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What is a "food snob"?

fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 12:30 AM

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. Veggo RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 12:56 AM

    Someone who should eat more and talk less.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Veggo
      r
      Rene RE: Veggo Aug 12, 2009 06:11 AM

      All snobs are boring so just walk away.

    2. s
      swamp RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 07:31 AM

      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. j
        Jaymes RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 07:47 AM

        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
          c
          CocoaNut RE: Jaymes Aug 12, 2009 08:05 AM

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

          lol!!!!

          1. re: CocoaNut
            BobB RE: CocoaNut Aug 13, 2009 08:42 AM

            Not a joke to a true 'Hound. To list just a few of many, many threads on the topic:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/387245

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/468324

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/385951

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/400000

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/356339

            It's a matter of flavor, not snobbery.

            1. re: BobB
              jmckee RE: BobB Aug 20, 2009 12:02 PM

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

              1. re: jmckee
                BobB RE: jmckee Aug 20, 2009 04:01 PM

                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
                  a
                  Alica RE: BobB Aug 20, 2009 08:33 PM

                  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
                    BobB RE: Alica Aug 24, 2009 07:45 AM

                    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
                      danhole RE: BobB Aug 24, 2009 11:21 AM

                      Bob,

                      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
                        BobB RE: danhole Aug 24, 2009 11:28 AM

                        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
                          n
                          Normandie RE: BobB Aug 27, 2009 07:16 AM

                          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
                            a
                            Alica RE: Normandie Aug 27, 2009 11:58 AM

                            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
                              n
                              Normandie RE: Alica Aug 27, 2009 11:00 PM

                              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.

          2. re: Jaymes
            t
            tuttebene RE: Jaymes Aug 17, 2009 08:28 AM

            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
              margshep RE: tuttebene Aug 17, 2009 09:31 AM

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

              1. re: margshep
                s
                small h RE: margshep Aug 17, 2009 09:36 AM

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

                1. re: small h
                  margshep RE: small h Aug 17, 2009 09:58 AM

                  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
              c
              cornFusion RE: Jaymes Aug 28, 2009 04:59 AM

              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. k
              KTinNYC RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 09:22 AM

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

              1. Davwud RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 09:31 AM

                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.

                DT

                1. danhole RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 09:34 AM

                  This has been discussed many times on this board and in my opinion a food snob is a real pain to eat with. I know of this woman who my friend is obligated to eat lunch with because of work. Well she is never pleased with anything. Both of the women can be eating the same thing but the snob will pick the entire meal apart, while my friend is savoring the meal. She will refuse to go back to a good restaurant because the chef wasn't wearing a hairnet when she came out to greet people. All kinds of silly little details set her off, to the point that she will refuse to finish her meal. But she likes "trendy" places, regardless of the food. I am so glad I don't have to suffer eating with her!

                  I just like good food, as others have said. Doesn't matter if it's a shack or an elegant place, if the food is good, I'm happy.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: danhole
                    iluvcookies RE: danhole Aug 12, 2009 09:39 AM

                    danhole... I think there is another name for this lady you know :)

                    1. re: iluvcookies
                      jmckee RE: iluvcookies Aug 20, 2009 12:03 PM

                      To paraphrase Groucho Marx: "It's a common woid, something you always have on your person."

                    2. re: danhole
                      s
                      smartie RE: danhole Aug 12, 2009 07:19 PM

                      I have a coworker like this. It drives the rest of us insane. She HATES everything, picks over the lunches which we get brought in by reps most days. She CAN"T STAND a massive list - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, grated carrots in salad, seeds, beets, raisins or cranberries in salad, fish, zucchini, peas. Her list is endless. We have all tried to talk to her in serious and in less serious ways. I wish she would shut up. I cringe every time she walks into the kitchen lifts the lids on the various dishes and turns her nose up at the free offerings. The rest of us are grateful she is a food snob.

                      1. re: smartie
                        KaimukiMan RE: smartie Aug 13, 2009 12:57 PM

                        and there is the key. a picky eater will take a look, and (knowing they are picky) keep their mouths shut and let others enjoy their meal. a snob believes they have justification for all their petty and not so petty issues, and have a deep seated need to 'inform and educate' the hoi poloy who obviously lack the discernment they themselves possess.

                        while they may or may not possess great knowledge on the subject, and some indeed do, and have very legitimate reasons for being aghast. It is the haughty manner in which they share their knowledge and distain when a simple "no thank you" would be the most appropriate response when being offered diet cola cured salmon with a whisky mint glaze served on a bed of mayonnaised couscous.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                          danhole RE: KaimukiMan Aug 13, 2009 01:33 PM

                          My DH is a picky eater, but not because he is a food snob. He is just picky. You have a good point Kaimuki. He normally does as you said - looks, shuts up and says no thank you. Now if it is just the 2 of us he will, depending on what I order, question my wisdom in eating THAT (i.e. crawfish) but he has gotten to a point where he keeps his mouth shut even just with me! Now, I'm not a food snob either but the diet cola cured salmon dish you invented would probably cause me to say "no thank you - just couldn't eat that." But I would say it in the nicest way ;-) I think I would blame it on the diet cola if pressed!

                          1. re: danhole
                            hill food RE: danhole Aug 30, 2009 01:59 AM

                            "diet cola cured salmon with a whisky mint glaze served on a bed of mayonnaised couscous"

                            the right hands might be able to pull that off, ok it would have to not be diet cola and I'm not sure about the mayonnaised couscous, not together anyway.

                            but you're on to something smartie, kaimuki and danhole, it's the need to justify one's own preferences and dislikes by ripping apart someone else's.

                            just because they like or dislike something doesn't mean everyone else has to but if that's how they feel it illustrates a deep insecurity.

                    3. b
                      bakinggirl RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 09:37 AM

                      I'm in agreement with the posts above - one who likes food because it's trendy, the lastest thing, etc. etc. Or foodies - I hate that one too. I explain to my friends who call me a foodie that I've always been this way...it just happens to be trendy now to watch Food Network etc., use kosher salt and buy All-Clad.
                      "I love food. All food. From the greasy spoon to haute cuisine."
                      fredeatshouston, that's why we're CHOWHOUNDS!

                      1. Striver RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 09:40 AM

                        A food snob is defined by attitude. Like any other kind of snob, food snobs use their knowledge (which may not be extensive) to make themselves feel better by making others feel inferior.

                        Their tendency to bully, which stems from their own inner weakness (like other forms of bullying), should not be tolerated.

                        Snobbery is a personality deficiency, not a 'badge of honor'. It should be treated, not cultivated.

                        Note that I distinguish snobs from true connoisseurs, whom I define as people who take pleasure not just in their own knowledge of a subject, but in sharing that knowledge and encouraging others to broaden their own horizons - and who do so in a courteous and good-natured way. Such people should be sought out and cultivated.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Striver
                          danhole RE: Striver Aug 12, 2009 11:16 AM

                          Striver,

                          You made me curious enough to look up the definition of snob and this is what it said:

                          1. a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
                          2. a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

                          Pretty much what you said!

                          Dani

                          1. re: danhole
                            c
                            CookieWeasel RE: danhole Aug 22, 2009 05:34 PM

                            Exactly my definition, too. I have the misfortune to know (and be related to) someone just like this, and find that the same attitude is erflected in all her other areas of "expertise."

                          2. re: Striver
                            g
                            Gigi007 RE: Striver Aug 22, 2009 11:43 AM

                            Striver, great post! I fully agree.

                            Btw, I have used the term "water snob" to describe myself--not as a badge of honor--but rather as a self-criticism. I've become very picky about water--maybe b/c the water where I live (Washington, DC) is so full of chemicals--and the fact that I used to live in Belgium and got used to drinking Spa water. I am, however, trying to change my ways. I broke down and bought a Brita pitcher. Now I just have to use it! :)

                            1. re: Gigi007
                              hill food RE: Gigi007 Aug 30, 2009 02:05 AM

                              Gigi - I live in DC as well and make no apologies for double filtering: I use a Pur tap filter to fill a Brita pitcher. the water here just tastes awful and they filter different things (although I'll drink tap with no complaints as that's not the hosts' fault)

                              it really does make a difference in water you're not going to boil, although I'm sure there are those who do that as well.

                            2. re: Striver
                              SmokeyDoke RE: Striver Aug 30, 2009 08:11 PM

                              This is the best response I have ever read.

                              I hope the Chowhound team reads this and enforces it on the boards.

                            3. h
                              Harters RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 09:43 AM

                              Food snob? Someone who doesnt care to eat the food you enjoy.

                              1. p
                                PaulV RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 10:27 AM

                                I think it could mean just about anything and it's useless to generalise about the definition. Some people use it tongue-in-cheek about something they have a strong opinion of.

                                I sometimes call myself a coffee snob since I have an opinion about what I consider good coffee and bad coffee and I don't bother drinking stuff that I don't like. It doesn't mean I look down upon people who drink the stuff I don't consider worthy (eg. the free office coffee where I work!) but you still won't catch me drinking it. I know other people who would do similar for wine, or bread or anything else. You can probably be a 'food snob' regarding greasy spoons too; if you eat at enough greasy spoons you know that there is good and bad in those as well. So, 'snob' can be bad or it can just be a figure of speech...who knows?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: PaulV
                                  Miss Needle RE: PaulV Aug 12, 2009 11:17 AM

                                  My sentiments exactly.

                                  Besides, a true snob is generally not very self-aware, hence would probably not refer to himself as a "food snob."

                                2. nofunlatte RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 01:53 PM

                                  David Kamp and Marion Rosenfeld have written the hilarious "The Food Snob's Dictionary: An Essential Lexicon of Gastronomical Knowledge". From their introduction (p. xi):

                                  "...the Food Snob is someone who has taken the amateur epicure's zeal for eating and cooking well to hollandaise-curdling extremes. He wears Bastad chef's clogs even though he works in publishing or property law."

                                  From the same intro:
                                  "In other words, he has gone to great lengths to distinguish himself from YOU, the mere food enthusiast..." Pretty much what previous 'hounds have said!

                                  Fun book, btw. Link:

                                  http://www.amazon.com/Food-Snobs-Dict...

                                  ETA: from the back cover:

                                  Food Snob (n): reference term for the sort of food obsessive for whom the actual joy of eating and cooking is but a side dish to the accumulation of arcane knowledge about these subjects

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: nofunlatte
                                    a
                                    adamshoe RE: nofunlatte Aug 12, 2009 03:59 PM

                                    I also enjoyed "The United States of Arugula" by David Kamp. A fun read by a former classmate of my little bro' from good ol, Highland Park, NJ., hometown of Murray Kaufeldt of Murray's Cheese in NYC. adam

                                  2. Will Owen RE: fredeatshouston Aug 12, 2009 06:20 PM

                                    Depends on one's point of view, I suppose. A nutritionist that someone recommended to us called me that when she showed me her list of recommended breads, all mass-market balloon breads with fiber and stuff pumped in, and I tried to be polite about telling her we prefer REAL bread without actually saying that. I just said we'd kinda rather have something, like, from La Brea bakery, y'know? Oh, she snorted, food snobs! Meaning anyone who won't accept the professional nutritionist's definition of what "real" food is. If this is indeed the case, then she was right.

                                    1. Servorg RE: fredeatshouston Aug 13, 2009 09:02 AM

                                      As someone far wittier and more urbane than I wrote on Wikipedia "Snobbism is a defensive expression of social insecurity" and, whether or not it is about food, you can rest assured that the more they attack, the more insecure they are about their "taste."

                                      1. Peg RE: fredeatshouston Aug 13, 2009 09:28 AM

                                        I knew a woman who once dined with friends (this was while they were all in their late teens, should her reaction shock you). There was some kind of stew or caserole served which she said was wonderful - she asked the ingredients an on hearing 'margarine' she exclaimed 'I don't eat margarine' and got up and scraped the rest of the food on her plate into the garbage.
                                        Food snob.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Peg
                                          BobB RE: Peg Aug 13, 2009 09:30 AM

                                          That's an excellent definition - someone who pays more attention to some abstract "rule" than to their own taste buds!

                                          1. re: BobB
                                            bayoucook RE: BobB Aug 13, 2009 09:37 AM

                                            I agree. Last time we visited friends in Florida, they insisted on a certain fish restaurant, where they ordered scallops and insisted we order them, too (we didn't).
                                            Even though they'd eaten that dish there several times, I could tell they weren't really enjoying it. I tasted the scallops and they were gelatinous - horrible, like fish jelly!
                                            I asked them what they liked about it and they said it was cool and trendy to eat it like that, and *gee they thought I was a foodie* - ugh! Haven't seen them in years....

                                            1. re: bayoucook
                                              Kajikit RE: bayoucook Aug 24, 2009 06:07 AM

                                              It's trendy to eat rotting seafood? I didn't know that... I guess that would cut down on the food snob population when they all get food poisoning!

                                              1. re: Kajikit
                                                hill food RE: Kajikit Aug 30, 2009 02:08 AM

                                                Kajikit: and it's cheaper too!

                                        2. s
                                          small h RE: fredeatshouston Aug 13, 2009 06:42 PM

                                          A food snob is someone who you think knows less about food than you do, yet still insists on offering an opinion about it. The horror!

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

                                          All food? As in, you've never had a food you didn't like? Anywhere? Seriously? It's all good? You've led a blessed life.

                                          1. a
                                            Alica RE: fredeatshouston Aug 13, 2009 07:12 PM

                                            So "food snob" almost sounds like it does not have much to do about the food but the image.

                                            1. r
                                              rochfood RE: fredeatshouston Aug 13, 2009 07:32 PM

                                              To me food snobs say things like " you put ketchup on your hot dog ? how childish, it's supposed to be mustard." Personal choice..there is no "right" way to eat things (unless we are talking rudeness.
                                              Being snide about fast food restaraunts..or chains. We get it ,you don't care for them, doesn't mean your tastes are any better. Like them or not, there is definate sense of snobbery in those chain postings. "I don't understand why people go there..they must not know any better..are not very worldly or sophistaicated"
                                              Being snide about TV hosts. Ohh..Rachal Ray..awful. who watches her..Sandra Lee..she has a show ? who opens can ? that's cooking? She doesn't deserve to be on TV, I'd never be caught dead watching that tripe (your cooking of course..is so much better in your own mind"
                                              These have nothing to do with picky eaters..just random things that shouts "snob" to me me when I scan posts. It's more the condescending tone (re: the definition of snob) that sets snobs apart.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: rochfood
                                                k
                                                KTinNYC RE: rochfood Aug 14, 2009 05:02 AM

                                                "Sandra Lee..she has a show ? who opens can ? that's cooking? She doesn't deserve to be on TV"

                                                I guess I'm a food snob.

                                                1. re: KTinNYC
                                                  b
                                                  bakinggirl RE: KTinNYC Aug 14, 2009 06:39 AM

                                                  I hate being called a food snob, but if it's 'cause I don' t like Sandra Lee, I'll take it.
                                                  Maybe in that case "fresh food snob" would be more appropriate?!

                                                  1. re: bakinggirl
                                                    r
                                                    rochfood RE: bakinggirl Aug 14, 2009 09:40 AM

                                                    The point is not that you do not like her. The point is a food snob gets online to bash and ridicule (nothing positive here) and declares themselves and their cooking style ("i never use cans (probably Bs), and no cook who does deserves to look at a cook who gives a different cooking viewpoint.). Live and let live. Don't buy her books and watch her, but don't belittle her or others who enjoy the show and who may think it worthy. That is snobbery. That bashing stuff doesn't bother you fine, I always find it distasteful and snobbish.

                                                    1. re: rochfood
                                                      k
                                                      KTinNYC RE: rochfood Aug 14, 2009 09:51 AM

                                                      The Kwanzaa cake is enough for us to bash and ridicule SL for years to come. It is a culinary punchline and was described by someone as an "edible hate crime", lol!

                                                      1. re: rochfood
                                                        Davwud RE: rochfood Aug 17, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                        On the one hand I do see your point. However I don't think it's snobbery to suggest/encourage people that there's something better out there. I also don't think it's snobbery to find something beneath you. To a point anyway.
                                                        If a friend came up to you and told you they were gonna go back to school and you found out that they'd enrolled in 4th grade, are you being a snob to suggest they set the bar a little higher??
                                                        I understand the need for shows like SL and RR. Some people have the time or inkling to DIY. I learned to cook by combining cans/packages/leftovers when I was a teenager. I see the need for shows like that. But they are pandering. Using the Kwanzaa cake as an example, sometimes they're text book advertisements for what not to do and with hilarious results. Sometimes you have to knock stuff if it's just plain no good. At least, it's hard not to.

                                                        DT

                                                2. cuccubear RE: fredeatshouston Aug 14, 2009 07:20 AM

                                                  Basically, the Food Snob thinks their tastes, techniques, opinions and viewpoints are the one true attitude towards food to which all should subscribe. They would not condescend to try something that doesn’t fit into their perception of authenticity, “flavor palette” or trendiness/anti-trendiness. It seems to me that the snobbier a person is, the less like a chowhound they would be.

                                                  How could I expose myself to new foods and flavors if I existed within a narrow, limiting world of haughty snobbery?

                                                  I don’t think it’s snobbish to only want to eat good food (and who doesn’t?). Is it snobbish to say “I’ll never eat at Applebee’s because the food is yucky”? Maybe. But that is snobbery of a different kind. You want to get the most and best for your money. No one wants to go into a restaurant and have a crappy meal (like I did over the weekend). That isn’t snobbish, it’s practical and in the true spirit of chowhounding.

                                                  1. l
                                                    Lizard RE: fredeatshouston Aug 20, 2009 02:21 PM

                                                    I've been thinking about this since I can have my list of places I must eat or foods I must try. And I feel a bit of a snob, especially if my time is limited in a place and I want to choose my meals as much as I can.

                                                    Then I thought, the food snob is likely to use phrases like 'dumbed down' or to position himself apart from the 'tourist' a mythical dupe. Such language attempts to elevate while denigrating wide swaths of people. The snob may love food, but also seems to love being better than others, assuming that these others know nothing-- and assuming there is nothing to learn from these others.

                                                    That said, I still feel like a snob sometimes. I don't say anything, but sometimes, I hate that I think things when I see someone slice a dinner roll in half, spread butter on it, and then eat it like a sandwich.

                                                    12 Replies
                                                    1. re: Lizard
                                                      Davwud RE: Lizard Aug 21, 2009 04:25 AM

                                                      I don't think "Dumbed down" is a snobbish term. Some things really are "Dumbed down." It's just how it is. If 100K people like it, let's see if we can widen its popularity by making it less ______.

                                                      DT

                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                        l
                                                        Lizard RE: Davwud Aug 21, 2009 03:05 PM

                                                        I think there are concerns about catering to the lowest common denominator, by which I mean that one aims to reach the widest audience possible. This is bound to tame the edges and limit experimentation.

                                                        That said, 'dumbed down' is indeed snobbish in that it insinuates that the new concoction is a lesser form appreciated by lesser people (like that mythical tourist so many opt to denigrate whilst forgetting that the ur-tourist is forever in search of authentic as a means of escaping a life mired in modernity). But tourist peeves aside, the phrase 'dumbed down' seems more to function as a way of elevating the speaker (who knows better because he is smartened up, or likes his food smartened up) than an effective descriptive. Yes, we all know what it means, but in some ways, I don't know that I do. I'd prefer the use of terms that endeavour to do more without the nasty after taste.

                                                        1. re: Lizard
                                                          Davwud RE: Lizard Aug 22, 2009 11:38 AM

                                                          I see your point but I'd say it's probably borne out of frustration rather than snobbery.

                                                          When people suggest that something is "Dumbed down" it's the _______ is now inferior in their opinion. You have to remember, it's in some parts semantics and some parts a fact.

                                                          DT

                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                            Servorg RE: Davwud Aug 22, 2009 11:42 AM

                                                            "...it's in some parts semantics and some parts a fact."

                                                            Which parts of personal taste are fact?

                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                              Davwud RE: Servorg Aug 22, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                              It's a fact that Food Network has been dumbed down. It is now less steak, more sizzle.

                                                              Watermelons are being grown to have no seeds. The consensus is, they don't taste as good. If it were proven that they don't taste as good, it would then be a fact.

                                                              DT

                                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                                Servorg RE: Davwud Aug 22, 2009 12:18 PM

                                                                "Watermelons are being grown to have no seeds. The consensus is, they don't taste as good. If it were proven that they don't taste as good, it would then be a fact."

                                                                How are you going to "prove" that seedless watermelons don't taste as good as "seeded" ones if anyone else says that they do? And even the example about Food Network is specious. Taste is taste. Someone who likes the way FN is now doesn't have inferior taste. They just have different taste.

                                                      2. re: Lizard
                                                        m
                                                        moh RE: Lizard Aug 26, 2009 09:50 PM

                                                        Lizard, I am with you. I also feel like a food snob a lot of times. I particularly notice this when I am out shopping in a grocery store, and I see what people have in their carts, or when I am cooking outside my own kitchen, and I am not happy with the knives/pots/ingredients etc. Or if I see someone using a cooking technique that makes my toes curl (oop ooop oop! no no no, you're over boiling the vegetables!!!). Yup, I feel like I have become a food snob. Can't help it, I really care about what I eat, I have strong opinions, and yes, I think I know better than some of those other folk out there.

                                                        I know I am a food snob, but I do try to behave as if I am not a food snob. I try not to make obnoxious comments (like "would it kill you buy a knife that has an edge?"), I try to be open to other people's opinions, ad sometimes, I just keep my mouth shut. "if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all..." But sometimes it just comes out. Can't be perfect 100% of the time.

                                                        I would venture to say that all CHs are food snobs. Anyone who cares that much about something is going to come off as snobby to someone out there, someone who just doesn't care as much, and can't understand why you are making such a fuss about nothing. It is ok to be a snob, it means you care. But being a snob doesn't mean you have to act like one. Well, this is the way I try to justify those snobby thoughts that protrude into my brain from time to time.

                                                        1. re: moh
                                                          KaimukiMan RE: moh Aug 29, 2009 09:20 PM

                                                          it isn't how you feel about what you see, it is what you do about it.

                                                          do you refuse to eat at your friends house because they boil the life out of the vegetables, or do you take a deep breath and do your best to enjoy the company and ignore the mush?

                                                          If you shun your friends, talk badly to them behind their backs, or turn your nose up at the food they offer, THAT is a snob. If you invite them to your house, gently steam the vegetables, and say "I do hope the vegetables are done enough for you, they were just too nice to cook any further" , that is giving a sublte helpful hint, and is not being snobbish.

                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                            m
                                                            moh RE: KaimukiMan Aug 29, 2009 09:44 PM

                                                            "If you shun your friends, talk badly to them behind their backs, or turn your nose up at the food they offer, THAT is a snob. "

                                                            Goodness. I would hope I would never treat a friend that way, whether I am a snob or not....

                                                            1. re: moh
                                                              KaimukiMan RE: moh Aug 30, 2009 12:20 AM

                                                              im sure you wouldn't, and im sure you are not a snob, your attitude and comments on many postings show that while you have strong feelings about what you enjoy, you also respect the opinions and tastes others have.

                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                m
                                                                moh RE: KaimukiMan Aug 30, 2009 06:33 AM

                                                                KaimukiMan, you are kind :)

                                                                I guess there have been enough times when I've pooh-pooh'ed a food item, only to discover later that I really liked that food item, that I have stopped pooh-pooh'ing items without giving them a fair shot first.

                                                                There are also so many things I love to eat that others seem to hate, well, it just seems silly for me not to understand that others might love the things I hate. I will say though, there are an awful lot of things I like to eat. Makes it easier to connect with a lot of people, we can almost always find some common eating ground.

                                                                So let's go get that french-fry covered hot dog shall we?

                                                                1. re: moh
                                                                  KaimukiMan RE: moh Aug 30, 2009 09:14 AM

                                                                  woo hoo, road trip....
                                                                  yeah that thing looks killer (in too many ways), and that whole assortment, kim wrapped breaded hot dog, I'm so there.

                                                      3. o
                                                        Orchid64 RE: fredeatshouston Aug 23, 2009 07:20 AM

                                                        A food snob equates ones taste in food with an elevated status. That is, they believe that there is some separation between good taste and poor taste in food and that they know and partake of the former.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: Orchid64
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                                                          hotdoglover RE: Orchid64 Aug 23, 2009 07:38 AM

                                                          I think this term is over used. I don't eat out much and hardly can be considered a food snob. I love hot dogs, yet I'm called a food snob all the time. Actually a hot dog snob. Which is funny because the term hot dog snob seems like an oxymoron. Sampling hot dogs is a hobby of mine. I've had hundreds. I have strong opinions, yet state often that my opinions are worth no more than anyone else's. I believe you have to start with a quality frank which should be the focus. To me, if you don't start with a quality frank, it doesn't much matter what you put on it. I feel most toppings detract, rather than add to a great hot dog. For this I'm called a snob. The people who call me this act as if I'm trying to prevent them from putting it on their hot dog. I'm always called a snob when I state that ketchup does not go well with a hot dog. Many people who enjoy theirs with ketchup get overly sensitive when people voice a different opinion.

                                                          Go to working class neighborhoods in Chicago where there are hot dog stands on every corner and see what happens when you request ketchup on a hot dog. Usually there is good natured ribbing as it's a cultural thing there not to eat ketchup on a hot dog. But they will usually give you some packets although they will not apply it themselves. I even have a book written by a vice president of Vienna Beef (the brand of hot dog served at 85% of the hot dog stands in Chicago) called Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog. It's quite a history of Chicago's popular hot dog stands.

                                                          1. re: hotdoglover
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                                                            Gigi007 RE: hotdoglover Aug 23, 2009 10:19 AM

                                                            Thanks for the very interesting info, hotdoglover. To me, you sound like a "hot dog connoisseur." it's funny, but unlike most of my friends and family, I usually like my dogs plain --sometimes with a little ketchup or mustard, but never loaded up with toppings. Very often I have to insist that I want a PLAIN hotdog--as some find that strange. Thanks again for your post.

                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                              jfood RE: hotdoglover Aug 23, 2009 04:29 PM

                                                              HDL,

                                                              hope all is well. jfood finally made it to the dawg place on route 7 in Wilton/Ridgefield CT. They sell Hummels and jfood thought it was a really good dog. Very different than the HN and Dons he loves, seemed milder with a garlicy aftertaste.

                                                              Thanks for the heads up on this place.

                                                              1. re: jfood
                                                                h
                                                                hotdoglover RE: jfood Aug 24, 2009 05:52 AM

                                                                I don't remember recommending a place. What's the name of it? Hummel is a good dog. It's beef and pork, but a bolder flavor than dogs in this style which usually have little or no garlic. I love the dogs at the Glenwood Drive In in Hamden.

                                                                1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                  jfood RE: hotdoglover Aug 24, 2009 08:19 AM

                                                                  Dexters Dog House in Wilton CT on Route 7

                                                                  http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Re...

                                                              2. re: hotdoglover
                                                                E Eto RE: hotdoglover Aug 30, 2009 07:14 PM

                                                                What about people who are snobby about what kind of ketchup they put on their steaks? Food snob or just ketchup snob?

                                                            2. Kajikit RE: fredeatshouston Aug 24, 2009 06:01 AM

                                                              Why would I want to be any kind of snob? You can appreciate good food without being snobbish about it... food snobs turn their noses up at 'simple' or 'cheap' foods without even bothering to taste them.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Kajikit
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                                                                hotdoglover RE: Kajikit Aug 24, 2009 08:58 AM

                                                                Exactly the point. Hot Dogs are a simple, unpretentious food. Many turn up their noses at them. Personally I enjoy one of my favorite hot dogs more than a steak. Which is why I laugh at the term "hot dog snob".

                                                                1. re: Kajikit
                                                                  haggisdragon RE: Kajikit Aug 24, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                  I'm a food snob. I'm also a wine snob, a music snob, a movie snob, a tv snob, a book snob, a coffee snob, a beer snob, a whiskey snob, and probably several other forms of snob that I'm not conscious of. " Snob" by itself is an ugly word, describing a mean, unpleasant person. Preface it with "food" or "music" or some other discriptor, though, and it becomes a much softer term, that you can take ownership over. Whatever.

                                                                2. Boccone Dolce RE: fredeatshouston Aug 27, 2009 03:45 AM

                                                                  I see it more in terms of not eating just anything to feel full. I make the choice to seek out new places and try to always eat food that appeals to me (and in the way I want to eat it) instead of "just eating".

                                                                  If I happen to enjoy things you consider 'odd' (say-sushi) and don't eat the same things you love (say-margarine sandwiches with those awful packets of 59c meat that hang on the hooks)- that shouldn't make me a snob. But to others, maybe it does.

                                                                  If you walk into our lunchroom you'll see people eating bowls of mac-n-cheese with a side of corn, wonderbread slathered with country crock and sugar, and once I watched a guy digging into a plate covered in pop-tarts. I don't eat like that but I don't look down on them and OF COURSE I notice- it hurts my brain to see so much beige on the same plate! But it's not my plate so they can do what they want. (Ok, I do tease the young kids about eating 6 pop tarts for lunch) In particular if I know its a matter of economics. However, when the bigwig is eating a 99c plastic frozen dinner it's probably because he likes it. I don't think I'm a snob if I don't. For that same 99c he could have rice & tofu, or bean salad with a few chicken wings, a mound of roasted veggies and a turkey burger- etc- at least I know that's what I would prefer. But he wants the frozen dinner-I'm not a snob because I don't...

                                                                  1. n
                                                                    Normandie RE: fredeatshouston Aug 27, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                                    What's that old line, fred? Paraphrasing: I can't tell you exactly what a food snob is, but I knows one when I sees one.

                                                                    And, no, I don't think it's a good thing. Being a food snob is no different than being a snob about anything else in life, but it IS different from being knowledgable about food, its preparation and its consumption.

                                                                    Snobbery is also different from maintaining the highest possible standards one can according to one's particular budgetary and geographic situations. To me, snobbery always includes a certain cavalier attitude about the potential of hurting other people's feelings. Snobbery is a self-centered state.

                                                                    1. jfood RE: fredeatshouston Aug 27, 2009 07:45 AM

                                                                      "Hello, my name is jfood and i am a food snob"...there said.

                                                                      But now let's get to the definition. There is a good snob and a bad snob. The good snob which jfood guarantees is absolutely everyone on these boards (why else would you be here) is that you like better food and dislike not so better food. BTW - jfood is also a car snob, a clothes snob, a vacation snob...etc.

                                                                      Now the bad snob. That's the yutz who throws it in your face, for example the clown at the next table next to the jfoods at dinner last night loudly criticizing the server's choice of a bottle of wine..."that wine is from Agentina. They do not make any wine I would drink.". This is the person that also says, "How can you eat that crap?" or "That's disgusting" when eating at someone's house.

                                                                      The difference between a good and a bad snob is manners, etiquette and approach. Jfood will not get into all the examples of good and bad behavior (that's usually 10-12 threads on the not about food board).

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jfood
                                                                        shaogo RE: jfood Aug 27, 2009 08:22 AM

                                                                        Thank you, jfood, for your great definition!

                                                                        I'm a closet snob. It's cause I've been cursed/blessed with a discriminating palate.

                                                                        There are times when I'm tempted to ask people, "How can you eat that crap?" I stifle myself and think to the times, recently, I've enjoyed a fried bologna sandwich with sauerkraut (or any of the other things from my childhood I make to this day).

                                                                        1. re: jfood
                                                                          BobB RE: jfood Aug 27, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                                          I think we're getting down to semantics here. It reminds me of a lengthy discussion a while back on the subject of the word foodie, in which it eventually became clear that some people associate negative connotations with the word while others do not. So some of us have no problem saying "I'm a foodie" (I fall into that camp) and others would say "I'm no foodie, I'm a Chowhound" but both are expressing exactly the same sentiment.

                                                                          In this case, I'm on the side of those who find the word snob distasteful, but I am unabashedly discriminating in my tastes for many things, food included. So the bottom line is, I agree with you completely jfood that the difference is "manners, etiquette and approach." It's just that you define this as the difference between a good snob and a bad snob, while I'd define it as the difference between a connoisseur and a snob. A snob feels the need to put others down, a connoisseur does not.

                                                                          1. re: jfood
                                                                            hill food RE: jfood Aug 30, 2009 02:22 AM

                                                                            jfood, re your neighbor table:

                                                                            "that wine is from Argentina. They do not make any wine I would drink."

                                                                            that's amusing considering the rootstock transplanted to the Americas was used to retransplant back fairly all of Europe's vineyardds after the blight (when was that? mid 19th c.?) ok maybe technique can be argued, but the grapes are the same.

                                                                            Give 'em enough rope...

                                                                          2. c
                                                                            cornFusion RE: fredeatshouston Aug 28, 2009 05:03 AM

                                                                            Someone who goes to very fancy restaurant and pays exorbitant prices and can easily be passed less-than-perfect food for more than perfect prices .....
                                                                            Then they can wax eloquent about the food....

                                                                            1. a
                                                                              AngelSanctuary RE: fredeatshouston Aug 28, 2009 07:58 PM

                                                                              I think a food snob is just someone who expects a lot out of their food and require it to be really good and is very stubborn on what's like the right way to cook certain things. That didn't sound very coherent...

                                                                              Like a food snob will expect a steak to be no more cooked than at medium rare and NO KETCHUP must touch it. And mayonnaise in MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY sushi? Heresy!!!

                                                                              I think I am sorta a food snob. There have been several times where I might have made a snide comment or two about how some restaurants cook their food. And I do usually say "homemade is better" about certain things...in my defense we were talking about frozen hamburger patties. But if someone does enjoy ketchup on their steak (and it seems like all my friends do) I'm not going to go and throw the bottle to the other side of the restaurant or anything, it's their food.

                                                                              I think being a food snob is only bad if you're very arrogant and intolerant to other people's tastes, and you constantly lecture other people about every single thing! And you expect other people to do the same and you look down on other people who occasionally enjoy a fast food burger. And they're so out of it and don't realize that some people might not have a lot of time on their hands to spend twelve hours making stock!!!!!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: AngelSanctuary
                                                                                Scargod RE: AngelSanctuary Aug 29, 2009 03:46 AM

                                                                                You'll never make a good food snob if you run in circles of people who eat ketchup on steak.
                                                                                I am the food snob you speak of in the second paragraph.... but I won't stop you or anyone from diminishing their experience.

                                                                              2. KaimukiMan RE: fredeatshouston Aug 30, 2009 09:26 AM

                                                                                OK folks, the following is from Dictionary.com.

                                                                                1. a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
                                                                                2. a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

                                                                                As you can see the word "condescending" is in both definitions. Since most of you from what I have seen ( including moh, j food, danhole, etc) may be critical, you are not condescending (snide?) toward people who have different opinions, less experience, or lack of understanding. Instead you make constructive criticism, offer helpful hints, or explain your points in a generally positive manner. That is not being a snob. Expressing a like or dislike of your own is not being snobbish unless you denigrate someone else's opinion as an integral part of your response.

                                                                                Connoisseur does not equal snob.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                  jfood RE: KaimukiMan Aug 30, 2009 10:39 AM

                                                                                  Thanks for the clarification KM. And thanks for the pat on the back, especially after the meal jfood just ate, had to run home for three chocolate cookies to getthe taste out of his mouth.

                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                    KaimukiMan RE: KaimukiMan Aug 30, 2009 08:21 PM

                                                                                    did not realize i had paraphrased striver above... well said striver.

                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                      Striver RE: KaimukiMan Sep 3, 2009 08:08 AM

                                                                                      No problem - just another case of great minds thinking alike :) - and thanks for the credit.

                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                    Cookiephage RE: fredeatshouston Aug 30, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                                                    A food snob is one who derives pleasure from only seeking foods/flavor combinations perceived to be uncommon/expensive/both. Food becomes a status symbol and social tool rather than a personal pleasure. I have a friend with whom I attended a wine tasting. After making a great fuss about being able to taste the different flavors and undertones (written on the card), he loudly proclaimed the order in which wines should be ranked... Later, after googling the prices of the wines, he changed his rankings accordingly.

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