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I'm outing myself!

I don't think I am a Chowhound after all!

I have no interst in visiting any Asian country and eating "exotic" street food with the locals. I find molecular gastronomy ridiculous. I could never eat an 11-course tasting menu. 3-4 courses is fine with me. I don't consciously seek out farm to table, organic ingredients for every meal I eat. I am not above eating at chains or fast food restaurants.

There. I said it. I feel alot better now. Thanks.

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  1. Not everyone here is a foodie. It's ok.

    15 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Define "foodie?" I love food, dine out at very good restaurants frequently, can cook and bake to the degree I had a dinner party and people were thanking me up to 2 weeks later for how good it was, I love to read about food, watch cooking shows, etc. I would never call myself a "foodie" as I believe it has negative, elitist connotations. I really just define myself as a person who has food as a hobby and interest. Is that what a "foodie" or "chowhound" is?

      1. re: ttoommyy

        That question is covered in another recent thread, but I don't remember where.

        1. re: ttoommyy

          Any time a friend or acquaintance calls themselves a "foodie", I run in the other direction when they suggest places to eat.

          1. re: valerie

            I'm with you! However, I must admit that besides being a chilihead, chilehead and cultivator of the hottest chiles (hot peppers) that I can find, I am also a chili snob. NO BEANS AND OTHER FILLERS IN CHILI.

              1. re: wadejay26

                Nah, just people who use the word, not people who are enthusiastic about food.

                1. re: mcf

                  "Nah, just people who use the word, not people who are enthusiastic about food."


                  1. re: mcf

                    I love people who are enthusiastic about food, which is why I am here! But in my experience, self proclaimed "foodies" are not the people I trust when choosing restaurants.

                    1. re: mcf

                      what if they are BOTH:
                      people who use the word
                      people who are enthusiastic (and knowledgable about food)?

                      not necessarily mutually exclusive, ya know

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        I guess in that case, I'd cringe inwardly at use of the word and be polite.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Either way, as discussed below, they ain't 'hounds.

                      2. re: wadejay26

                        Awesome,....I'm saying that all weekend!

                      3. re: valerie

                        Yeah, I have really come to hate the term "foodie."

                        1. re: Heatherb

                          Particularly when self applied.

                    2. re: GH1618

                      Always happy to be described as a foody (or, if pushed, to self-describe). Might not describe me perfectly, but it's the best term I can think of. If nothing else, it's a word that's generally understood by folk and conveys something of an idea about me and my interest in food.

                      As for the OP - I've read the site's "Chowhound Manifesto" - and I'm not a Chowhound either - and have absolutely no wish to be described as one.

                    3. None of what you said disqualifies you from being a chowhound. If you like fast food or chains but discriminate between chains and fast food restaurants then you're a chowhound.

                        1. Great post! And I concur with the others, you're allowed to eat wherever you please, and eat things you like or love. It's your passion for those things, even if its Egg McMuffins and canned corned beef hash, that makes you a Chowhound!

                          And, I can agree with the "eating exotic foods with the locals".... I won't even do this in sections of my own city!

                          1. a phrase I learned just after joining this board is"don't yuck somebody else's yum, and don't yum somebody else's yuck". we are all about the food, no matter what kind or where it comes from. personally, growing up in the Navy and living in various cities and seaports, I relish in trying exotic foods with the natives.but I also dive into a double Number Two, an order of chili cheese tots, and a 44 ounce cherry limeaid from Sonic with equal abandon. like I said, it's all about the food.

                            1 Reply
                            1. I'm glad you are here. It takes all kinds of food-lovers to make Chowhound a fun and interesting place. And FWIW, an 11 course tasting menu sounds to me like pure hell.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: tcamp

                                No Table 21 at Volt for you then.

                                1. re: melpy

                                  Exactly, it would totally be wasted on me! That is why home cooking, solo or in groups, is so much more fun for me. I like being on my feet, moving around.

                              2. Do what makes you happy.

                                1. I agree with everything you said, and I think *I* am a Chowhound. You've just disqualified yourself from being a trend-follower.

                                  1. I'm definitely not a Chowhound. I am past the point where I need to be "adventurous" in my eating choices. I've tried plenty of food and I know what I like. Except for the fast food, I'm with you all the way,

                                    My friend came over with his two dogs while the realtor was showing his house the other day. I made lunch: chicken breasts pan-fried and deglazed in lemon and Pinot Grigio, plus broccoli.

                                    We tried to feed both of his dogs the leftovers, but only one would eat them, the one he calls his canine garbage disposal (CGD). My friend saw I had chowhound up on my computer, and I've told him about it before. We were joking about the dogs' eating habits, and he said about the CGD, "now *she's* a chowhound."

                                    Because I eat more like the fussier dog, I have encountered more than a little snobbery. I'm not "adventurous," so I'm not *really* a chowhound is the usual message. Some guy went on and on about how my food preferences demonstrate my "food phobias." OH, PLEASE.

                                    Someone else gave me shit once because I dared to call Asian food "Asian food."

                                    I mean, SFW if I don't eat everything that's ever been, or ever will be put in front of me?

                                    I am SO with you, Tommy.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Jay F

                                      If you care about the deliciousness of what you eat, I think you *are* a Hound.

                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                        Deliciousness is all I care about, put simply.

                                        It's the insistence on the part of certain others that I need to find EVERYTHING delicious that bothers me. I don't like everything, and I'm never going to. I'm like Humphrey, the fussy dog, not Bella, the chowhound who eats every morsel you put in front of her.

                                    2. There are a lot of foods I have no interest in eating and there are lots of foods I don't seek out.

                                      So here's why I think I am a Chowhound.
                                      I am curious about food and culture. I like knowing why people eat a certain ingredient or in a certain way. I like knowing where dishes originated and how they've evolved.

                                      When I eat food, I like to taste it, not just chew and swallow. I compare the taste to other dishes I've had. I wonder what the ingredients are, how they were prepared, if they could be done in a way that appealed to me more.

                                      When I like a dish, I want to try lots of varieties of it. I like to see who's making it in the way I like the most. I like to think about why I prefer one preparation to another. I like to discuss with others why they prefer a particular preparation, especially if it differs from my favorite.

                                      I think about food a lot. I talk about food a lot. I read about food. Sometimes I watch shows about food, or movies about food. When I go on vacation, I research the area to find out what dishes the area is famous for. If the dish appeals to me, I research what restaurants do it best. Yes, sometimes I photograph my food.

                                      No, I don't want to eat dog or blood sausage. Yes, I like McDonalds French fries. No, I've never tried anything sous-vide. And yes, I think I'm a Chowhound.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. If you have to drink the molecular gastronomy Kool-Aid to be a chowhound, I don't wanna be one.

                                        1. Bravo!

                                          So.... why are you here, then?

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            "So.... why are you here, then?"

                                            Because when I joined a few years back, most of the posts on my saved boards were actually about food, restaurants, etc., that I could relate to. As of the last few months, every post I join winds up going off on a tangent about some extreme version of the original topic with everyone trying to one-up one another.

                                            And by the way, my original post was sort of tongue in cheek. I have no plans to leave this board. :)

                                            1. re: ttoommyy


                                              I see you've been posting since 2009, which was 3 years after the corporate buyout of Chowhound.

                                              In the earlier days when I began posting (circa 2002 maybe) Chowhound was a 2-man passion project between a NY based food writer (Jim Leff) and a software/tech guy (Bob Okumura). They created a marvelous politically incorrect manifesto splash screen which bashed both "foodies" and Zagat, and very clearly defined what a Chowhound is. This was the screen that EVERY person saw upon visiting the domain www.chowhound.com.

                                              Since then, the glorious old Chowhound manifesto has been neutered-- corporate edits took out the lion and replaced it with a kitty cat. It was then relegated to a tiny link at the bottom of the screen, and eventually was banished to the sub-sub-sub-sub-sub menu of "About Chowhound -> History" (funny how it's the revisionist manifesto that remains, and not the original one... as they say, history is written by the victors.)

                                              With that being said, let's take a trip in the Wayback Machine, back to good ol' June 19, 2000.


                                              Would you agree that Jim Leff's original definition of a Chowhound sounds a little closer to how you describe yourself? Note that the concept of "foodies", for purposes of this site, is clearly (and pejoratively) defined.

                                              If you're interested in delving deeper, here's an old post I started which dissected, in detail, the differences between the glorious old Chowhound Manifesto and the neutered corporate one:


                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                Excellent. I haven't seen that in a while.

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  "If you, too, fret endlessly about making every bite count; if you'd grow weak from hunger rather than willingly eat something less than delicious, this place is for you! "

                                                  Does not describe me at all. Again I love good food and seek it out, but I will easily compromise this if I am hungry or tired. Long gone are my days of obsessing over food. Yes, I love to cook it and read about it and discuss it, but I will not let in run my life anymore and this is part of what i was trying to say with my original post.

                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                    I'm so tempted to hit the 'recommend' button. Like you I really enjoy great food and even good food when it is available. sometimes it just isn't for a host of reasons including time, money, location, other people, etc. When driving through the golden arches is what works, so be it. I don't do hungry well. Doesn't mean I enjoy the good things any less. It also doesn't mean I'm unwilling to drive 30 miles and pay for something I'm really hungry for sometimes. Once the lottery picks my number that will probably happen more often.

                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                      You don't agree with the egalitarian and independent nature of the manifesto? Essentially, don't trust where the Restaurant Industrial Complex tells you to eat-- figure it out for yourself, and use Chowhound as one tool towards that end. There's no mention of requirement to love exotic food, or fancy tasting menus. There is no mention of taboos on chains or fast food. As long as it's delicious, it's fair game. That sounds more in line with your original post than what you seem to be experiencing on Chowhound today.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        I always thought that the subtle humor in the original manifesto was brilliant. I have noticed, over the years, that some don't read it that way. I mean, they called it a "manifesto" after all.

                                                        At bottom, this is just a goofy food site. Sure some subjects can have a truly serious side, but these "chatty" ones? Why? It's just fun - we ain't curin' cancer.

                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                          Sure. The original Chowhound manifesto, above all else, had an undeniable laissez-manger (avec tongue-in-cheek) philosophy that set the tone for the whole site, and I do miss it.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                  2. re: ttoommyy

                                                    You wrote exactly what I feel. Thanks

                                                2. I agree with a good amount of what you said. Hey, we're here for the food, right? What ever it is!

                                                  1. Sounds like you are just as much a chowhound as anyone else...you are just not a trendy, pretentious food snob :)

                                                    I think being a chowhound is more about discovering food you really love and finding other like minded people to share and discuss it with. That might be dining at McDonalds for lunch then The French Laundry for dinner- or discovering a great bottled hot sauce or figuring out what all you can do with beets or how to cook squab.

                                                    It gets on my nerves when people attempt to put some hierarchy on the taste of food and classify people by that arbitrary hierarchy. Everyone "should be so lucky" to experience the wide variety of meals that are discussed on Chowhound.

                                                    1. Psst -- I think the signal for the brethren/sisterhood is the ironic green can of parmesan dust in the fridge door.


                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                        I think my mom's meatballs are the best I've ever had ( and pretty much everyone agrees with me) - and that can of green dust is very important in getting the consistancy right. So everything has a place, I think.

                                                      2. I am the same. I like food and especially cooking, but it is not an obsession.

                                                        I have a couple of friends who are fixated with food - so much so that I and some of our mutual friends now avoid them.

                                                        I hate the pretentiousness that seems to prevail in fine dining - it is all Emperor's New Clothes as far as I am concerned.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: PhilipS

                                                          "I hate the pretentiousness that seems to prevail in fine dining - it is all Emperor's New Clothes as far as I am concerned."

                                                          You literally took the words from my mouth. I say that all the time. I love food, love to dine out, cook at home and yes I do talk about food with others who enjoy the same thing, but I make sure I do not allow myself to cross the line into obsessive behavior.

                                                          1. re: PhilipS

                                                            Pretentiosness. Definition is the $200 bottle of plonk at a TV entertainers restaurant while the 'Hound' slurps and swoshes the entire bottle. The patagonian tooth fish was pretty good.

                                                            I'm sorry. The entertainer is a chef. That hasn't been in the back for decades.

                                                          2. And when did food become an art form. Now presentation is important - but I don't want my food going cold while someone ponces about squidging a few skid marks on my plate.

                                                            1. What makes you think that you need fulfill all the requirements that you have listed? You're welcome to join us no matter how you feed yourself as long as what you ingest is not something that will cause a fatality.

                                                              Welcome to the table!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                Thanks for the welcome but I've been posting for a few years now. :)

                                                                My original post was somewhat tongue in cheek. I know I don't have to fulfill all of the requirements I listed, but sometimes I feel I MUST from what others are posting. That was really the point of my post.

                                                              2. Honestly, I think the term is "chowhound" not "haute cuisine seeker" because it's all likely to have been good for someone, or anyone at the right time or place.

                                                                I hate the cutesy label foodie, particularly when self describing; I care about the quality of the food I eat, whether it's from a street cart, a chain, upscale restaurant or, mostly, from the supermarket and cooked at home.

                                                                I love reading ahd sharing, including discussions of foods I have no interest in trying. It's just interesting that way.

                                                                No credentials necessary, other than love for and curiosity about food.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. To my mind there are two kinds of food.
                                                                  Good food and bad food. As long as it's made with care and love then a cup of tea and a slice of toast is good food.
                                                                  Whereas a 10 course tasting menu created without care or thought is bad food.
                                                                  I happen to like tasting menus and eating street food in Asia.
                                                                  I also love a pie and a pint and don't distinguish between the food I eat, each kind is equally valuable.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                    The philosopher Epicurus, whose followers are called Epicureans, taught that pleasure is the highest and noblest thing a person can seek. Those who misunderstood him slandered him as a glutton, a drunkard, a seducer of women (or boys). He was in fact what we'd call an ascetic, as he drank only water, ate mostly what he grew and no meat at all, and had no interest in sexual entanglements. And he was the happiest of men, because he lived the life he most desired. None of his behavior was imposed by rules, but was purely an exploration of what gave him pleasure.

                                                                  2. So do we start our own chat board then?

                                                                    1. You are not alone. I did do a 12 course tasting menu once, and it was a fun experience that I'll remember forever, but no real desire to do it again. And I love me some chicken mc nuggets.

                                                                      1. I hear ya.... I love to bake and cook and at this moment I'm enjoying a $6.00 plate of roast pork and rice from my fave Chinatown joint. You won't likely see me at Per Se or EMP or any other $200+ per person resto. It's just not my thing. I'd rather frequent the 100 year old pasta shops, or the 50 year old pizzarias that no one outside of the neighborhood knows about. Or the bakeries... I love old Italian pastry shops in particular.

                                                                        But none of this doesn't make me a chowhound. I'm just one of the "types" of chowhounds. Which is probably a good idea for a thread, if it hasn't been done already.

                                                                        1. You are responsible for forever changing “Mirror in the Bathroom” to “Sandwich in the Bathroom” for me – that alone gives you CH cred IMO;)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: EM23

                                                                            Ha! I'm glad at least ONE person got that joke and reference (from another thread)! :)

                                                                          2. Personally, I don't think you need to seek out and enjoy every type of food to be a Chowhound or a foodie. I think you just need to have an interest and love food. YMMV


                                                                            PS I have no interest in molecular gastronomy either.

                                                                            1. I'm not a foodie. I'm an "eatie" and a "cookie" because I like to cook and I like to eat. End of story.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. I suspect that "he is a chowhound" is something like "he is a doctor" or "he is a Christian"---they come in many variations. I was appalled recently when somebody posted asking for restaurant advice in my native city and another person responded with a restaurant that costs $200 per person. My idea of enjoying food is taking delight in cooking, in feeding people, in knowing the various food markets of my town---and I would never, even at gunpoint, spend $200 pp on any meal (or eat 11 courses, or seek out a meal of eyeballs or crickets or bull's penis). A lot of what comes over these pages is kind of affected, seems to me, but, different folks etc. It's a big table---take what you want, leave the rest.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                  You make a very good point--there are people like you and me who enjoy FOOD. There are others who enjoy DINING.

                                                                                  If I had $200 to spend, I'd rather graze my way through the Reading Terminal Market in Philly or Marche Atwater in Montreal than drop it all on one meal at Le Bec Fin or APDC.

                                                                                  1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                    And those of us who enjoy both, though good homey food is more often on the menu for me.

                                                                                2. I wouldn't. Bigotry is a matter of how one treats people, not where one would like to travel and what food one would like to eat.

                                                                                  1. I like the fact that since this site has gone corporate its become even more egalitarian. Everyone has a right to express their food enjoyment whether its about Costco steak or the best lunch in Paris. Lets not kid ourselves people live in different regions and have different incomes as well. Life is rich.

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: fara

                                                                                      "I like the fact that since this site has gone corporate its become even more egalitarian. Everyone has a right to express their food enjoyment whether its about Costco steak or the best lunch in Paris."

                                                                                      It's always been that way. In fact, on the regional boards, I think it has actually become almost more "foodie" and less "'houndish".

                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                        I don't think the site has become more foodie and less houndish so much as the world around us has become food obsessed and such folks find their way here.

                                                                                        There are still a lot of enthusastic chain resto fans, convenience food lovers, etc, co-existing with those choosing between fine dining destinations.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                          It was a subtle, tongue-in-cheek reference to the same manifesto you mentioned.

                                                                                          But, I do think on some of the regional boards, because of the change in the dining landscape in the past decade, there has been a growth in the number of those folks who push the more trendy spots.

                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                            I understood. I guess I was referring to the overall mission, moderation, content etc. Not only the discussants.

                                                                                      2. re: fara

                                                                                        "More egalitarian?" Have you read the manifesto? Egalitarianism was always the goal, as long as one was enjoying food, whatever it was.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                          Yes I read the manifesto. I was here back before it was pretty too. I am just saying there are definitely discussions here that would have gotten laughed off previously because they are more based on mass market tastes. Not just the joys of a hot dog.

                                                                                          1. re: fara

                                                                                            I've been here a while also and it still seems just as snotty as ever to me about the "mass market tastes".

                                                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                                                              Maybe some individuals are, but I don't get that vibe from the community as a whole.

                                                                                      3. I miss Sam.

                                                                                        We once had a discussion about identifying great places to eat; we came up with a definition that included white plastic chairs, outside, and stuff like peanut shells or edamame pods on the ground.

                                                                                        I define myself as a 'Hound because I am fascinated by food-- the delicate intricate processes of sous vide and molecular gastronomy; braided bacon meatloaf and JB's whole animal cooking; perfecting Family Reunion Potato Salad and red eye gravy; kimchi on anything and anything off the street, possibly even if it IS still moving.

                                                                                        However, 85% of my eat-out experiences are chains and I have boxes of Velveeta, Betty Crocker, and Duncan Hines not just in my cabinet but on my shopping list.

                                                                                        I sometimes feel that the dichotomy of Real® Food vs. being a real person disqualifies me from being a genuine 2013 commercially sponsored CHOWHound.

                                                                                        So, ttoommyy, we have differing tastes in food and I want to seek out different experiences, but I feel the same "not quite there/ don't know if I wanna be"-ness about today's CH.