Lobster Bisque Pot Pie at Atwood in Chicago. A foodie wet dream.
Okay, so there’s a bit of a stigma attached to coming out. I know that in certain circles, just the mere mention that you might partake in this particular lifestyle leaves you open to judgment from older or more xenophobic people within your community. The truth is, we’ve all experimented at one time of our lives or another and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. What you put in your mouth is your business.
No one ever said it was easy being a foodie. Hell, a friend of mine claims that the word, itself, implies a certain level of douche-baggery. But then, there are others who wear the term on their sleeves as a medal of honor. Something to take pride in and even heavily recruit for.
For the lack of a better word, I am a foodie. I know, coming out of the closet like that could have some serious repercussions, but
Breakfast at James Brown’s Place in Rochester, NY. I’ve lived all over the country and haven’t eaten as good as they serve it here.
the fact of the matter is, I’ve known I was a foodie since I was little, but was ashamed to come out. Coming from a family who relished in bland, tasteless food, I knew deep within my heart that I would never be completely accepted if I did come out. But, seriously, who was I kidding. I couldn’t hide it. Sneaking off late at night for sushi and ordering anything that was covered in one kind of fish roe or another. Finding the subtle differences between the same varieties of carrots grown by two different farms 40 miles away from each other. Seeing the Garbage Plate for what it really is, a cultural icon, not just something to draw in tourists (I’m looking at you, Philly Cheese Steak). Yes, you heard that right, I am a foodie.
If you were to ask 100 different people what defines a foodie, you’re going to get 100 different answers. For some it’s something negative, but for others, its something deeper, almost personal.
For me, the only thing in my life more personal than than the food I eat, is my lady, Michelle, and even then, I did leave her for a cupcake once in Oregon. Yeah, a cupcake, and yes, I know cupcakes are a fad that need to leave quickly. Luckily she took me back after a stroll among the naked hippies and flower children.
I know I might be stepping on some toes, but there is nothing in the world, past or present that has the ability, including art, music, or even language, to define not only a culture, but a family, quite like food. My family may not speak German any longer and sure as hell can’t hold a tune, but you can bet your ass my mother is still making maultaschen and I look forward to making it and passing the recipe to my nephew Ethan when he’s old enough to get off his ass and cook (he’s a month old. Times a-tickin’).
Though there are quite a few similarities, being a food snob isn’t really the same thing as being a food snob or a gourmet, in my
Chicago Style Pizza.
opinion. Yes, I do prefer better, locally sourced ingredients, we do tend to lose all professional etiquette and turn into kids in a candy store when a slab of pork belly is placed in front of us, but I also get the same joy from a Zweigle’s White Hot or a pile of hash browns, chorizo and poached eggs loaded onto my plate smiling at me as if to say ‘Good Morning’. A foodie does not discriminate. If the food gives me the feeling I’m after, I go for it. Am I going to stop eating Tasty Cakes from Philly just because I have no idea what half of the shit in there is? Hell no! Tasty Cakes bring me back to a time and people I remember fondly when our company CO when I was in the Army would have them sent from his sister in Philly. Am I going to stop eating Garbage Plates just because I know it will probably kill me at some point? Well, as Michelle’s Uncle Sloppy says, ‘To eat is to live and to live is to eat”.
For me, eating is about new experiences. It’s about getting to know a city, a culture, a community, or a person on a more intimate level. For a foodie, what we eat shouldn’t be taken for granted. Though there might be the aisles of labels and logos you might be familiar with, its important to step out of your comfort zone from time to time. Learn about new tastes and where they come from. Let every time you eat become a learning experience. Keep trying new things, for with every bite, you’re keeping a culture alive.