It’s not always easy to be a foodie. Being a food fanatic can be a hobby, a career, a lifestyle, or even a fetish, but one thing foodies from all walks can say is that being a food enthusiast is often misunderstood by those who see food as nothing more than necessary sustenance. These strange people couldn’t care less that you used Maldon smoked sea salt flakes or spent hours researching casserole trends of the 1950s. They don’t see the difference between Iberian ham and lunch meat and they barely notice when you serve them “the good scones.” But we foodies, who live to eat, and non-foodies, who eat to live, have to co-exist, so in order to make our lives — and yours — little easier, here’s are list of five things foodies wish everyone else knew.
5) Putting ketchup on food we cook is like kicking us in the groin.
Ketchup has its uses, such as squirting it on fries and hash browns, or occasionally topping a meatloaf, but to foodies, ketchup is usually the least of all the condiments, rather than a go-to for everything we cook. That said, as a hardcore foodie, I see red when I prepare a fine meal for guests (not consisting of French fries, hash browns or meatloaf) and they ask me for ketchup. I’ll bring out the bottle, and I’ll watch while the offending rube smothers a steak, a chicken breast, a fish filet, or a side of potatoes au gratin with aged Gouda cheese and pink peppercorns in salty tomato mush-syrup.
And by watch I mean give the stink-eye, while contemplating death, destruction, disemboweling — and inevitably questioning of why I’m even friends with anyone who does this.
4) We know some foodies can be pretentious food fascists, and we don’t like them either.
Oh believe me, we get it. There are unfortunately plenty of foodie-folk who bathe and cologne themselves in affectation by correcting everyone’s pronunciation, bragging about having sucked off Alton Brown at an international cheese convention in 2003, extolling the virtues of hipster-gentrified pop-up restaurants that only they have ever heard of and dined at, and claiming to subsist solely on duck confit nachos, foraged yams, and $13 cocktails made with cloudberries and rhubarb bitters. They use phrases like “building layers of flavor,” and make sure everyone knows the only coffee they buy is free-trade, organic, mountain-grown, Tibetan, monkey-harvested, wild goat-licked beans.
They irritate the hell out of us, too, because being a food enthusiastic means we like food, not that we have free reign to be pompous foodanistas. Truth? Sometimes we can taste the terroir in our sea salt, and sometimes we can’t. 3. Being a foodie doesn't mean we like all foods, all the time.
I know, I know: foodies are automatically supposed to like everything all the time. But we don’t. There are some foods and drinks out there that try the patience of even the most magnanimous of food aficionados, like fish sticks, omelets, pastries with too many anise seeds, lima bean stew, licorice, sandwich cookies, that sticky mess of icing on German chocolate cake, chicken hearts, diet Pepsi, peanut M&Ms, monkfish liver pate, grape jelly, tuna melts, turtle cheesecake, Jello, lutefisk and Boston crème pie-flavored yogurt. It’s perfectly natural to not like some foods, even for the most hardcore foodies, because if everyone who breathed actually loved all those nasty Oreo cookie flavors, the universe as we know it would end.
So sticking red velvet cake Oreos in our faces won’t necessarily get you a head pat so much as a shin-kick, and you will have earned this fair and square.
2) Photographing our meals irritate you sometimes, but we are gonna keep at it anyway.
It’s uncertain when taking photographs of meals we eat became a thing (If I had to guess it was somewhere around when cell phones got working cameras stuffed into them) but at some point this trend must have peaked, then bottomed out, and foodies were not made aware of it via fax, email, Facebook update or tweet. And what’s more, it wouldn't make a bit of difference to us if we had been informed that food photography was no longer cool, because guess what? We who love food were snapping pics of our every meal before it was awesome, are doing it now, and will keep on doing it until we die. Is there anything more beautiful and visually stimulating than giving lamb chops on a bed of julienned root vegetables sautéed with harissa the blessing of immortality? The only thing more endearing than this is making sure everyone knows that for breakfast we had steel-cut oatmeal with wild blueberries and fresh-ground cardamom.
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People want to know what we eat. They need to know what we eat, and trust me—we would all make oil paintings of the steamed artichokes with Meyer lemon and foraged fennel pollen aioli we had for lunch if painting wasn't so damned time consuming.
1) We don’t eat fancy-schmancy food all the time.
Everyone likes whatever good food is to them, especially foodies. That’s one of the biggest things that foodies wish not-foodies knew. Contrary to popular belief, folks who are all about food don’t dine on quail eggs, red heirloom spinach and white truffle shavings at every mealtime. In fact, you might be hard-pressed to find a foodie out there who hasn’t curled up to watch Netflix with a bowl of off-brand peanut butter Cookie Crisp cereal or cracked open a can of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni at lunchtime. Do we enjoy a well prepared lobster thermidor (white wine, NOT sherry) and a dish of Alpine strawberry and fresh basil petit fours (with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar)? Of course we do — who wouldn’t? But most foodies tend to be at complete ease with a bowl of soup and a box of Cheez-Its as well.
Foodies like food, and really like whatever foods taste good to them. And a significant difference between a foodie and a not-foodie is that a foodie will at least try a spoonful of durian fruit before declaring it inedible and evil. If you just aren’t a foodie, at least make an effort to be a foodie-adjacent friend, because we bring joy, laughter, color, flavor and excellent potluck dishes to your lives.