeries, will often enough have at least a small quantity for sale. One of the other brands I've seen around here from time to time is Echire.

          1. re: Jaymes

            Agreed! Snob is not equated with knowledge but with attitude. Jaymes' description personifies those who subscribe to labels and trends but don't really have their own tastes or opinions. There is nothing worse than a wine snob either...

            1. re: tuttebene

              Reminds me of a saying..."He knows the price of everything and the value of nothing"

              1. re: margshep

                That's a cynic, actually, according to Oscar Wilde.

                1. re: small h

                  Quite so, but I think it would apply to mindless trend followers as well. Oscar Wilde was pretty clever for a man :-)

            2. re: Jaymes

              An excellent characterization - and it could be the same for any type of snob. I just call them nouveay riche (since it sounds French it sounds better - don't you agree?)

            3. A person who is slightly more opinionated about food then oneself.

              1. Someone who doesn't know much about food but does know it louder.

                In reality, I'm guessing it would really be someone who really doesn't like food but likes to pretend they do. Their more interesting in people thinking they know food than actually knowing it. Good food is good food. You like what you like and you don't care what any one else thinks.