There is nothing wrong with being a food snob. Food snobs offer valuable services to their communities, such as market insight, educated opinions and keeping the restaurant industry honest and on its toes. But still, there are always some culi-nazis pissing in the crab bisque; food snows who take themselves way too seriously, use blogs for psychological warfare over trifles and, worst of all, scare the ever-loving brioche buns off of new foodies who are just trying to discover what's out there.
In the spirit of protecting budding culinarians -- as well as the rest of us without wooden spoons jammed up our arses -- from the harsh and insensitive behavior of old-guard foodinistas, here's our list of the top five things food snobs should stop doing. Bon appétit!
5. Stop swinging your foodie d*cks around so much. We all get that you have the biggest zucchini in the room, but do you have to take it out and flop it on the dinner table? One of the biggest gripes I hear from both new foodies and non-foodies is that longtime food snobs tend to dominate social conversations with foodie topics, which isn't too great a sin, but then many of them go a step further and stage impromptu culinary lectures in the office, while carpooling, at the gym -- and everyone is expected to sit at their feet all Socrates-style and eagerly drink in their every word. People who aren't into food really don't give a fat bull's bollocks about cultural diffusion along ancient spice routes through the Middle East, nor do they care to listen to endless arguments about why Asian fusion is so 1998. Stop it! You're scaring the straights!
4. Stop being "that guy" at restaurants and stores. Nobody likes "that guy," specifically the guy/gal who holds up the drive-thru at Sonic asking the witless employees whether or not their beef is organic, who harasses strangers in line at the Queen Soopers about their GMO-infested romaine hearts, and who cannot help commenting on why Chilean produce is always under-ripe to anyone within a three-foot radius at Whole Foods. You have opinions, and maybe some if not all of them are valid, but there is a time and a place for you to spout your awesomely awesome foodie activist rants -- and pick times and places that don't involve irritating people who may be polite enough to humor you, but who really don't care about your beef with Norman Bourlag.
3. Stop pretending you don't like junk food sometimes. Posing like you eat nothing but watercress salads and wild-caught salmon filets is unrealistic, and nobody is going to believe you. Being a food snob means you probably know about, and indulge in, plenty of gourmet meals, fine wines and above-par coffees, but to deny the rejuvenating properties of a chicken-fried steak sandwich with extra pickles is unnecessary snobbery for no good reason. Own up to your canned tamales, Cheetos, Cool-Whip and your occasional forays into the deep dark underworld of fast food. It will make you seem less like a snotty wink-wanker, and more like a normal human being with a red cream soda mustache.
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2. Stop condescending to new foodies. It's pretty neato to be the person in the room with the most foodie knowledge, but lording your vast, acquired comprehension of cruciferous vegetables and obscure Italian pastas over the unlucky peasants caught in your ego-stroking web is not doing them much of a service. New foodies are your brothers and sisters -- they are lovely, empty vessels, ready to be filled with information about goat chevre, Beaujolais and endive appetizers. Sure, it's easy to pick on the poor, clueless Sutter Home-drinking, California roll-eating masses, but it would be a much more humane -- and productive -- use of your time and effort to bring them up to your level rather than beat them down.
1. Stop using your personal food blogs as weapons for evil. The single-biggest thing food snobs do that makes me want to slice my wrists and bleed into my morning oatmeal is create and/or utilize food blogs for the forces of evil rather than good. It's fine that so many everyday citizens want to blog about their foodie experiences online, and it's downright heartwarming to see novice foodies share the latest biz about restaurants, markets and tastings. But reading trifling, self-indulgent, erroneous drivel from people who are too chickenshit to address dining issues in person, like grown folks should, is grounds for dismissal. Blog-whining about how the local stores don't carry the bamboo skewers you want or how the fish and chip shop up the street didn't give you enough tartar sauce is inane, considering how easy it is to ask questions and clearly define your expectations while actually shopping and dining. We all know the old saying about how opinions are like assholes.....but using food blogs for dirty-pool sport doesn't make you a respected food blogger -- it makes you the person we all wish would perish in a bakery fire.