“Foodie” – I Shall Not Wear a Badge of Shame

foodie vanity license plate

Yes, this is an actual photograph that I took with my camera while driving down Barrington Avenue in Brentwood. If this car belongs to you, my apologies for publicizing it and making fun of you, but 1) this is a personal blog and there are only about 11 people total who read it and 2) that’s what you want anyway, right? for people to look, otherwise you wouldn’t drive such a flashy car with a f**king vanity plate on it.

Barring the fact that I was experiencing a severe case of road rage on the way to the office that would have had me riding the ass of whatever automobile was in front of me anyway, I almost rammed all up into the ass of the Benz in front of me on purpose when I read its license plate.

I gawked. I coughed. Anyone driving by would have thought I was arguing with someone on a Bluetooth headset hidden under the fabulous ebony waves of my hair. I do not own a Bluetooth headset. Neither do I have fabulous ebony waves, but whatever greasy locks there were, they were flailing about my head as I wtfol-ed (that’s “wtf out loud” if you’re not down with the vernacular) and rifled through my purse on the passenger seat looking for my camera. My mobile phone. A sketchpad. Something — anything — with which I could record hard evidence of…

FOODIE.

When the word hits the airwaves, I shudder. No, not quite shudder. More like, convulse. I detest the word “foodie.”

Foodie Does Not Have a Pictionary Definition

The primary reason I do not like the word foodie is that, aside from the fact that there is no single, clear definition of the word, in the 1300 square feet known as The Delicious World from which I rarely escape, “foodie” has usually been interchangeable with “gourmand” or “epicure.” None of those, in and of themselves, are negative words. “Foodie” refers to a person who enjoys the finer foods in life, whatever those “finer” things may be. Caviar. Truffles. Foie gras. Beats me, since I find those things to be as luxurious as salty rotting fishstank, fungus that tastes like dirt, and bacteria-infested raw internal animal organs that trigger my gag reflex like the end of a toothbrush does for Nicole Richie. Regardless, somewhere high up in the Himalayas there is a secret hidden temple carved into the side of the mountain where a mysterious trio of elves known only to themselves as the Foodie Council of Luxurious Foods sits down once a year around a bowl of cereal and signs off on their declaration of which foods will be considered luxurious for the year.

But like I said, there is nothing wrong with loving luxury. I love lounging around in my cashmere negligee and diamond tiara eating toro on my chinchilla fur rug.

Foodie = Luxury Snob

The problem arises when the only people who use the word “foodie” are those people who are using it to label themselves as members of some caste of society that is superior to the others. Snobs. They look down on others with an air of “I am better than you because I like these special foodie things.” These self-proclaimed foodies won’t eat the non-luxury things. “Ohdearheavensno, I would never, no never, pooh pooh, eat macaroni and cheese. I will not, simply cannot, eat anything less than halibut cheeks and caviar on truffled scrambled duck eggs.” Or something like that (incidentally, halibut cheeks are quite tasty). In other words, “foodie” basically means “annoyingly picky snob.”

That’s not to say, of course, that I believe that it’s bad to be picky. Not everyone has to like everything, but that’s a subject that deserves its own post.

Foodie = Knowledge Snob

Of course, “foodie” doesn’t always have to do with the price or type of the foods a person eats. Sometimes the word “foodie” is used to identify someone who knows a lot about food. Again, there is nothing wrong with someone infinitely knowledgeable about food and cooking and what part of an animal can be eaten without fear of death by poison. I love food nerds. However, when a knowledgable “foodie” arrogantly pins a golden “foodie” nametag on himself and looks down on others with an air of “I know more about food than you do, you ignorant instant-ramen-slurping fool,” that irritates the shit out of this instant-ramen-eating fool and makes me want to slam the oversized nose down which he peers between the pages of On Food and Cooking. Hard.

Basically, what it comes down to is that the word foodie has a negative connotation to me because some others think it’s an utterly positive description of their snobby-ass selves. *Shrugs* that’s what it is.

Foodie = Not The Delicious Life, Unless…

Since “foodie” is somewhat of a negative term, when someone calls me a foodie, even when they mean it in those most positive sense of the word, as some sort of compliment, I bristle. I write a blog that appears to be about food. I take pictures of food that I cook. I read cookbooks and Tony Bourdain in bed before going to sleep. My favorite pasttime is going out to eat. When people find these things out, they exclaim “You’re a foodie!” My lips clamp together into a tight line of a smile. I hold my breath with pause, then I hiss a faint “Yeeesss.”

No.

I shall not wear the badge of shame.

If you’ve been following along in this Delicious Life for a while now, then you know that I am not a “foodie” in what I’ve just finished writing as the negative sense of the word. I am a food blogger, a foodist, a foodfreak, but I am most certainly not an ooh-la-la goose liver gourmet gourmand. Obviously, I don’t harbor any snobbism about foods – could I really put on airs about TGI Friday’s frozen Spinach and Artichoke Dip? – and as I’ve already declared, I am not fond of those typically luxuriously indulgent foods that are the hallmark of a foodie palate. I also don’t subscribe to either of the two most popular, though opposing, restaurant foodie philosophies: 1) always eating in high-end restaurants, or 2) traipsing high and low at the risk of life, limb, and traffic sanity to seek out “chow.” Sure, many of my most enjoyable eating experiences are expeditions to the likes of AOC and Ame, but I am just as happy plowing through mapo tofu at ABC Best #1 Chinese Food Express (but not PF Chang’s – give me some credit, will you?). And yes, there are more than a few occasions that I enjoy myself in a fabulous “scene.”

However, if someone calls me a “foodie” and they mean it as “You love food!” then yes, I am that which you call a “foodie.” But even when the word is used in the most positive sense that it can be – to identify someone who is simply in lovelovelove with all things related to food, cooking, baking, eating, enjoying, entertaining, dining, foraging, farming, food – the word itself is just stupid.

Foodies and Winies, Foodos and Winos

Why do we have to attach “-ie” to “food” to describe someone who loves food? I don’t call my brother-in-law a “fishingie” because he spends ridiculous amounts of money to go chasing after Moby Dick. My other brother-in-law isn’t a “sportsie” because he perches his laptop on the cocktail table while watching the game to check the scores of all the other games going on. We don’t have “winies.” We have winos, but that’s something else entirely.

Foodie is just a bad word, and at this point, there’s nothing we can do to turn it around into a wholly “good” word meaning “food lover” because the damage of foie gras has already been scarred into my brain. I cannot let it go. I just can’t. I’m like that. I hold onto things forever and use them against you when you least expect it.

A New Entry for Webster’s

We should just use a different word to describe someone who loveloveloves food. In fact, we should make up a totally brand new word to add to Mr. Webster’s collection. Let’s make up a word right now, and just so that we are giving every letter in the alphabet an equal opportunity to be part of this new word, I am going to close my eyes and just hit random keys on the keyboard to make the word. (Incidentally, this technique would be great for playing Scrabble). Ready?
personalized license plate
www.imagechef.com cooks up plates for tdl

eifnaj

I just typed “eifnaj.” I believe that it would be pronounced “ife-nazh.”

What am I saying? I just made up the word eifnaj, so there is no “I believe it would be pronounced.” It is pronounced ife-nazh.

Who knew that the word to describe someone who absolutely adores food, whatever that adoration entails, without the pretentions of luxury foods and esoteric food knowledge, but a simple love for all things food, would have a Dutch etymology?!?!

So, I am an eifnaj.

Put that on your license plate, Benzie.

** this post originally published on 11.11.2006 **

** a year ago today, insurgent histamines launched a full allergy attack **

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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sean December 13, 2006 at 9:26 pm

Judging by the car, it seems it should read “YUPPIE”

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2 Acme Instant Food December 13, 2006 at 10:17 pm

I’d love to see the driver. If they are unfortunate enough to resemble Jabba the Hut, the plate is a poor choice for them. If not–what the hell. I do have to add that for some unknown reason the term has always irritated me. I seem to be alone in this though.

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3 Anonymous December 13, 2006 at 10:26 pm

nice. you’re referenced on eaterla.com. hanna

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4 meg December 13, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Did you see the episode of *Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares* in which this shit-ass cook had a BMW with a plate reading “TOP CHEF”? Gordon tore him apart before they even got into the kitchen.

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5 Maure December 14, 2006 at 12:27 am

well, it’s definitely highly offensive for a non-foodie to call someone a foodie. However, I believe it is a sociologically valid form of expression and kinship within the “foodie” community.

that being said, you should have keyed the car.

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6 Nancy November 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm

“Keyed the car” ??????????? so YOU’RE the one who goes around keying cars because you either don’t like the car OR the license plate? YOU ARE THE ONE WHO KEYED MY BMW? ASSH*?LE

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7 Maure December 14, 2006 at 12:27 am

well, it’s definitely highly offensive for a non-foodie to call someone a foodie. However, I believe it is a sociologically valid form of expression and kinship within the “foodie” community.

that being said, you should have keyed the car.

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8 holly December 14, 2006 at 12:43 am

There is really no excuse for that. I don’t understand the purpose of vanity plates, other than to say “HEY! Look at MEEEEEE!!!” Honestly, what makes mr/s. mercedes think you care whether they are a foodie/golfer/realtor or whatever else people are prone to putting on their plates.

That said, I must share. My mother had been desperate for a personalized plate. She spent hours and hours coming up with the perfect, fitting thing to put on her license plate. Since she likes animals and has lots of pets, she chose “pet person” or petprsn in license-speak. She knows it is pet person, I know it is pet person, but I’ll bet any random person driving behind her reads it as “pet prison”

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9 Matt Schantz December 14, 2006 at 4:27 am

If I’m gonna get all up in someone’s ass I usually prefer “Warrior” or “Maverick” (like from Top Gun).

Foodie is cool if I’m a mincing French aristocrat (aka Bernaise), and I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m not.

I think.

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10 Matt Schantz December 14, 2006 at 4:30 am

ooh, OR

make them write “FOODIE” a thousand times on a blackboard

“But my wrist hurts!”

“Keep writing, fattie.”

(whiningly) “Foodie!”

“Semantics.”

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11 Ed December 14, 2006 at 4:34 am

I think my firt attempt at this was lost…
I find being called a f–die so offensive that I blank out the oos. When I was running my food mag Tomato it was anti f–die and refused to use the word. I hope my blog achieves the same. I will admit that a year ago I was writing a piece of journalism and almost used the F word. My wife Jak found out and have me a massive bollocking. “Sell-out,” she called me. Sadly though this week I have invoked the F word twice by accident. Once writing out in full – complete with oos – “I am not a f–die” on the about me box on the front page of my blog. I changed it quickly. the second time was in an email promoting the Menu of Hope. I knew the targets would probably like the word but I was lazy, probably hungover, and irresponsible. There is nothing I can do about it now. I submit myself for punishment. In fact, I shall don my skin tight rubber suit and drag myself face down – towed by a very large kite – through mirky salt water while being battered around the head by a 1.38 metre long fibreglass board. If I’m lucky, and that is unlikely, then I may take out a few f–dies at the same time. I blog, I like food, I like drink. Call me anything but not f–die. Now Mercedes drivers…

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12 bassbiz December 14, 2006 at 5:22 am

LOL @ Schantz, always bringing teh funneh.

DEJAVU, ive seen this car, too!

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13 Dolores December 14, 2006 at 7:20 am

another no vote for “foodie” from Northern California. The word Foodie implies a certain trendy it’s-so-now-hip-happening pretentious image that I just don’t align with.

Looking forward to reading your take.

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14 santos. December 14, 2006 at 4:45 pm

hey it could be F.O.O.Die–as in F*ck Off Or Die, foodie twatwaffle!

no to ‘foodie.’ physical harm to anyone who uses “flogger” as a food blogger contraction….

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15 Anonymous December 14, 2006 at 8:02 pm

Foodie no bueno. It’s too cheesy (pardon the pun) and “trendy” like fashionista. Whatever happened to gourmand or epicurean or just plain lova?

I think I saw this asshole around before. Probably around Beverly Hills, figures.

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16 Anonymous December 14, 2006 at 9:28 pm

Funny. My 80-something father recently saw a woman at the Y in a car with the same license from North Carolina. He asked me what a “foodie” was and he proceeded to approach this 50-something slim, attractive woman to talk about food (this the man who only knows soup from a can, salad from a bag and chicken from the deli counter) to the best of his ability. I’m posting anonymously to protect the innocent!

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17 grace December 15, 2006 at 12:14 am

um, so what? let’s all lighten up a notch.. i’ve never sensed so much anger on this site!

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18 Anonymous December 15, 2006 at 5:49 am

I’m strangely apathetic.

I wouldn’t go around getting license plates or being like “I’m totally a foodie!”

But if someone wants to call me that, I won’t take offense. It’s quicker than saying “Oh she really loves food.” And makes me sound like less of a glutton.

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19 Anonymous December 15, 2006 at 7:34 am

Just last week I was trying to explain why foodie is such a horrific word, and captures so much of what is wrong with American lets turn cities into yuppy playgrounds and then call ourselves urban culture. I was told I was crazy for getting worked up over semantics. So, after the comments posted on this blog, I am now … vindicated!

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20 Acme Instant Food December 15, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Okay, I was wrong. I guess I’m totally not alone in this.

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21 Anonymous December 15, 2006 at 10:55 pm

NAY!

also, NEEEEIGH!

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22 Pepper December 16, 2006 at 6:10 pm

Can’t stand foodies, especially eating with them, and really dislike being called one. To me it means someone with obsessive attention to food and a strong sense of fashion – needing to be up on the latest restaurant, food celebs, exotic fruit, diets, even nutrients (beta carotene, bioflavonoids, etc.)

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23 Pepper December 16, 2006 at 6:10 pm

Can’t stand foodies, especially eating with them, and really dislike being called one. To me it means someone with obsessive attention to food and a strong sense of fashion – needing to be up on the latest restaurant, food celebs, exotic fruit, diets, even nutrients (beta carotene, bioflavonoids, etc.)

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24 Tana December 16, 2006 at 11:21 pm

It doesn’t bug me in the least, except in conjunction with that car.

Better than CHOW(hand).

: D

(Californians have the option of getting a star, a heart, a hand, or a plus sign. My husband suggests they go for the big money and issue the “middle finger salute” option.)

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25 U December 17, 2006 at 5:49 am

This sounds like trekkie/trekker redux.

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26 Whitners December 27, 2006 at 1:07 am

I think the word “foodie” is soon to go the way of the word “metrosexual”. Started out making sense and quickly became something to laugh at and make fun of. I much rather be known as someone who likes good food instead of saying, “Hey aren’t you a foodie?”

Whitnee
http://www.cookingrevealed.com

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27 TaraMetBlog December 27, 2006 at 8:02 pm

I’ve blogged about this before too, I think the term “foodie” is stupid and too cutesy. I enjoy food so I’m a foodie? what is that?

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28 TaraMetBlog December 27, 2006 at 8:02 pm

I’ve blogged about this before too, I think the term “foodie” is stupid and too cutesy. I enjoy food so I’m a foodie? what is that?

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29 Barbara December 31, 2006 at 7:33 pm

The term “foodie” doesn’t bother me as a noun. “She is a foodie” seems ok. Don’t know why, but I find it grates on me when used as an adjective: “I read a foodie article”; “He runs a foodie website” – ick – I think “food” would do fine in almost all cases.

After pondering a bit more, I find I kind of like it as a one-word term for someone who likes good food. I don’t know why, but I hate both “gourmet” and “gourmand”.

But I do think we need a one-word term. “Person who likes good food” is too long; “food-lover” doesn’t correctly describe the level of interest in food.

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30 Julie January 1, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Only in the United States would we actually need a term for someone who loves and appreciates good food. The larger part of the population in Europe, or South America, for example, spends a fair amount of time thinking about and preparing excellent food. Here we seem to think it’s a shameful obssession, and yet we’re the fattest, unhealthiest nation in the world. If everyone here were a bit more of a *gourmand*, we wouldn’t eat so much nasty fast food and takeout, we’d spend more time preparing fresh beautiful delicious and incidentally healthy food, and we’d be far better off…

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31 Marco January 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm

We all eat food. I’ve always enjoyed decent well seasoned food. Food and dining have been fetishized to such an extent that it’s really ridiculous. The label should be done away with, as it assumes a superior knowledge about the food we cook and eat. Brillat-Savarin would have a ball with the term.

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32 Robyn January 7, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Missed this post for some reason… Saw it again at serious cooks and had to come by to comment. I ahve blogged about this in the past and have chosen the name foodist. There are artists, who fill the art world with wonderful things. Can we not be the -ists that fill the food world with the best?

Please oh please, never a foodie.

The license plate is familiar though, a cordon bleu chef I know has it.

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33 Christine Herron January 7, 2007 at 11:45 pm

I use “foodie” for someone to whom food is more than nutrition and calories; that being said, I definitely draw a distinction between a foodie and an epicure. I see epicures as only going to spendy five-star places, while the foodie would drool over the perfect beer-steamed shrimp served on newspapers at a harbor dive bar.

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34 hermz January 12, 2007 at 2:29 am

…mysterious trio of elves known only to themselves as the Foodie Council of Luxurious Foods…

ahhh… I’d wondered what had happened to Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

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35 stefoodie January 16, 2007 at 5:49 am

Oi. This wasn’t even an issue 15-20 years ago, and I was calling myself a foodie even back then. My friends were foodies too. It just meant we all loved food, THAT’S ALL.

It only became an issue when food blogging began, as I only started reading about how people are offended with the word two years ago, while discovering the world of food-blogging.

ANYWAY, my half a cent:)

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36 kathy April 6, 2007 at 5:33 am

interesting (randomly found your blog through another food blog). i actually have been having this conversation recently, and i just posted about it myself:
http://foodandthecitysf.blogspot.com/2007/04/non-food-post-about-food-kind-of.html

i think it also depends a lot on your location. i think the “foodie” scene definitely has more potential to be as you described in areas like LA and NY.

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37 Julie April 23, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Hee! Annoyance becomes you.

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38 Phil February 5, 2009 at 3:06 am

Foodie is not a word. Don’t use it.

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39 ChazFrench February 5, 2009 at 3:27 am

Brilliant and dead on correct!

I AM NOT A FOODIE.

I am a food lover!

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40 Lisa February 5, 2009 at 4:00 am

Oh my goodness!
I’VE SEEN THIS CAR! Driven behind it.
…as have some others, but still. I’m away from home and this has made me very happy.
Thanks for the picture.

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41 Anonymous February 5, 2009 at 4:02 am

I think I’ve seen that car around town. Every time I see it, I puke a little bit in my mouth.

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42 Anonymous February 5, 2009 at 4:02 am

I think I’ve seen that car around town. Every time I see it, I puke a little bit in my mouth.

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43 anna February 5, 2009 at 4:24 am

Foodie is ugly. Epicure and gourmand are great words to begin with; why replace them with an un-word?

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44 Anonymous February 5, 2009 at 4:29 am

Actually I gotta agree w/ what one of the anonymous said:

Anonymous Anonymous said…

I’m strangely apathetic.

I wouldn’t go around getting license plates or being like “I’m totally a foodie!”

But if someone wants to call me that, I won’t take offense. It’s quicker than saying “Oh she really loves food.” And makes me sound like less of a glutton.
9:49 PM

*shrugs* That’s just me.

Don’t kill me! : P

-Amy

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45 Anonymous February 5, 2009 at 4:55 am
46 Jessica@Foodmayhem February 5, 2009 at 11:29 am

The word doesn’t bother me. I guess I didn’t know what the negative connotations were. I thought it just meant person who loves food. Apparently, I’m completely out of the loop.

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47 Indigo February 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I’m another one who doesn’t see why it’s such a big deal — some of the people commenting seem so furious over it! To me, it means you have an interest in/love for food, and there are definitely no snobbish connotations in my mind. If I can engage you in a conversation about balsamic vinegar, I assume you’re a foodie (and I DO like to talk about balsamic vinegar), but to me that’s a good thing. It’s a shared interest, and by my own criteria, I’d probably class myself as such. I wouldn’t go around with a ‘FOODIE’ badge or registration plate, but I’m not going to get all offended. I like food. I also like poptarts. There is no snobbery here.

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48 Sonya February 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I agree with the last several comments. The word doesn’t offend me (anymore) so much as a vanity plate on a convertible Mercedes does—or on ANY car. And this just so happens to be “FOODIE.” With the advent of the popularity for all things food-related, I do think that the definition of the word has sort of become fluid…and it’s also just easier to use. All things equal, if I were a Jose Andres or a Ferran Adria, I’d love to be called a Foodist.

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49 TasteHongKong February 5, 2009 at 4:25 pm

What a word?! No negative connotation by saying such. I just ventured to put up a new blog in English, my second language, and happened to LEARN this critical word. Folks, if one day you drop by tastehongkong.com and find out such controversial use of words. Please kindly let me know. Thank you, TasteHongKong

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50 Anonymous February 5, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I’m with you on this one. I can’t stand being called a “f**die” and my reaction is quite similar to yours.

To me, a f**die indicates someone who is willing to talk about all the great, pretentious, expensive restaurants they’ve been to, how much they LOVE to watch Top Chef and Food Network, but in reality, knows little to nothing about food history, technique, politics, issues, etc. They go ape s**t over the 9-course tasting menu they just had at such and such, but wouldn’t DARE be seen at the corner ramen joint. In short, they’re willing to just take and take (or eat and eat) and not really learn much about food beyond where the next see-and-be-seen place to eat it is.

I take being called a f**die as a huge personal insult.

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51 Anonymous February 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Wow, did it just not occur to you that lots of people define “foodie” differently, and maybe the person driving the car just really enjoys food? Way to assume and go off on a crazy rant.

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52 Anonymous February 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Wow, did it just not occur to you that lots of people define “foodie” differently, and maybe the person driving the car just really enjoys food? Way to assume and go off on a crazy rant.

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53 Anonymous February 6, 2009 at 3:12 am

What a load of bullshit. I always see food bloggers going on and on about how they aren’t like those OTHER people who like food. Okay, so tell me- who are these people you’re whining about? Name names. Because I don’t believe it’s common enough to be an issue. The only “snobs” I’ve seen are the people rushing around to assure everyone how down to earth they are.

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54 sarah j. gim February 6, 2009 at 5:46 am

Indigo: this –> "I like food. I also like poptarts." <– just made me laugh for so many reasons (one of them may or may not be that i am halfway into a bottle of cheap champagne, oops excuse me the foodie in me means sparkling wine)

anyway…1) does this mean a pop tart is not food? and 2) i have seen snobbery surrounding pop tarts before. you should see the attitude of the people who look down on "frosteds."

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55 sarah j. gim February 6, 2009 at 5:55 am

(dangnabbit i need to keep up more closely with the comments as they happen…)

to the last three anonymi: it’s all a matter of perspective and intent, on the part of whoever is using the word, whether to label him/herself or others.

a person could use the word witha positive or negative meaning and until we hear it, we don’t really know and the reality is, even when we hear it, we don’t know what the true definition of the word is for the other person. it is, after all, just a word.

the rant here for me isn’t so much about the word itself as it is about with whom the word has become associated over the years (for me) as i have written – the ones who seem to give off some snobbism.

but i did say “seem” – as there are people who genuinely love caviar and go bonkers over truffle oil and they shouldn’t feel bad for that, nor for expressing it, as i don’t think i should feel bad for dipping cheetos in frito lay salsa con queso that i’ve heated in the microwave oven.

wait. wait, yes i should. that’s disgusting.

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56 Hillary February 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Oh man, I have a weird confession to make. I take pictures of food-related license plates too! I have yet to find foodie but I’ve seen “apricot” and tons of other awesome ones. I need to find all my pictures…

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57 Angry Brit February 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Tell us what you really think! :) I love the passion with which you write about these things. There’s nothing worse than a self-proclaimed “expert” in something, whether it’s food, Russian poetry, computers, or theoretical plasma physics. You start to state an opinion (which, by definition, cannot be right or wrong) and they interrupt you with a slightly pitying expression and tell you how it’s “supposed” to be. Bah. I say next time you run “Foodie” off the road.

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58 Angry Brit February 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Tell us what you really think! :) I love the passion with which you write about these things. There’s nothing worse than a self-proclaimed “expert” in something, whether it’s food, Russian poetry, computers, or theoretical plasma physics. You start to state an opinion (which, by definition, cannot be right or wrong) and they interrupt you with a slightly pitying expression and tell you how it’s “supposed” to be. Bah. I say next time you run “Foodie” off the road.

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59 MyLastBite February 9, 2009 at 12:58 am

I prefer to be called a FoodWhore. LOL

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60 Sawyer February 10, 2009 at 9:11 pm

^ hilarious @ mylastbite

i always took foodie to just generally mean someone who likes food, but I can see why some people hate the term after reading your post…guess it didn’t help the driver to be driving a benz either.

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61 Sawyer February 10, 2009 at 9:11 pm

^ hilarious @ mylastbite

i always took foodie to just generally mean someone who likes food, but I can see why some people hate the term after reading your post…guess it didn’t help the driver to be driving a benz either.

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62 CHEESESLAVE February 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I love the term foodie. I am proud to be a foodie.

At least Americans are finally getting interested in food.

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63 Sharon Worster August 14, 2011 at 12:25 am

I do too, and I love the definition of foodie on your blog. Thank you from another devoted foodie.

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64 shirley March 31, 2009 at 4:21 am

The word “foodie” makes me want to barf. Anyone that really, truly, passionately loves food would never, ever use the “f” word.

Think about it. Would Thomas Keller ever call himself as a foodie? Alice Waters? Jean-Georges? They’d sooner die.

I liken the term “foodie” to describe someone who likes food to the term “gourmet” to describe fine food. Any product or restaurant that openly declares themselves “gourmet” is usually not.

Really, it’s the old adage “show, don’t tell” at work here. If you love food, you just do. If you make good food, it just is. Terms and words are superfluous. People who love sports don’t call themselves something gross “sporties”. They’re just sports fans.

I default to “I’m a food person”. I can’t think of anything better.

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65 Barbara March 31, 2009 at 5:14 am

I don’t think we will ever agree on this word because it means different things to different people depending on your culture, your age and where you live. I use foodie in my blog title but I don’t go around saying “I’m a foodie” any more than I would say “I’m a wino”

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66 Barbara March 31, 2009 at 5:14 am

I don’t think we will ever agree on this word because it means different things to different people depending on your culture, your age and where you live. I use foodie in my blog title but I don’t go around saying “I’m a foodie” any more than I would say “I’m a wino”

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67 Phoo-D April 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

My blog title and handle is a tounge-in-cheek commentary on this very word. I think the term “foodie” is overused, poorly defined, and can be generally annoying. However arguing over semantics usually will just make a person seem even more snobish so if someone calls me a foodie I just roll with it.

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68 yinyang April 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Good post!!!

I never thought of “foodie” in the snooty sense that you just described. I always thought of it as someone who just liked anything related to food! “foodist” sounds more snooty than “foodie” (kinda like “elitist”?). I love food and anything related to it (cooking, eating, experimenting, dining at hole in the wall to fancy schmancy). I think I’ll just stick to that, if someone asks what I am, I’ll just say “I…Love…Food,” bc I don’t want any snooty stereotype affiliated with me! The commenter above made a good point, Thomas Keller would not refer himself as a foodie, or would he??

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69 Alexis April 25, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I spend ALL DAY on food blogs and tastespotting and poking through recipes looking for things to try… i LOVE food, especially baked goods… but I don’t call myself a foodie, I just hate the sound of that term.

I’m not a foodie… I’m just hungry. :)

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70 camila April 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm

this post is amazing.

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71 Naenae May 1, 2009 at 2:13 pm

You know, it’s really only a word. And considering they’re called ‘vanity plates’, it sure would encompass everything you consider a foodie to be anyway.

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72 Joe May 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I don’t know how I feel about the phrase “foodie”. But what I do know is more than 3 people read your blog, that’s for sure.

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73 Ana June 9, 2009 at 3:49 am

You are just bitter. Cheer up, go eat something!

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74 Mike August 18, 2009 at 5:16 am

Putting so much time into disliking something doesn’t seem very constructive. Words are made up all the time, let the natural process happen. Write something worth your own time, it’s just a license plate.

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75 The Wandering Foodie October 18, 2009 at 4:50 am

Heyyyyyy, I don’t think I fit here. I was going to call Citronelle the best restaurant in DC before I read down the whole list of places I’d been and saw Ben’s Chili Bowl. Maybe you know more ‘foodies’ than I do ;-) I still like the post, though. LEAVE NICOLE RICHIE ALONE! ;-P

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76 adf October 18, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I actually don’t perceive the word foodie to mean food snobs and caviar and champagne as much as i take it to mean people who are really interested in foods, cooking, etc. I love to cook, I love food, and I love food/cooking blogs, and I’m mindful about what I eat (I’m a vegetarian) so I consider myself a foodie and don’t have any negative attitudes attached to the word.

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77 ea December 2, 2009 at 12:24 am

I agree. I don’t like the term ‘foodie’, it seems to elitist to me. Even when I get e-mails or messages from restaurant owners extending an invitation to a ‘foodie’ like me to go to their restaurants, I feel myself bristle at that term despite their ‘good’ intentions.

I admit that a few years ago when I first started writing restaurant/food reviews that I too wanted to be named as a ‘foodie’. The term seemed so special, only reserved for the truly knowledgeable food lover and adventurer.

However, it seems like the term is highly overused nowadays. Any random Joe/Jane off the street may call themselves ‘foodies’ but these ‘foodies’ defy my original perception of a ‘foodie’. My initial perception of a food lover/adventurer started to be replaced by highly critical narrow-minded eaters. Many of them would bash food without trying it or declare it disgusting just because it wasn’t to their palate and yet, call themselves ‘foodies’. After noticing that, I realized I didn’t want to be called a ‘foodie’ despite the occasional positive outlook on them. I didn’t want to be a part of an self-proclaimed elite group.

Besides, ‘foodie’, once you see the word often enough, starts to look strange and immature, perhaps it is the addition of the -ie suffix? Though I would gladly like to be called a ‘foodie’ if it had a universal lexical connotation of ‘one who has an open-minded attitude towards food; a food adventurer’, alas, it doesn’t. Food Adventurer away!

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78 Phyllisia December 13, 2009 at 11:11 am

Haha. Well I’d like to say it’s shocking, but the car was rolling around in Brentwood. It makes me want to take a stroll down Barrington when I go back down for winter quarter.

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79 eatie January 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Man, you sound so grouchy. Foodie is not a snobist term. It just means you’re into food. I thought you were from NYC you seemed so pissed.

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80 Stephanie February 26, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Wow… I am just finding this blog & this post, and I have to say I am so glad I am not alone! Just a few comments (and I’m too lazy to scroll back to find everyone’s names, so I’m sorry):

-twatwaffle is the greatest term I have ever heard
-foodwhore is perfect! (I also like food erection, to describe how you feel after a fantastic meal)
-And, I agree, I just don’t like the word “foodie.” It doesn’t sound good, doesn’t roll off the tongue. Maybe because it kind of sounds like “doodie?” I don’t know. Seems like there could be a better term for people obsessed with food.
-Secondly, it’s the “self-proclaimed” foodies that I don’t like. I have friends like this. They are ANNOYING to go out to eat with. They complain about EVERYTHING (not enough salt; they should have prepped it like this; why didn’t the server pull from the right; etc., etc.). Also, all these self-proclaimed foodies seem to have NEVER worked in a restaurant. Not that you have to work in a restaurant to appreciate food, it just makes it that much worse to dine out with them (especially when you HAVE worked in a restaurant, and you can’t understand why they are holding the TGI Friday’s servers to the same level as the fine dining establishments they usually frequent).

Anyways, that’s my two cents. I’m glad I’m not the only one who cringes at hearing the term.

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81 kim March 5, 2010 at 7:08 am

Who cares. There are more important things in life than worrying about someone’s license plate or how they choose to identify themselves. You didn’t meet the person, you just made a superficial judgment, albeit an entertaining and descriptive judgment, not only about the word, but about the car and the person. I’d be more inclined to take my chances and meet the “foodie” than you (especially if I was in traffic , glanced over and saw you freaking out). I’d bet they’d be more open minded, regardless of what anyone considers their “knowledge” of food. For crying out loud, eat the good food and enjoy your life. And let others enjoy theirs. Who’s really the snob? The one in the picture or the one taking it?

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82 Jaime August 7, 2010 at 9:40 am

I agree with Kim wholeheartedly.

Also, I, apparently, had no clue what the food snobs (yes, you are a food snob if the term foodie is angering you to this point) defined foodie as. I just took it as a generic term for a person who appreciates culinary delights (and no, not meaning escargot, rather just good food!). I referred to myself as a foodie because I adore cooking and trying new foods.

Apparently the angry epicurean food snobs will come and bash me with their mixing spoons or something for using, GASP, the word FOODIE!

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83 David B. April 19, 2010 at 5:46 am

I heard my sister-in-law use this term, and my bristles when up – even where I had none. It’s a silly word, and it needs to be removed from all mediums of language.

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84 Sarah@buttered-up.com August 20, 2010 at 2:32 am

You made me laugh so much. I read parts of your post to my husband and 8 year old stepson who also found it very amusing and asked a lot of questions about things. Thanks for expanding his vocabulary and making us all laugh.

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85 Rae September 12, 2010 at 9:17 am

“Anyone that really, truly, passionately loves food would never, ever use the “f” word.”

Good grief. Get a life. (re: that comment)

Secondly, well-written, but I am among those who think it’s just a word. It would seem most who don’t like it just don’t like it because, well, others don’t like it. Kinda elitist.

Third, putting someone’s tag on here? Slack. Very slack. And then trying to write a half-ass disclaimer? For shame. “I’m sorry if I’m making fun of you, but you obviously want to be made fun of because you’re such an idiot.” Tsk.

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86 Dori Zinn October 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

More than a year ago, when I decided to write a blog about homemade recipes and restaurants around South Florida, I used my experience with food as my defense for why I was qualified to talk about it, and why people should read what I have to say.

In December, while paroozing a bookstore in DC with my Aunt, she questioned me about a food blogger turned author who I hadn’t heard of. “And you call yourself a foodie,” she said. I didn’t respond, because I didn’t know how to. She bought me the book, and I still haven’t read it.

I don’t like the term foodie because it’s pompous. I like that I can take a word like “fat kid” and glorify it with fatkidsclub.com People who just love food, no matter what it is. Due to the negative connotation that “foodie” brings, I figured there was no better way to shun its existence than by taking something minutely offensive and making it acceptable. Fat kid does not equal foodie, and I’m proud of that.

I’ve never liked the word, because it means someone else is putting me on a pedestal for something I didn’t ask for. I write a blog, it’s about food. The end. Coincidentally, I don’t even like the term blogger. This is a longer, unnecessary story for this comment alone, seeing as how I come from a journalism background. In short, I am a writer who has a blog. A couple of them. One of which is a food blog. I am a writer. I like food. The other stereotypes and classifications people put me in are pointless.

As an aside, I’m sorry it took me so long to find this, but it randomly popped up on tastespotting.com, so I clicked. Thanks for a great read anyhow, even if I’m severely late.

Dori

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87 MK April 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

LOL. I also have my own reservations about being labeled a “foodie” – some of the reasons I don’t like the word are the same as the ones you’ve stated above, but lately I think I hate the word because it sound so childish. It sounds like cootie!

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88 Picodog September 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I prefer the term “Glutton” ;)

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89 Frenchie December 13, 2011 at 5:08 am

I probably am a food snob, as I am French but for me the term foodie sounds very amateur and uninspiring. 
I love caviar and foie gras as much as an hachis parmentier (shepherds pie) and I would never in my dreams call myself a foodie.

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90 Sav December 14, 2011 at 3:17 am

Did you manage to cry yourself to sleep yet?

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91 Nina Cristobal December 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm

To everything in this article: YES.

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92 kale May 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

This post cracked me up. (Though I am way late to the reading!) I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, because a word like that can mean different things to different people. But I kind of love that it got you all riled up because it resulted in a hilarious read.
I hate capital letters. But I use them, because the scriggly red line flagging an error ticks me off. And yet I wrote scriggly. I reserve the right to make up words. But I think you get that, don’t you eifnaj? :)

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93 Dean - Inspirich January 13, 2014 at 4:45 am

Che delizia!!!..non solo per il palato, ma anche per gli occhi,
splendida foto!…sento gia’il profumo del cioccolato e della ricotta e
il mascarpone che si fondono….mmh fammi ritornare alla realtá della
scrivania dell’ufficio dove non vedo che due pere alquanto mature che
attendono di essere mangiate…
Scusa se anche io ritorno a bomba..ci dai il titolo di questo tuo libro?

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94 Arpie Aroian March 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Seriously? “Foodie”? That bugs you? I think “foodist” is far more annoying… what’s a “foodist”? My friend calls herself a “foodie” all the time, and all she means is that she loves food… not golf leaf covered foie gras, not truffles, nothing specific… just any and all food. I myself am a Chef and the term doesn’t bother me one bit. Why care what people call themselves? They like something, that’s all that matters. There are botanists, archaelogists, chemists…. “foodist” ? Really? Lol. To each their own. Don’t take things too seriously, you might find yourself less stressed.

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95 LuvMyVeggieTable.com June 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I love this post. Very well written. I don’t agree, however. But, a great topic to get traffic. Kuto’s! (did I spell that right??)

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96 oaklandeasy September 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

Wow. You’ve got some issues. I’ve clicked on 2 images on this website now and both of them had people railing on people they don’t even know, for no good reason. Is the burden of having a blog so heavy that you feel you need to punish people for their personal decisions which have no effect on you? Wow.
I don’t think I can handle the negativity on this site. Y’all like a bunch of mean little girls.

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97 plombier paris October 29, 2014 at 2:42 am

Wow. You’ve got some issues.

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98 Jeadene S July 22, 2015 at 11:51 am

Stealing your word “EIFNAJ” but changing the description a little. Love this blog…
My version is:
Everyday
I
Find
Awesomeness
and my name starts with a
J

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99 Atelier Perrot August 19, 2015 at 11:38 am

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