six signs that you may be a food idiot
published in the globe and mail on march 18, 2011
by: ian brown
1. Eats, but doesn’t cook
Tends not to cook, and is therefore unable to enjoy food based on the amount of effort, pleasure or hilarity that went into making it. Is often resented as a result by his or her host for making only faintly positive remarks, e.g., “The meringue’s a little soft, but the raspberries are very good for mid-winter.” Makes you want to plunge a fork into his tongue.
2. The more esoteric, the better
The more esoteric, illegal, hard-to-procure and expensive the ingredient, the more the extreme foodie adores it. Thrilled by plates that consist of a single perfect sorrel leaf, which sits on a scallop, which sits on a tablet of pork belly marinated in 7-Up, which in turn is sandwiched under some pea puree anointed with truffle oil. Uses the word “anointed.” Like to “stack” ingredients so as to “deconstruct” the dish, rendering it difficult if not dangerous to eat – which is the point of dining, presumably. Is a douche.
Prefers judging food to experiencing it. May be vegan. Loudly corrects the taste-impressions of others, often disdainfully. Someone sips a fresh Ontario riesling, and says “A hint of lemon?” To which the extreme foodie does not hesitate to say “Lemon balm!” in an imperious and corrective tone. Is willing to send a dish or even several dishes back to the kitchen for improvement, several times if necessary, but still believes he’s a charming and expert flirt. Is more interested in status than pleasure, and always prefers eating up (risotto, duck confit, wild boar) to common fare (cod cheeks, hot dogs, drippings on bread).
4. Bash, bash, bash
It is never enough for the extreme foodie to tout his region’s fare; he must also bash another region for ignoring it. E.g.: “The biggest problem we’ve had with Niagara wines, quite frankly, is that Torontonians are too ignorant to know how good they are.” Generally makes these remarks about a wine that could be used to strip the paint of an old door. Tends to be over-specific talking terroir: the food twit can identify not just the vineyard or even the bench his wine came from, but the direction the tractor was headed when the grapes were clipped. And you can’t.
5. Nearly erotic
The extreme foodie concentrates exclusively on taste, rather than on satisfaction (and never that of others) or the stories surrounding a dish. As a result his judgments tend to be prematurely micro-orgasmic, a series of adjectival anticlimaxes: “delirious,” “trenchant,” “sublime,” “ambrosial,” as opposed to “that scallop taco made me want to pull my pants down.”
6. Uses the word “foodie” to describe self.