Recently I read an article from The Lempert Report that stated that “foodies are dead” and the shutdown of Gourmet magazine “makes it official.”
Nah, I don’t think so.
All we have to do is look at the characteristics of a foodie. Wikipedia has a great definition of a foodie: “Foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news.”
Perhaps there is some confusion between a foodie and a gourmet? Gourmets simply want to eat the best food. Period. And Gourmet magazine showcased the very best. I loved that magazine. I loved it, but I never subscribed to it, never cooked anything from it, never was inspired to order anything because of the stunning ads within it, and yet I’m still here. A foodie.
I almost feel a little silly calling myself a foodie. To me it is synonymous with being, well, human. We all eat. And whether you choose to eat hotdogs or New Zealand rack of lamb, there can always be that element of creating something just a little bit unique with your food. Case in point: My husband and I had a ridiculous craving for hotdogs the other night. Yep, good old-fashioned, nitrate-laden beef franks. I sliced mine in half, cooked them in my cast iron skillet and ate them without the bun and dipped in mustard. My husband had his in a hot dog bun, with melted smoked gouda and, get this, fried eggs on top. Moral of the story? We ate hotdogs, the bottom of the food chain. But they were more than just hotdogs. It was a hotdog experience. Isn’t that what makes food so comforting? It’s all about the experience.
Another reason why I know the foodie is not dead? Look and listen to the faces of your friends and family as you describe a really great meal you had on vacation or at a local restaurant or describe a hotdog sandwich with smoked gouda and a fried egg on top. It draws them in. Case in point: We traveled to Alaska this August and put the miles on the rental truck. 1300 miles in a week; 500 photos; 250 were photos of what we ate. The salmon, halibut, reindeer sausage, kale, it was all fresh-tasting and amazing. Flash-forward several weeks. I edited my 500 photos to share with my co-workers over lunch one day and kept it to just 20 or so photos that captured the beauty and essence of Alaska. I thought about including my food photos, but I did not think anyone besides me would find them interesting. Would you believe that the conversation quickly veered to questions about the food in Alaska? “How was it?” – “What did the salmon taste like?” “What does reindeer taste like.” The scenery photos were indeed beautiful… but they wanted the heart of the experience. They wanted to know what Alaska tasted like.
So no, I don’t think the foodie is dead. In fact, I think the foodie in all of us is each emerging and just getting started. Here’s to the experience for all of us!