6 Things to Know Before Calling Yourself a Foodie

Do you have what it takes to call yourself a foodie? Reid Nichols with a check list guest post.
By Reid Nichols

First, let me start of by saying that I am not a foodie. I’m just a guy who likes to try new restaurants and foods. I have noticed a problem in the quality of recommendations I have heard or read from people calling themselves foodies. We need to raise the standards of what is deserving of the title of Foodie. For example, I want a foodie to give me a tip about where I can find the freshest and most favorable pad thai, not that they think P.F. Chang’s is “awesome”. Before calling yourself a foodie, I think there are a few things you should consider.

Just like everyone with a digital camera thinks they are a photographer, everyone who likes to eat seems to call themselves a foodie. I’m sorry, but just because you like to eat, doesn’t mean you are a foodie – it probably means you need to go to the gym.

Don’t get me wrong, eating as a hobby is not something that should be reserved for a select few. But it seems that the term is being recklessly thrown around quite a bit lately. Trying several different foods at a food truck roundup in 2010 does not make you a foodie. While there are varying opinions of what a foodie is, popular nomenclature suggests that it is someone who considers themselves informed on the restaurants and dishes in a particular area.

Foodies go to new restaurants, shun large chain establishments and are eager to give their opinions and recommendations. Foodies know something about the chefs, cooking styles or methods of these restaurants. They also know about the quality and origin of the food they consume. Foodies are keen to fads, education and culinary tourism.

Here are some examples:

– A foodie can recommend a local restaurant and give several options on its menu. You are not a foodie if you like a restaurant but have only ever ordered one thing on the menu.

– A foodie can tell you about a restaurant’s use of local ingredients, naturally raised animals and sustainability efforts.

– A foodie can tell you what items are made fresh in-house and which ingredients are stored or shipped in the freezer. Are the chips, salsa and guacamole made daily?!?!

– A foodie doesn’t need the waiter to explain how an item is cooked sous-vide. A foodie should be well versed in cooking styles and techniques.

– A foodie has a “best of” list longer than 5 options.

– Although not always required, it helps if a foodie is able to identify the flavor chords of a meal and be able to recommend a wine.

If we all took the term foodie a little more seriously our level of discourse would benefit greatly. Being a foodie is a fun and easy hobby to have. All of the information you need to be informed is available to you without much trouble- simple talk to your waiter or check the restaurant’s website. The next time you write a review or make a recommendation you can back up your opinion with relevant information, and that will earn you the mouth watering title of Foodie.

This is a guest column. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author.

Reid Nichols

Reid Nichols has enjoyed eating almost every day that he has been alive. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Washington and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from The Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. He provides freelance writing and consultation out of Central Florida.

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  1. Are ‘foodies’ only people who eat out? What about great home cooks who actually have the skill and knowledge to prepare excellent meals without having to rely on the ‘professionals’ to do it for them?

  2. Hi Audrey,
    Foodies are definitely not just people who eat out. I respect those who are able to prepare great meals much more than those who are only able to recommend. My own personal experience with people who call themselves foodies, however, deals primarily with those who are excited by certain plates or restaurants around town.

  3. Well that’s a relief:)

    All of the foodies in my circle are phenomenal home cooks, host amazing dinner parties, and most of us teach cooking classes. Many are also into restaurants — except me. I’d just always considered ‘foodie’ to be a broader term that went beyond familiarity with restaurants.

    Thanks for responding.

  4. Add one more to the list: A foodie should be open to trying anything, any delicacy and any meal any culture has to offer. He/she may not make a habit of eating a controversial/repulsive/unorthodox ingredient, but should at least want to sample it once.

  5. A fellow Washingtonian! I enjoyed and agreed with this blog. I myself am someone who enjoys food and trying new places but I am definitely not a foodie!

  6. I just love food. Am I a foodie? Sometimes I do over-indulge, but mostly on healthy comfort foods. I have cut out most sugars from my diet but that doesn’t mean I don’t salivate for cupcakes! Eating is a big pleasure for me, always has been. But I am learning to not overdo it most of the time.

  7. My friend calls herself a foodie. So, we tried to check her off this list. Amazingly, she got it all. Though she’s a foodie, pizza and sandwiches are among her favorite food.

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