HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Foodie vs food snob

I've been obsessed with food my whole life. I read cookbooks for sheer pleasure and love all the recipe resources online. BUT I am only a fair cook and would be hard pressed to find anything (not on the dessert menu) at most 5 star restaurants to make a meal of.

Which brings me to my question. Do you like truffle infused dishes or eat Skippy's with a spoon from the jar? Or both? What are you? A gourmand, an epicure, a gastronomist, a connoisseur? And why do these terms make me think of prissy, precious, cynical, status seeking food snobs? (When did we become so wealthy and decadent that only overpriced or hard to get ingredients are deemed worthy?)

Chowhound or foodie feels comfortable. Less "tall food" more "artisanal." Maybe they are two sides of the same coin.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. "Adventurous" is the better term. One of my prouder achievements is raising two kids with an adventurous spirit that extends to eating. Nothing makes me crazier than seeing kids who pick items off their plates or refuse to try something new. I get food allergies and even emotionally-triggered aversions, but to avoid trying something new just because it's outside your comfort zone puzzles me.

    The flip side of that is people who are "above" eating fast-food. I've eaten at some of the most expensive restaurants in the world and some of the least expensive. I hate nearly everything Subway stands for, but when I'm working late at my office it's probably the only place open at 9-10PM, so I suck it up. Not every dining experience needs to have organic, hand-crafted or elite origins.

    1. I like both, but I'm not a snob at all I don't think. I just enjoy food in general, in all its forms. I've eaten in some very fine restaurants and enjoyed it, but I also enjoy Popeye's Chicken. At home I make simple uncomplicated food....partly because of my budget, but mostly because that's the kind of food I like to eat on a day to day basis. The "fancy" stuff is fun for one meal, but I don't care to eat that way all the time.

      3 Replies
      1. re: juliejulez

        Standing Ovation!!! ~~ Damn right...I cook and eat what I like to eat, what I grew up cooking and eating on a day to day basis. Adventurous at times. Game to try something new..If it really is new and not some modern day bastardization of the old. ~~~ I better stop now so I want get into twouble! ;)

        1. re: juliejulez

          Ditto. I like food. I like cooking and I like dining out. I mostly cook the food I grew up with, but happily explore new when the mood strikes. I will usually try simple/basic versions of new-to-me dishes at home, and the good ones become part of my regular rotation. I jump at any chance to try a new restaurant, but also have old favorites. I'm just as happy and comfortable in a formal, fine dining environment as I am in the local dive. I like food.

        2. I like what ferret said.
          Back in the way back machine of the 1970's when I was just a little Chowpuppy, my dad's great aunt and uncle (from Naples) said of me "Oh, she's a good eater" while I had a squid tentacle hanging out of my mouth or something. I remember that my parents looked proud.
          Hooray for the spirit of eating (and making) honest, yummy wholesome meals.
          I'd say most of us on the boards are "joyful" eaters/cooks.

          11 Replies
          1. re: pinehurst

            pinehurst,

            Thanks for the date bar recipe. And I agree with you. I enjoyed all the responses here. "Chowpuppy" *grin*

            We were with our son and daughter and 3 little granddaughters (6,5 & 3) in a nice Bay Area restaurant last week-end. The 5 year old happily muched on her father's tubes and tentacles dish, the 3 year ate nothing but salad and a side order of pickled beets. The 6 year old declared everything "yucky" but wound up sharing her mother's chicken piccata. The best part was that they used their napkins and were quite civilized for an hour or so.

            1. re: ItalianNana

              Just reading this now, and HOW ABOUT THAT THREE YEAR OLD and the pickled beets????
              Rock on, Nana, rock on.

              1. re: ItalianNana

                Our 15 month old granddaughter is a total omnivore. Last summer I was feeding her triple creme cheeses and even a smidge of foie gras. She recently had some of her grandfather's jalapeno beer baked short ribs! Her cousin, only five weeks older, is pretty picky. But his time will come, I'm sure.

                1. re: c oliver

                  I was at friend's house for a dinner party and I was searing foie gras for an app of seared foie over toasted brioche w/ brandied sauteed apples. We began eating it and my 11 yr old son came over and asked for a bite - he declared it delicious and I beamed the rest of the evening. :)

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    Many parents assume that their kids will only like chicken nuggets and sugar. So, that's what they feed them. If the kid expresses an interest in any thing else, the parent says, "You won't like that."

                    Should be a punishable crime.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      Agreed. This kills me. I was never allowed to not try anything. Period. If I didn't like it that was fine, but I always had to try it. I could politely spit it out, that was fine too, but I HAD to try it.

                      Ask my four year old if he would rather have chicken mcnuggets with fries or nihari with aloo gobi and raita. Dare ya. He goes hot and cold on the amount if chile sometimes, but he loves going to the ethnic dives with us.

                    2. re: lynnlato

                      With the apple, I strongly recommend that you try that with a Late Harvest Apple Cider.

                      One of my ultimate Foie Gras pairings came from The Green House, Mayfair, London, when the chef did an Apple-infused Seared Foie Gras, and the sommelier paired that with a great LH Apple Cider from Quebec, CA. Though I have had monster Sauternes, like the '90 Ch. d'Yquem, that was the ultimate pairing, IMHO.

                      Glad that your child enjoyed the Foie Gras. Not sure if they are on the road to being a "foodie," a "chowhound," or whatever, but they have good taste, and that is what is important.

                      Hunt

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        What a wonderful recommendation! I still have half a foie gras in the freezer that I'm thinking about fixing for the 25th anniversary (of our first marriage!). A chef friend recommended grilled fruit which has been a big success. So your suggestion of the cider sounds perfect. Thanks, Hunt.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          With the "apple" component, it was the all-time best for me.

                          Now, I have had great Foie Gras, with Huckleberry infusion, Blueberry infusion, and several other components. Those would call for something else - apple = the LH Cider, at least for me.

                          Happy anniversary!

                          Hunt

                        2. re: Bill Hunt

                          The cider sounds lovely, Bill, thanks... I'll keep that in mind for next time. Although, I think the Chateau d'Yquem would be really, REALLY lovely. ;-)

                          1. re: lynnlato

                            The Ch. d'Yquem IS lovely, but for the apple-infusion, I was converted.

                            Enjoy,

                            Hunt

                2. A "connoisseur" is someone with thorough knowledge and critical judgement of a subject; a "gastronome" is a connoisseur of food; an "epicure" is someone who enjoys pleasure, in this case the pleasure of fine eating; a "gourmand" is someone who is overly fond of eating. None of these is necessarily a snob, although it's not ruled out. A high price doesn't necessarily correlate to food which is more appealing to any of these types, although some things which are excellent eating are necessarily expensive.

                  A "foodie" is someone who seeks to experience all the latest in food — new restaurants, cuisines, ingredients, ways of cooking things, etc. (my own definition) A foodie must be able to hold his/her own at a cocktail part when everyone is enjoying mojitos (or whatever the latest fashionable drink is), while discussing the hottest new restaurants. In my cynical opinion, a "foodie" is more likely to be a snob than an "epicure."

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: GH1618

                    GH

                    That's an interesting take on the term "foodie." I don't really know that there's a standard definition, but I totally get where you're coming from. You are describing a sort of cultural posture or personality, what my husband still calls "a dang yuppie." :-) Given that description, I would heartily concur with you about who is more likely to be a snob.

                    1. re: GH1618

                      ah, yes ... the 4-letter definition of foodie.

                      i consider myself a foodie, and also a feminist, so i already have a tough hide, & don't care much how others define the terms i choose.

                      what the term means to me is i love food, i plan for it, i consider it one of life's major pleasures.

                      i still eat fish sticks, a childhood favorite--just had them for dinner, in fact, with a side of fresh asparagus. i like foie gras too, as my name suggests.

                      i cook & bake well, mostly comfort food. i eat ethnic food across the spectrum, enjoy fine dining, am known for being an adventurous eater, will try almost anything once, & still remember the great meal i had in austin after overcoming the urge to walk out due to the overwhelming scent of pinesol. in other words, i dare you to find a trace of snobbery in my approach to food.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        i have a relative who calls himself a gourmand, and in his case anyway, your filing system would work perfectly.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          ok, i have to ask ... what is dirty water hot dog??

                            1. re: Vidute

                              ah. i used to get elotes from a street vendor on a regular basis, but when i saw her fish the plastic bottle of margarine out of the same water as the corn (hers isn't roasted) ... well, i haven't craved that particular version of elotes again. i may have to start making it myself ...

                              1. re: foiegras

                                will you be keeping a bottle of margarine in the water? ;)

                                1. re: Vidute

                                  i will not! if i make it myself, it will be butter.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            sadly, i have often ruined others' photo ops by digging into my food on its arrival. i think all of life is much better savored & remembered rather than photographed.

                            1. re: foiegras

                              That made me smile. I've generally taken at least one bite when I go "oh, shoot, I was going to snap a pic of that."

                          2. I personally hate the term "foodie". It brings to mind someone who follows the latest trends/hip restaurants du jour,always with camera in hand snapping photos of everything they eat. Why not "lover of all things food"?
                            But hey.That's just me... :)

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: petek

                              No it's not...! I also don't like the word foodie. A follower of trends. I actually prefer to use gourmet. Someone who appreciates good food. Not necessarily expensive food, but enjoyable, well prepared, and delicious food and wine.

                              1. re: Gio

                                I don't know, Joe. If I tell someone, "Well, I'm kind of a foodie," I don't feel weird. If I said "I'm a gourmet," I'd be embarassed :)

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  LOL, CO... I usually don't introduce myself as a gourmet, or mention it all for that matter... But I know I am one.

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Yeah, a snob would likely run around calling himself a gourmet, or epicure, when it is inappropriate. The real issue is about knowing and appreciating quality, having an understanding of what one eats, and knowing when it is appropriate to talk about it.

                                    The OP image of eating peanutbutter out of a jar has more to do with being a fattie, not a foodie.

                                    I like to cook, and I like to cook based on ingredients available, so shop daily. I also like quality, so don't want to waste finite number of chews on junk. Not sure that makes me a snob. I'd rather a lobster risotto than buffalo wings, however.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Like you, I seldom add terms, and only say that I enjoy great foods and great wines. I will let others apply the terms, that they think appropriate.

                                      Hunt

                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                        It's more when others comment about my 'proclivity' :) that I might say "well, I guess I'm kinda a foodie" or "yeah, I'm kinda into food" :)

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Yeah, "into food," works well for me too.

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            "yeah, I'm kinda into food".

                                            I say that too, with a smirk - meaning I'm kinda making an understatement. ;-)

                                2. I got started adventurous. I did have strong likes and dislikes, some of which are still with me, but I've always been interested in trying something new. When I was 9 or 10 my grandpa reluctantly gave me one of his treasured afternoon-snack smoked oysters, telling me it was an "acquired taste." To his mingled pleasure and chagrin I acquired it instantly, so for the rest of my visit I got two every afternoon.

                                  The question "Gastronome or snob?" (which is how I'd put it) reminds me of another scene from childhood: I was on a Boy Scouts overnighter, and instead of the usual Oscar Mayer or Hormel hot dogs I'd brought a couple of fat natural-casing garlic wieners, which is what we ate most often at home. One of the guys made some remark about Billy's weird weenies, and when I said they were garlic wieners he sneered and said, "I bet they taste like s**t!" So I was the gastronome and he was the snob.

                                  1. Oh, labels...how they plague us. I don't think I could be labelled a food snob, since I just brought home a bunch of Reese's Pops cereal from the 'railroad salvage' grocery store. On the other hand, if I go out to dinner and you charge me fourteen bucks for a hunk of microwaved food-service lasagna I will be very, very angry. I like to think of the folks in the chowhound community as just very educated about food and the choices we make regarding it.

                                    1. First of all what is a Foodie/Food Snob. Usually itspeople who want to be chef wanna-be's. Maybe have no idea how hard it is to work in heat, hot equipment etc. I am not prissy or precious but I am cynical because I pretty much know the business. Yes I do love Jif from the jar and marshmellow fluff dipping pretzel sticks into it. Truffles I can take them or leave them, only in Italy I only eat the white variety but I love to see how people try to out guess each other. I only frequest a couple of restaurants because I see the menu on line and I can duplicate it easily.

                                      1. "Snob" has nothing to do with whether one prefers expensive or inexpensive fare, or "highbrow" or "lowbrow" tastes in food. It has to do with how one relates to those whose tastes differ. There is nothing wrong with my thinking that my own preferences in food are superior, but if I look down my nose at those who dislike or even don't appreciate the things I most appreciate, that's snobbery.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          Home Run!!!! Out of the park!!!!!!

                                          1. re: GH1618

                                            Now THAT'S a terrific observation. My granddad always said you couldn't tell a gentleman by how "smart he talked...but by how smart he listened."

                                            Kind if the same sentiment.

                                            1. re: GH1618

                                              Or narcissism.

                                              There is reverse snobbery in calling anyone a snob who doesn't share in low brow tastes!

                                            2. I used to be food snob, but I couldn't maintain it. I'd cave for an angry whooper or a cadbury creme egg. I like food from all ends of spectrum from the low-brow to the high brow. Tonight for example I snacked on lays as waited for my lobster to cook. Then I commenced cracking (Since there no dignified way to eat a whole lobster). If I can get better quality stuff, and gourmet things I do but mostly I can only afford the cheapest supermarket brands. But hey, I make it taste good and that's important!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: YAYME

                                                Yayme,

                                                LOL. Safeway had some beautiful lobster tails on sale last week for $5.99 EACH! We broiled 4 of them ate them for lunch. I felt positively decadent. For dinner we had hamburger tacos!

                                                1. re: ItalianNana

                                                  And to think, lobster used to be a poor mans food.

                                                  1. re: Musie

                                                    Oh, and those poor pioneering New Englanders who were forced to subsist on oysters!

                                                    Whatever is plentiful and cheap does tend to be looked down on, and if there isn't anything else to eat it just gets worse. That was the problem with both lobster and oysters. Back then you could just go out at low tide and pick them up. My reaction to that now is unbridled envy, but then I don't know how those folks were fixed for Tabasco or butter …

                                              2. I'm sure there are many who consider me a food snob. I just happen to think they're wrong.

                                                There is nothing snobby about wanting to eat food instead of chemicals and excessive sugar.

                                                I like expensive, elaborate food. I also like inexpensive, simply prepared food.

                                                My biggest requisite is that it has to be FOOD, not monoglycerides and friends.

                                                Labels, bedamned.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                  I have a friend who, when we first met, declared me a food snob because I filter my water. Over the years what came out is that he has no tastebuds or sense of smell. The only food that makes sense to his system is really hot food.

                                                  I told another friend what the first friend had said, and he replied, "Doesn't mean you're wrong." Ever since, I've hated the label less.

                                                  1. re: Jay F

                                                    Sometimes water needs to be filtered. It's just an unpleasant fact. Denial is silly and makes no sense.

                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                    This is me, too. Label me a snob if you want, but I just want real food. I don't eschew fast food because I'm "above" it, it's because I don't want to eat nasty chemicals and HFCS. We have an iron chef owned chain of burgers here and they use fresh ground pat lafrieda beef and duck fat fries - I am not above a burger and fries at all, and I don't go there because it's more expensive or "fancy," it's because it doesn't have chemicals and corn syrup.

                                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                                      Yup. If they don't know the difference, that's their problem, and there's no reason to attack us just because we DO know the difference.

                                                      1. re: rockandroller1

                                                        I do not do a chemical analysis of "fast food," but go for taste.

                                                        If Denny's could wow me, then I would dine there. So be it.

                                                        One restaurant, that DID wow me, was a small, hole-in-the-wall seafood joint in MS. Regardless of the table-clothes, or anything else, their Fried Shrimp were the ultimate. Nothing has been more than close. They beat Michelin 3-starred restaurants, on that one dish.

                                                        If KFC, BK or McD's could grab my culinary attention, then I would dine there. Though it has been decades, or maybe even "half-centuries," I do not hold out any hope. Same for most US "fast-food" restaurants.

                                                        OTOH, going back about 3 decades, we dined at a Golden Corral in Dodge City, and were impressed to no end. However, we have tried that chain in several locations, and have NOT been impressed, and in any way. Such is life.

                                                        Not sure what that makes me, but will accept any term.

                                                        Hunt

                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                          Perhaps we can call you "Bill?"

                                                          Reminds me of a biker bar in southern Virginia where I had the best baked fish I can remember. with properly done french fries.

                                                          Also had forgettable fish at a Michelin 3 star in Paris.

                                                          Go figure.

                                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                                            I completely understand.

                                                            I have been blessed with a great culinary life, but one of the dishes (several times), that always comes to the fore, is the Fried Shrimp at a little dive, Magnusen's House of Seafood, in Gulfport, MS. They were not a place, where you would really want everyone to see your auto, parked outside of, but their Fried Shrimp were 100%, and the paradigm, by which all others shall ever be compared to. Obviously, no Michelin "star," especially as they had a Harrison County Health Code rating of a "D." Until Magnusen's, I though that ALL ratings were "A." Still, over 50+ years of seeking great food, on that dish, they are at the very top of the pyramid - 100%.

                                                            It does not take a bunch of "stars," to have great, memorable food.

                                                            We were just in Paris, and did 2 "Three Starred" restaurants, 1 "One Starred" restaurants, and then three others (one was a bistro, owned by a 3-star chef, from the first group). Well, one of the 3-star restaurants earned each star, and showed us why. The other, well I would not have awarded even 1 star. There was one, with no stars yet, that was right up there, not too far below the good 3-star restaurant. Heck, even the "bistro," (remember, the chef/owner had a 3-star, right around the corner), was totally better than the poor 3-star location. The 1-star (that chef has two 3-star locations elsewhere), was not up to a single star, and was below that bistro. OTOH, in Las Vegas, we did one of that chef's flagship restaurants, and THAT would have gotten 3 stars from me. Also, we had dined at four other of his restaurants, that would have rated well above the Paris location.

                                                            Had Magnusen's fixed the hole in the roof, put table clothes on the Formica tables, and had the waitress wear a tux, then I would have awarded 3 stars, without equivocation, base on the Fried Shrimp. The second best Fried Shrimp was at a "fishing camp restaurant," blown away by Hurricane Camille. The next best is very far below, and with no (US) Michelin "stars." Alas, # 3 is also long gone, but not forgotten.

                                                            Sometimes, the BEST is totally without "stars." Still, they ARE the best, regardless of "health ratings," or any Zagat comments - while they last.

                                                            Hunt

                                                      1. I don't know about calling myself either one - I feel like both terms are kind of 'putting on airs'. I have a huge interest in food, but I also like what I like. Going out on a limb here, sharing what some may think is a sacrilege to a classic recipe, but here goes.

                                                        Tonight I made Julia Child's Beef Bourguinon (sp?), following it pretty much to the letter. And then at the last 15 minutes, I dumped bisquick dumplings on the surface. Yep, I did that. I've made the recipe a bunch of times, and now, I like it with crappy (to some) dumplings.

                                                        I also like ketchup on hot dogs (sometimes!). And if I am drinking really cheap white wine, I like it with ice cubes. But really, why am I wrong? And do I care about any of the people who make these 'rules'? No, I don't think I do. ;)
                                                        I will call myself a 'good eater', I think!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                            1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                              <I dumped bisquick dumplings on the surface. Yep, I did that>

                                                              I'm smiling ear-to-ear.
                                                              Awesome.

                                                            2. Interesting responses. I always considered a "foodie" someone who enjoys and is extraordinarily interested in food, whether eating, preparing, discussing, etc.

                                                              I am proud to call myself a foodie.

                                                              Jerseygirl111

                                                              1. My husband refers to people like us as "picky people" because of the outrage he once experienced from calling someone a foodie. It does have a negative connotation, sort of like "hipster"...

                                                                Someone who introduces him/herself as a gourmand or an epicure will automatically be filed under the douchebag section in my head. Especially those who are Michelin seekers or those who flock to the newest hot opening in town. It doesn't make sense to bring elitism into a part of life that arose out of necessity and evolved into culture. If you eat like a king for one day of the week but eat junk food for the rest of week, what's the point? I'd rather eat great ethnic food or eat glorious produce at home, continuously.

                                                                1. I might well be a "food snob," just as I am with my wines.

                                                                  I want the Earth to move, when I look at a dish, and then taste it.

                                                                  Hunt

                                                                  1. Hmmm no one is copping to being a bit of a glutton?

                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Lillipop

                                                                      Glutton is such a harsh word. I do admit to an an almost insatiable appetite if the right food passes my way, say some fat Maryland steamed crabs.

                                                                      1. re: Vidute

                                                                        I am a glutton. I try to keep it in check because I'd rather not die any sooner than I have to, but there it is. I'm not really a snob - snobs aren't nuts for tuna-noodle casserole made with Cream of Mushroom soup - although I'm scornful of a pretentious local "bistro" that sells a shortcut sous vide rabbit finished in a somewhat mustardy sauce as Lapin à la Moutarde, which it emphatically is not. I think the plain fact is that I love food, I adore good food, and I despise any attempt to pass off a halfhearted fakery as a classic dish whose proper construction is widely known and actually easy to do. It has to be, or I wouldn't have done it!

                                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                                          I was being snide...sorry. I can be a bit of a glutton under certain circumstances too.

                                                                        2. re: Lillipop

                                                                          OK, though one of the Seven Deadly Sins, I will cop to being a glutton, though I often have to hit the Tums, afterward.

                                                                          I have gladly indulged in a few dishes, more than I should have.

                                                                          I must admit that it almost sounds like something from some "12 Step" program, I am also a "snob," when it comes to my food, and my wine. Such is life.

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                            Bill,

                                                                            Oh horrors! Two deadly sins...gluttony AND pride. :-D Bet we're all guilty of both now and then.

                                                                            1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                              Well, to paraphrase Meatload, "two outta' seven ain't bad... " [Grin]

                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                  That might have been a more appropriate name.

                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                    Dang, on a QWETY keyboard, the "d" and the "f" keys are sort of close together. My bad.

                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                  2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                    Put down the wine glass Mr. Hunt.You have had enough you are mispronouncing names:)

                                                                            2. In all honesty, I have no idea the truth definition of a foodie vs a food snob. I am guessing that I am more of a foodie since I am not far from snobbish about foods. I love good foods, and I can distinguish good foods from bad foods. Yet, I rarely consider many foods beneath me. I enjoy various McDonald items like Fish-O-Filet, the new Fish McBite...etc. I enjoy $3 regular Dim Sum (per dish) and enjoy $8 elite Dim Sum. I enjoy dirty water hot dog. I love trying new foods.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                Much of that is made up, as one goes along.

                                                                                There are dozens (maybe hundreds) of threads on "foodies," "chowhounds," "food snobs," "foodistas," an a myriad of other terms, and it seems that most folk have their own definitions.

                                                                                I try to NOT get hung up on the terms, and the definitions that others apply, and just get on with my life.

                                                                                Hunt

                                                                              2. I'd call myself a foodie in that I'm obsessed with all things food related. My wife calls me a food, cigar and whiskey snob.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                  Not a bad calling, IMHO.

                                                                                  What do you think of the Pappy Van Winkle?

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                    Over priced but good whiskey. Great wheater barrel selections can be had for much less.

                                                                                    If its still old Stitzel Weller juice it gets points for great whiskey that is hard to come by these days. If not its from selected Buffalo Trace wheater selections which are excellent but are available for less without the Pappy Van Winkle label. Again it's great bourbon but the hype has pushed the price beyond its worth to me

                                                                                  2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                    All things! I will pore over catalogs of food items even thought I honestly know that I already own most of those things or, if I don't, I don't really need it. For instance, baking supplies. But I enjoy the process.

                                                                                  3. I have no problem with the word foodie as long as people understand that it is used broadly. I generally take it to mean someone with above average interest in trying and thinking about good food. I wouldn't call a person a gourmand or epicure or connoisseur unless they have demonstrably superior food knowledge and/or tastebuds. Also, I rarely if ever hear a person being referred to as an epicure or gourmand in conversation, just connoisseur. If a person refers to self as an epicure or a gourmand, I might assume they have expensive tastes, and they may or may not be snobs, may or may not actually possess superior food knowledge.

                                                                                    I believe some people dislike the term foodie because its broadness lumped them with certain unsavory types of people, one of which is food snob. Another type is the trend-following people who think they are more into good eating--which is becoming much more mainstream--than they really are. Taking pictures of food is such a huge thing now that I see people refer to someone they know as foodie simply by noticing the huge amount of food pictures they are sharing, or the Yelp reviews they are writing. Certainly a small subset of that are adventurous, enjoy reading food literature, maybe know a lot, but many more just go out to eat a lot. So it's understandable that many of the what I think of as more old school foodies dislike the term. I just don't think epicure or gourmand or glutton are very good answers.

                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Dio Seijuro

                                                                                      Dio,

                                                                                      Sounds good to me.

                                                                                      I find the arguments on terms to be tiring. There are many threads (over the years), on such.

                                                                                      It seems that each person responding, has their own, and personal idea of what the various terms mean.

                                                                                      I enjoy food. I spend time on ChowHound. I love fine to great wines. I will book my restaurants, months in advance, for a trip. I want to experience many different foods, and wines. I look for dining experiences, that take me "to a whole new level." What am I? I seldom will apply any one term, but others might, and gladly so. Such is life.

                                                                                      As for the food photographs, just last night, we were seated in a group of eight. Not THAT far away, two couples used flash photography for every dish, that each ordered. In the dark restaurant, it was like being hit in the face by a bolt of lightening, but they claimed that they were all "food bloggers," and that everyone in that restaurant just needed to "get over it," as they had followers on FaceBook, Twitter, and they posted to Yelp. Well, so much for MY enjoyment at that restaurant.

                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                        I was at a restaurant last night where somebody was photographing the hell out of a group, I think, rather than the food, and she was using the red-eye reduction feature, which tripled the number of lightning bolts per shot. Thank God they didn't seem to be photographing the food, too.

                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                          My eyes ache for you. We had similar, in a resort setting, very recently. Not much fun, when one is "down wind" from all the strobes.

                                                                                          I kept reaching for my 45, thinking that we were under attack, and my wife would place her hand on my mine, and whisper, "It's OK. They are only taking a bunch of photographs."

                                                                                          I am getting to the point that I am starting to greatly resent being intruded upon. I pay big $'s for MY dining experience, and am getting rather "put-out," by being intruded upon. This happens with both individual photography, as well as shooting the food on the table. Leave me alone!

                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                            That is funny Bill Hunt.....reaching for your 45:) People can be brash and abrasive in public venues and just ruin it for those of us who have decent manners and want to enjoy our dining experience.

                                                                                            1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                              Well, obviously that was hyperbole, as I would never shoot a photographer... unless they were armed, and meant to do me harm. Most are just totally clueless, and could care less about their impact on other diners. They, like too many others, are so self-centered, that they do not consider the others around them.

                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                              PS - I felt the need to point out the hyperbole, due to the outcry from many on CH, when I euphemistically cited "slap their hand... " regarding having my plate removed from in front of me, while in "mid-bite."

                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                but a fan-belt timing gun (re a strobe) would be an appropriate sidearm in this situation.

                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                  Yes. I can see that working too.

                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                            2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                              Bill, you and I are in agreement on this issue. I hate food photography in restaurants - it is tacky. I am very tempted to make a batch of chocolate poo (see link below for recipe) and then present it on a side plate and ask if they would like to take a photo of the end result.

                                                                                              http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk/bl...

                                                                                              I have started blocking friends on my Facebook that persist in posting pictures of their restaurant dinner. I can live with things they have cooked. I guess it comes from being of the generation where "playing with your food" would get the plate removed and what ever was left going in the bin (or the dog).

                                                                                              1. re: PhilipS

                                                                                                Recently, at a very high-end London restaurant, one couple insisted on photographing every dish, from many angles. They even asked us to move to the side, so that we would not be in some of the photographs. Both were using flash, and one a DSLR, while the other had a point-n-shoot. Let's just say that I was not amenable to that request.

                                                                                                Your idea looks like a good way to curtail the chronicling of every aspect of one's life - and meal.

                                                                                                I feel that anyone really into food (whatever term they ascribe to themselves), do not care to bother others - just enjoy their dishes - or I hope so.

                                                                                                I have ceased even doing reviews of meals, if we are with guests, or companions, as our mutual enjoyment of the food is enough. I do not have time to stop the conversation, and take notes. Also, menus change with such regularity, that what I write about today, might well be missing the next week.

                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                            I believe the correct term for that kind of "foodie" is "jerk."

                                                                                            At that point I would have complained to the manager.

                                                                                            If the manager didn't take some corrective action, (having them stop, changing tables) I would begin the discussion of whether I should have to pay for a diner in a disorderly restaurant.

                                                                                        2. Always more than happy to be described as a foody or to describe myself as one.

                                                                                          It's a word that's generally, and easily, understood by folk. It may not convey to them exactly how I think of myself, but it's close enough

                                                                                          1. I think foodie and food snob are sometimes used interchangably, even though they don't mean the same thing. I always think of foodies as people with an above average interested in food; cooking and/or eating. Food snobs seem to have more of a negative connotation.

                                                                                            For myself, I'm only a beginning cook, but I've had a lifelong obsession with food. Dining out and trying different foods are my husband and my favorite past times. I love and enjoy all aspects of the food world, it's just recently though that I decided I needed to start cooking.

                                                                                            However, I will say I'm not terribly picky. I love upscale restaurants, but I'll eat at an Applebees on occasion or indulge in PEEPS during easter season. So maybe I'm neither a foodie or a food snob. I might just be a glutton ;)

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: kdlalib

                                                                                              kdlalib,

                                                                                              Nope, I'd call you someone I'd like to break bread with.

                                                                                            2. I am a foodie and damn proud of it! I am as comfortable eating good food from a Mexican street vendor as I am an Alabama mom-and-pop diner or a New York Michelin 3-Star restaurant. Good food is good food no matter how expensive the ingredients or trained the cook.

                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                That's why I don't consider myself a snob. Street food to mom/pop hole in the walls are okay by me. I'm all about the food and actually don't like some of the "celebrity" chef restaurants. Too much hype and usually too noisy to enjoy a meal with conversation.

                                                                                                Whether it's food, wine, whiskey or cigars I want it to be good. And if the cost benefit/enjoyment ratio is in my favor so much the better.

                                                                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                    "I am a foodie and damn proud of it! I am as comfortable eating good food from a Mexican street vendor as I am an Alabama mom-and-pop diner or a New York Michelin 3-Star restaurant. Good food is good food no matter how expensive the ingredients or trained the cook."

                                                                                                    I think by well worn definition, that makes you a 'hound not a foodie. http://www.chow.com/manifesto

                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                      "I think by well worn definition, that makes you a 'hound not a foodie"

                                                                                                      http://www.chow.com/manifesto

                                                                                                      Nice! Still hate labels though...

                                                                                                      1. re: petek

                                                                                                        As do I, but that manifesto always seems applicable every time another one of these "semantic" threads comes up. Plus, in a sense, isn't that what we all "signed up" for?

                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                          Whereas, I think that 'manifesto' is a form of reverse snobbery. In addition, no one other than a CH knows what a CH is.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                            I have issues with the term "reverse snobbery"; the same as I do with with "reverse prejudice"; it's just snobbery and prejudice, there's no "reverse" about it!

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              But you get my point, I'm sure. That manifesto irked from the first time I read it, probably five years ago. Setting one's self up as somehow better than another is never okay.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                Yes. Creating terminology, that elevates a subscriber to a Web site over others (any Web site), is demeaning, at least to me.

                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              You are unfamiliar with Private Snafu:

                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH6okY...

                                                                                                              The poem may have been by Dr. Seuss.

                                                                                                          2. re: petek

                                                                                                            Well, much depends on the source of the terms.

                                                                                                            I agree with the hatred for "labels," and try to never, never use them. I'll let others discuss those, ad nauseam, and never bat an eye.

                                                                                                            While I do enjoy ChowHound, I get a bit miffed, with some of the terminology.

                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                          3. re: MGZ

                                                                                                            <<Good food is good food no matter how expensive the ingredients or trained the cook.">>

                                                                                                            I think that you have nailed it - and if you, or I, enjoy that, what do we care what others typify us as?

                                                                                                            Call me whatever you wish, but never late for great food.

                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                        2. i guess i'm in the middle of the range you describe.
                                                                                                          i don't like "truffle infused" stuff.
                                                                                                          once went to a high-end sushi bar and the sushi chef mistakenly thought he could improve on the terrific fish by putting some shaved truffle on top.
                                                                                                          not only was it horribly costly, but the taste of the item was horrible as well.

                                                                                                          but, on the other hand, i won't consume the calories associated with peanut butter if Skippy is all that is available.
                                                                                                          i'll pay the $7/jar for Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted peanut butter any day, but Skippy doesn't get past my lips.

                                                                                                          dunno what that makes me in your eyes.
                                                                                                          apply whatever label you like.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                            Truffles CAN be great - or not worth the $ on some dishes. It depends on the dish, at least to me.

                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                              Right! There is reverse snobbery in rejecting a class of flavors because of what the class is, not because of personal preference. No one is required to like truffles, but rejecting the idea of truffle flavoring because of the image of abuse of truffle flavoring is anti-intellectual and ignorant.

                                                                                                              There was a blind tasting of wine performed a few years back that challenged a bunch of oenophiles to identify room temp red versus while wine in opaque mugs. Only about 20% was able to do so. Many misinterpreted the results to say there isn't much difference between the wines, rather than the truth that there are many poseurs, some very knowledgeable and that there is an important element of psychology behind the enjoyment of a food experience.

                                                                                                              1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                Food, just like wines, will often have those, who only wish to detract, an obfuscate the real qualities offered.

                                                                                                                With wines, about every 10 years, we get a great hew and cry from the ABC (Anything BUT Cabernet {Sauvignon}, or anything BUT Chardonnay) crowd. They wring their hands, scream and shout, and then disappear.

                                                                                                                Truffels, mushrooms in general, the "catch of the day (pick your fish), or "fill in the blank" will be out of "wheel house" for many, depending on what they typify themselves as. Whatever the "dish du jour" is, they will hate it, or love it - just depends. They are what some term as "sheeple." They have no clue, but only need to hear of something to follow.

                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                          2. A foodie to me embraces all types of food, has an interest in trying something new and is open minded. Sometimes I take shortcuts other times I make everything from scratch. I did cook for a shelter and helped to feed very hungry people and that has given me a perception of food. Food is love.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                              nice. reminds of the T-day I spent at a church food mission, we were serving cheap processed turkey, potatoes and gravy from mixes, and canned sides. the snot in me thought "oh your poor folks, having to eat this" but the appreciation was real and deep as they came back for seconds and took covered plates to go. at that point the more rational voice inside said "you stupid asshat, this is quite possibly the only hot meal they'll have for some time" it is about perspective and respect.

                                                                                                            2. I have an inbuilt dislike of snobs of any form. My Mum tried her best to be a snob, but me, my Dad and my sisters put a stop to that.

                                                                                                              I love food, but I hate waste and unnecessary extravagance. For a lot of food and especially wine, the rule of diminishing returns applies. Will I really get £470s worth of extra enjoyment drinking that exclusive £500 bottle of red against a £30 rioja. The answer will be no.

                                                                                                              The only reason that most people will drink the £500 bottle of wine is so they can brag about it and I covered my thoughts on the subject recently on my blog - when does sharing become bragging.

                                                                                                              http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk/bl...

                                                                                                              Foodies will share - a snob will brag.

                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: PhilipS

                                                                                                                Aw, I don't think the wine (or food) thing is so correct. Bill Hunt above has a bigger budget than I do and an educated and refined palate. For those TWO reasons, he absolutely should have those more expensive wines. Even if I had the budget, I just don't have that much interest in wine though I drink it every day. So it wouldn't be worth it to me.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  But how often will the purchaser of a £500 bottle of wine find it so good he has to share it with the next table?

                                                                                                                  If I find a food gem, especially if it is a new recipe, then I will make it and share it with my friends.

                                                                                                                  Someone once said to me "a wine snob will choose the most expensive bottle of wine on the wine menu, a wine expert will select something from the lower range that will delight"

                                                                                                                  1. re: PhilipS

                                                                                                                    I was replying to your

                                                                                                                    "The only reason that most people will drink the £500 bottle of wine is so they can brag about it" I just don't think that's so. The ONLY reason?

                                                                                                                    I also feel that comparing sharing part of your meal with a stranger (which I've done btw) and sharing good food at home with your friends is just a little apple-y/orange-y. I mean no offense. Just one old lady's POV.

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      From one old lady to another, that's a fine POV!

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        Sheesh! And exactly when did you get "old"????

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                          The only reason that I would do so, is because I think that it would pair with my ___, which I am having.

                                                                                                                          As for sharing my dinner wines, I have done just that on many occasions and for different reasons.

                                                                                                                          On Maui, some years ago, we had both a fine Montrachet, and then a Nuit St. Georges. We could not drink all of either, and there was a lovely couple, at the next table. They had a nice bottle of wine, and were enjoying it, and I offered tastes of our two bottles. As it happened to be the lady's birthday, it was greatly appreciated. As it turned out, the gentleman was the exec. chef for several local restaurants. We spoke for a very long time, about foods and wines. On our next trip to Maui, we dined with him, and he remembered the shared Burgs. Let's just say that he repaid us, several times over, from his restaurant's wine list, though that was NEVER a thought, that crossed my mind. I just wanted to share a couple of great wines, with a lovely couple, who would appreciate them - nothing else.

                                                                                                                          When there is no "lovely couple" handy, I share with the sommelier, the server, the chef, the owner, or maybe even the valet (if he/she does not have to drive my auto very far). Maui, the year before, we had a lovely Montrachet, along with a few other wines. We only had to drive up the road to the Ritz-Carlton. Our server was great, but she'd never tasted any of the wines that we ordered. As we dined long an hard, and the restaurant was almost empty, we invited her to grab a few glasses, to sit down at our table, and sample the wines. I explained each to her, and educated her, as to the grape, the style, the country/region of origin, and had great fun. Not sure if I created a "wine snob," but suppose that the potential was there. So be it. I always want to share my love for both food, and wine.

                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                            This is one of those times that I wish CH had a 'like' button. Your post epitomizes all that's right in a perfect food world. thanks, sir.

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              [Insert great big grin here]

                                                                                                                              Thank you. That is most kind, and appreciated.

                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        It IS about the inherent interest. For me (and my loving wife), it's about both food and wine. While I am willing to pay big $'s for the "right" wine, I also do not mind a great pairing, with one that is a great value, and at a great price. To me/us, it's about the sum of the parts, regardless of the price - either high, or low.

                                                                                                                        As for the consumption of an expensive wine, that should be left to the diner. After all, it is about their tastes, and their budget, and not something that really needs to be dissected by others. What might be my ultimate "dinner wine," might well be a lunchtime, starter wine for others. That is just how it is. If I like the £500 bottle of ___, vs the £30 Rioja, and can afford it, what is the problem? Now, I have had several £30 Riojas, and passed on many more expensive wines, but it depends on the wines, the meal, and what is available on the wine list.

                                                                                                                        If my choices make me a "wine snob," or a "food snob," then so be it. I can live with it.

                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                      3. re: PhilipS

                                                                                                                        If you typify me as a snob, either food, or wine related, then such is life. I doubt that you would not like me, even a little, as I will seek out the best foods and wines, that I can, and never look back.

                                                                                                                        Sorry that we could not be friends.

                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                          Sorry if you took my comments personally, they were not directed at you.

                                                                                                                          I do find the whole "Michelin Star/Celebrity Chef" thing a bit pretentious. I would liken it to the purchase of a Ferrari. The prime reason for someone (and note I use the word prime, not only), is so that they can drive it round town and get noticed.

                                                                                                                          Someone else might by a Ferrari as they are interested in the handling, performance and quality of ride. There is a big difference between the two.

                                                                                                                          I have no problem with people buying Ferraris (or spending so much on wine/food), but when they see the need to overly broadcast it, then it becomes vulgar.

                                                                                                                          Maybe it is not the same in the US, but in the UK we have a network of food bloggers who seem to compete to eat their way round the Michelin Guide, occasionally publicising some pretty critical reviews, often to garner fame. Many have turned it into a full time occupation with the complimentary Twitter account.

                                                                                                                          ETA - interestingly, a lot of people find their way to my blog by putting "food/wine snob" in google. Usually with the addition of the word annoying.

                                                                                                                          1. re: PhilipS

                                                                                                                            I did not take things personally, but felt that I needed to comment, as several recent posts HAVE included references to Michelin Stars - for the better, or the worse.

                                                                                                                            While we do enjoy many "Starred" restaurants, that is not the ultimate test. Some are worthy, but a few have not been. Such is life.

                                                                                                                            When I pass on, I highly doubt that my wife will add "He accumulated __ Michelin Stars," to my headstone.

                                                                                                                            When looking into restaurant reservations, I use many sources to help me. CH is one, Michelin is another, and then maybe the Relais & Chateau book, or some food bloggers. I use to rely on the "Wine Spectator," to help me, but then they let me down, so very many times, that I no longer look to them.

                                                                                                                            Just looking at the US (recent addition to Michelin), I have already experienced some issues. Were I doing the rating, a few would be elevated, while some others would be a real puzzle, and I would ask "What did I miss?"

                                                                                                                            One diner's 3-Star, might well be another's 1-Star. It just happens.

                                                                                                                            In the US, the UK and Europe, I have used Michelin Stars, and most have been very close, to what I expected, but then, there have been a few, where I just scratched my head, and wondered, "Just what did I miss?"

                                                                                                                            OTHO, I have felt similar, with some CH recs., and I tend to really trust CH. Then, I look at some of the CH replies to MY recs., and understand that all do not see a restaurant, through the same "frame of reference," as I do. Such is life.

                                                                                                                            Do not worry that I might have taken anything personally, and I hope that my reply was open enough, that it might be useful to others.

                                                                                                                            I only wish to experience the greatest dining experiences, and then to help others have such experiences.

                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                              I agree with you, Bill, about the Michelins. I usually enjoy meals at starred restaurants but do wonder, on occasions, how on earth a place has got its billing. I have a place in the UK in mind whrere we had a perfectly acceptable meal but was it worth its one star? Well, maybe it was. But then, if it is, I could think of many other places where I've eaten similar or better quality food that have no stars. Should they have stars as well?

                                                                                                                              At the end of the day, I'm usually just looking for a nice dinner for the two of us to enjoy. Sometimes a 3* place hits the mark, other times the village bistro does nicely.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                John (do not want to omit that "r"),

                                                                                                                                I agree with you. We have had some great service and food, with zero stars, 1, 2 and 3 stars.

                                                                                                                                Usually, one can gather enough data to support the stars, though not always. Too bad that it is not fail-safe.

                                                                                                                                We often "treat ourselves," and dine "up," with high hopes. As Chief Dan George stated, "Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it does not."

                                                                                                                                I feel the same with recommendations from various Web sites - sometimes the recs. are good, but sometimes they are not. CH has been the best, overall in my estimation, and I have dropped even searching a few others. OTOH, I have had major issues with some of the recs. on CH, in areas where I dine frequently. They have either found a "trapdoor" to a different dimension, or I have fallen though one. Some restaurants, where we have had just horrible experiences, have a major following by others. That is just the way that it is.

                                                                                                                                I would enjoy being in the cadre, that samples restaurants around the world, but I might have problems with the final ratings - especially near the top of the heap.

                                                                                                                                Keeping to Michelin Stars, I have had some stellar dinners at restaurants with 1-Star, but have had rather poor experiences at two 3-Star restaurants. Seems that the 2-Star places have met with my expectations.

                                                                                                                                We are dining at a 3-Starred chef's US restaurant this weekend. I do not know if Michelin US has awarded any Stars to the particular restaurant. We are expecting great things, regardless of any rating for that restaurant.

                                                                                                                                A few months ago, we did another US location, for a chef with 3 Michelin Stars (do not know what the rating of that particular restaurant was?), and it WAS outstanding, and in every respect. We had recently dined at his restaurants in both Soho, London and Paris, and the staff at each, indicated that the US location was that chef's favorite, of his entire portfolio. After dining there, I understand that rec., and from his staff in UK/Euro. Still, with absentee chefs, with fame under their belts, it CAN be a crap shoot. Same for famous US chefs, when their corporation expands - maybe great, but maybe not?

                                                                                                                                At the end of my day, I want VALUE for my $'s, when dining. That means service, food, wine and wine service.

                                                                                                                                Now, if dining at a mom-n-pop, in Middle America, I do not hold out much hope for the wines, and the wine service, and would not likely grade them down on those aspects. To expect something else, would be naive on my part. OTOH, if there are Michelin Stars involved, I do not cut much slack.

                                                                                                                                Cheers,

                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                I find there are so many variables in any given restaurant experience that my observation is that a three star restaurant may or may not deliver three star food on any given occasion. I'm always grateful if a restaurant pulls it off, but things like ambient humidity, the weather the week a vegetable was harvested, whether the chef's "pinch" of tarragon is the same size tonight as it was a month ago... TONS of variables and all play into how well the meal goes. I've had several friends who were chefs but I have NEVER wanted to be one! The pressure of having to make a dish taste exactly the same night after night to keep the customers satisfied is my idea of agony. But I have had a fun meal or two in restaurants where the chef was a friend, came out to chat a moment before we ordered, and our order was, "If you have the time and inclination, why not just have fun cooking up whatever seems like fun to you and we'll have a blast eating it!" And so we did! '-)

                                                                                                                                If a three star restaurant turns out to be "in the ball park," I'm always grateful. Bear in mind that having a very sensitive palate and an acute food memory can be a terrible curse!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                  I do agree. The exact night of the experience can make a big difference.

                                                                                                                                  By a rough translation of the Michelin Guide, "a 3-star restaurant is one, which will reward the diner, if they have to deviate from their travel plans, to dine there." I have dined at several such restaurants, and drove a total of 500 extra miles for one, without any "Stars."

                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                        2. I don't tag myself with any food related labels that I can think of... Well, maybe I would spring for "food adventurer." I figure I'm only here once that I know of for sure, and it would be a terrible shame to miss anything! Cooking is an adventure and eating is the reward. Possibly why the Greeks call food "trophy?" '-)

                                                                                                                          41 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                            there's a term I could accept: "trophist" unusual enough to be only a bit pretentious and yet enough to simply confuse!

                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                              Sometimes, I have to admit to being a "trophist," as I have collected some Michelin "stars," and also popped the corks on a few wines, about which leather-bound books have been written.

                                                                                                                              However, those were not my purposes - only to enjoy. Anything else was, as we said in New Orleans, "lagniappe."

                                                                                                                              Hunt - who is never "without sin."

                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                or I suppose in the English-speaking world we could re-spell it as "trough-ist" and dispel any perceived 'uppity' factor.

                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                  So funny that people are so worried about seeming "uppity?" At what point does that become anti-intellectual?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                    My father used to tell me not to, "put on airs," as I moved about the kingdom...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                        So the nickname "Douchey" doesn't get affixed to one...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                                                                            But if stupid and ignorant people want to call me names, I would take that as a badge of honor.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                      "At what point does (the use of uppity) become anti-intellectual?"

                                                                                                                                      I dunno law_ - when curiosity dies? I can name a number of writers, thinkers and artists who push the envelope, but don't project the negative connotation of 'uppity'. one can find oneself identified by others as a member of an elite, and not be an elitist (yet to claim that title is to be uppity)

                                                                                                                                      in hindsight, perhaps I should have used the term 'precious'

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                        Kinda funny to think of low class people disparaging those they obviously envy, while other low class people emulate them, proving to be poseurs, while many high class people are nothing but poseurs themselves.

                                                                                                                                        All of this is a distraction from the more valid distinction between those who know what they are doing and like versus those beholdant to the whims and tastes of others? An educated and studied opinion is different from a trendy one. And sophistication is not the same as pretense, which can be fake sophistication as much as fake disdain for sophistication.

                                                                                                                                        Anyone here ever see the movie "Educating Rita?"

                                                                                                                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                          "Rita" is a GREAT movie.

                                                                                                                                          that scene in the pub, what her mother says, is almost heartbreaking.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                            And a great exposition of how to value value.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                A shame not many here recognize this movie; it is so on point to this discussion. Who really can appreciate value, and more to the point, what is education versus discernment!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                                  "don't you just adore Mahler... I'd simply die w/o Mahler" - snob.

                                                                                                                                                  "sometimes I just wish there were other songs to sing" - curiosity.

                                                                                                                                                  wording is of course approximate.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                    <"don't you just adore Mahler... I'd simply die w/o Mahler" - snob.>

                                                                                                                                                    Why "snob"? I haven't seen this movie, but I do "just adore Mahler." I don't know that I'd "simply die without Mahler," but my musical life would be a lot less rich.

                                                                                                                                                    Doesn't sound like a snob to me.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                      Wow!

                                                                                                                                                      That is one heck of a loose association.

                                                                                                                                                      You mean Malher, the food supplement, right?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                          What are you talking about?

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, being snarky.

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.malher.com/

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                        in the movie, the character Rita, in an attempt to 'improve' herself, moves in with someone prone to pointless poseur drama, and it's no comment on Mahler specifically, he was just an innocent bystander. could have subbed in Tchaikovsky or Strauss, or hell even 'Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys' for that matter.

                                                                                                                                                        point being, the roommate likes Mahler because she thinks she's supposed to, not because she truly does.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks. I've only seen the Mahler moment in that movie. It gets talked about in Mahler fora, but I never had any real context for it besides its being some sort of roommate hunting situation.

                                                                                                                                                          I've loved Mahler's music from the first moment I heard it, and it's turned into a 20+ year major musical interest. So to see it disparaged in this way, well, I had to at least find out what you were talking about.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                            I think the character goes on to kill herself, too.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                                              I remember she tried at least. IMHO a suicide attempt would have been a better plot point than a complete one.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                              I believe the point is, Mahler isn't being disparaged in any way, shape or form. It's a commentary about peoples affectation of something because they think it makes them "classier" (all classical music pun intended), not because they actually love (or even like) Mahler - or any other composer (or proclaim a phony interest of anything else) you might care to name.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                Jay - that's cool as we all have are own tastes, the issue being, does one develop them independently (as you did with Mahler, or I did with Mozart) or were they adopted due to outside influences?

                                                                                                                                                                the snob issue I think starts when curiosity dies. if you were to say there was no other composer worthy of listening to or 'X' food was the only worthwhile eating, I'd ignore that advice (and you) double-damn quick. but then I like surprises. like the dead mouse I found in my closet tonight. I'm wondering if I should mummify it or pickle it like last year's snake. the fur is the (yeah take it as a cheap pun) fuzzy part

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                  And that is the point, that there are face stuffers, pretentious poseurs, and those who do, at least, try to achieve discernment. I think of those who describe wine only in terms of Parker points, Yeech!

                                                                                                                                                                  I do recommend the Malher spices and bouillon.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                  When I was, but a child, my parents enrolled me in a pre-school, before those were popular. After the first week, the headmaster sent a letter, that I was "uppity." Somehow, I did not see that as bad, but apparently she did?

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe I carried that attitude with me, into adult life?

                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                3. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                                  I think that most of the people on CH who are truly knowledgable, in a very broad sense, about food, food culture, cooking and enjoying great food and drink...like hill for instance, have zero need or desire to be uppity, put on airs, look down their noses or brag about their knowledge or experiences. They recognize that their love of good food is a joy they can't help but share. They would never put someone down who eats peanut butter from a jar. They would, in fact, strive not to be "uppity" or sound like a pseudo-intellectual because it would undermine their goal. They delight in sharing what they know and love with other CHounders who are less (or more) knowledgable, experienced, affluent or sophisticated. This site provide a rare, even unique place for people of every background and ability to share, teach and learn about the ONE thing we have in common...love of cooking and eating. I can't even imagine the respected regulars here referring to people with different experiences and preferences as "stupid and ignorant."

                                                                                                                                                  And for that I am deeply grateful.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                    LOL! There's an amusing mental image: "Trophist" vs "troughist." Could this be similar to today's conflict between "gourmet" (a connoisseur) and gourmand (a glutton)? hmmm... Very interesting!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                      I could imagine it being a differentiating factor between one who enjoys food, and one who wants servings, so large, that will feed a family of 10 for a week.

                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                        I was imagining the moniker "Troughist" would accept the fascination and enthusiasm for food, but not the precious terms like "gastronaut" or "foodinista".

                                                                                                                                                        quality vs. quantity is always an individual's reference point. I'm borderline anorexic, yet here I am yakking/tapping away. I'd much rather allow the category of troughist or foochebag over gourmand, gourmet or even 'hound for that matter.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                          "gastronaut" where no man has gone before....

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                                            Hm-m-m, there could well be some negative connotations to that, but then, maybe not?

                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                            Ah, even more terms to consider.

                                                                                                                                                            For me, quality always trumps quantity, and by a very large margin. I cannot recall any dining experience, where I wished that I had been given more food. Now, there were a few dishes, that could have been larger, but usually a few others, that could have been smaller.

                                                                                                                                                            While I no issues with "leftovers," I seldom dine, hoping to have any scraps, to take away.

                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                              I'm in that dine-out leftover camp as well, but find myself making ridiculous amounts for friends and family at home. then the challenge is how does it morph into something different, yet equal. I strive to make quality in quantity as my eating habits are not those of others.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                Because were are but a couple, leftovers normally only do an additional night (there have been exceptions), and when we entertain, that meal is usually totally new.

                                                                                                                                                                Nowadays, most of our out-of-home dining is when traveling. There are often no kitchens, to reheat leftovers, so we seldom even think about them.

                                                                                                                                                                At home, there have been leftovers brought home, but too many get placed in the 'fridge in the garage, and then end up in the trash on Friday morning. I hate that, but it happens.

                                                                                                                                                                Now, at home, we do "spice up" leftovers, to change them. Sometimes, that works, but often it does not.

                                                                                                                                                                I also find that many dishes change, almost at a molecular level, when reheated. We never mic the dishes, but still, things seem to change, and they are seldom as good, as the dish was, fresh from the kitchen (ours, or a restaurant's).

                                                                                                                                                                When we do cook for friends, we try to send them home with leftovers. Many of our friends do the same, and especially one couple, that does not do leftovers, so everything heads out the door in a Glad container.

                                                                                                                                                                In restaurants, my ideal is to have many different tastes, and different textures, to have little, to nothing, on each plate, and not leave totally stuffed. In most cases, a "Chef's Tasting Menu" does a nice job of this - at least for us. However, even with a few of those, the portions were sized too large. I have had 15 - 19 course tasting menus, that were just perfect in size. Lot of different foods, but portion size chosen for the number of courses. But, I have had 4-course tasting menus, where the portions were just too large, especially the mains.

                                                                                                                                                                Since the concept of "small plates" has become so popular, I am heading more in that direction, if there is not a true tasting menu. We also find that we split several "apps," and eschew main-courses, when appropriate. Less food per dish, but lots of different foods.

                                                                                                                                                                I cannot recall the last time that I left any restaurant, and felt hungry. Some complain about that, but not me. In the US, I still feel that too many restaurants provide portions, that are embarrassingly large. Probably the one that comes to my mind was the Old Hickory Steakhouse in Nashville, TN. The food was just perfect, but the portions were overly-large, and they are in a Gaylord resort, so many diners do not have the ability to refrigerate, or reheat leftovers. Lot of good things happening there, BUT the portions were just over the top. We dined there on our first night of an event, and discovered the sizes. In the course of the evening, I spoke with the GM, and asked about those, including the smallest Beef Filet being a 12 oz offering. He indicated that he WAS going to put the 6 oz serving back on the menu, since he'd had many, like me, who pined for a smaller cut of beef.

                                                                                                                                                                Two nights later, we were hosted at that same restaurant. I whispered to our host, that the portions were very large, but he insisted on 8 side-dishes for our table. We probably had 20 lbs. of food, left over. Some folk just do not listen. I hope that the Petite Filet is back on the menu!

                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                              2. I remember seeing a game show on TV and the category was announced as Food, and the contestant gushed "oh goody, I am a foodie." Yet I don't recall others ever saying the same thing about other categories like history, religion, science - 'Oh goody I am a Scientist!' Or, 'Oh goody, I am a Theologian!' if the announced category was in their line of study.

                                                                                                                                                She got the answer wrong.

                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                    why is that not terribly surprising? I'm really into bats and cows and lots of things but wouldn't claim to know much about them.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                      Into them as in dining on them? Or into them as in finding them interesting to study?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                                                                                        while I'm tempted to let you wonder on that one... (smirk), it's the behavior I find interesting. the social interaction they display. cows are more complex than one might imagine.

                                                                                                                                                        there was one today as we were pulling the truck out of the mud, clearly 'great with child' whose last (yearling) calf was yet hanging close, much to the senior's annoyance while she anticipates the next. just the writing on the wall for a Bovine/Freudian heartbreak. </hillbilly poseur existential distance>

                                                                                                                                                        bats, ehh I don't have the patience to truly watch them (takes too much gear).

                                                                                                                                                        as far as eating, our North American species? may as well do sparrows (ortolan?) and w/o the fear of rabies.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                          I have never seen a bat in my life. I have seen cows and interacted (well it was me talking) with them. They are such huge sweet creatures.Can't blame the poor knocked up again cow for being annoyed with her demanding calf.

                                                                                                                                                  2. How's this:

                                                                                                                                                    A "foodie/CH" will have no problem eating at, say, one of Fiere's DDDs, while a "food snob" will eat only high-end meals, no matter how mediocre they are....?

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Michelly

                                                                                                                                                      that's why I like the term 'troughist' it covers all the bases, assuming the bases are good of course....

                                                                                                                                                    2. Same with being an adventurous eater. Price doesn't dictate food quality. I have eaten at both high end establishments and "street food". I encourage my family to do the same and be worldly when it comes to food. Some of the best foods from our travels rival those served in expensive restaurants.