Remember when comedian Jeff Foxworthy coined the phrase, “You might be a redneck if…?” Usually followed by something like, “… you mow the lawn and find a few cars.” This kind of humorous speculation can be applied to many realms, including the world of food. For example, you might be a foodie if you spend all day braising organic lamb shanks. Or you might be a foodie if you can say mirepoix correctly. And so on and so on. Here are some indicators suggesting that you might be a serious food snob.
1) Must Have Chanterelles
?You might be a foodie if regular button mushrooms aren’t good enough. You know what I’m talking about. Let’s say you are making duxelles to stuff in that expensive kurobuta pork loin, and you come unhinged because you can only find flavorless button mushrooms at your local grocery store. What? No chanterelles? No shiitakes? No oyster mushrooms? If this is the case, maybe it’s time to switch stores and start shopping at one of those glitzy natural food markets such as PCC or Whole Foods. Celebrate your foodieness! And cough up your whole paycheck, please.
2) Good Olive Oil
?You might be a foodie if you insist on buying good olive oil. You hear the term “good olive oil” all the time, but what does it really mean? This generally implies that it’s the extra virgin variety, pressed in small lots–not that mass-produced corporate stuff that may or may not be 100 percent olive oil. (New Yorker magazine recently did an article about a how some large olive oil companies are actually passing off inferior oil–not even made from olives–as olive oil.) It’s guaranteed that you are a foodie if you buy olive oil infused with black truffle or pistachio nuts. Or, better yet, if you infuse your own olive oil. This would make you a supreme food snob.
3) Iodized Salt! No Way!
?You might be a foodie if you would rather put sawdust on your food than use processed table salt in your cooking. Gourmet sea salts have been around for a long time, yet they weren’t given that distinction back in ancient times–it’s just what people had in the regions where they lived, so that’s simply what they put on their food. There are so many gourmet sea salts on the market these days, that it can be quite confusing. But if you are a foodie, you probably have some favorite sea salts, like Himalayan pink, fleur de sel, or Jurassic from Utah. Having a large collection of pretty sea salts (kept in glass jars) is not only cool, it definitely puts you in the foodie category.
4) Expensive Cheeses
?You might be a foodie if you are willing to pay $24.99 for a pound of cheese. Remember when Tillamook used to be considered high-end cheese? Yet this famous Oregon cheddar is now considered to be pedestrian–not quite trailer park, but it’s found in many refrigerators across this great land. Foodies are now praising the glory of artisanal cheeses, many of which are stinky by nature. (The stinkier, the better, and you pay heavily for that stench!) Cheeses made by Cowgirl Creamery, Rogue Creamery and Cabot Creamery have become household names in the new millennium. Farmstead goat cheeses and fancy blue-veined cheeses are the current fodder of many foodies, especially while sipping pricey wine at the neighborhood wine bar. Most foodies would rather julienne their fingers with that expensive German knife than eat a slice of waxy American cheese. God forbid.
5) Forged German Steel
?You might be a foodie if you hang out in cutlery stores. It’s imperative that foodies have good knives. I’m not talking about some stamped American-made crap, but some real forged German steel, with some real German heft. Hand-forged knives have been the standard for European chefs for centuries. Lines such as J.A. Henckels, Wusthof and Sabatier are known for their high quality edges and excellent balance. Newer companies such as Global and other fancy Japanese brands, many of which forge blades with the same detail as samurai swords, are putting out knives that foodies seem to love, as well. It’s important to remember, though, that it’s not what you have, but what you can do with it. Yet having good knives makes it a lot more fun.
6) Moratorium on Corporate Restaurants
?You might be a foodie if you would rather pull out your teeth with fish tweezers than eat at a corporate restaurant. It could be argued that the food served at corporate restaurants, like Olive Garden, The Cheesecake Factory and Applebee’s, is not really food at all–instead some highly processed, pre-fabricated food that “cooks” merely just heat up and plop on a plate. Fundamentally speaking, this really irks foodies, who want their food to be “ingredient-driven” and “farm-fresh.” Some foodies only eat food that is grown or raised within a 100-mile radius of where they live. Now that’s hard to do in some parts of the country, but if you can pull it off, then you are the ultimate foodie.
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