When and why did we start spending half of our income on truffle fries and avocado oil?
In the midst of planning my overdue summer vacation, I scroll down my contact list, hunting a few people I dare call “foodies”, in hopes of getting some recommendations of places where they dined and wined in Barcelona; luckily, the biblical list forms quickly.
Some of these people work in online marketing. They are, in the gastronomical realm, inhabitants. Their leisure time and shy unrestricted income, however, is devoted almost exclusively to food and restaurants.
Most of them will say “I’m not a foodie, I just eat what I like”. Yes, I know. You’re probably thinking this sounds exactly like when a hipster claims he’s not actually one. The cliché cracks them up.
But God knows how I feel when I hear the word foodie. I think Zomato, TripAdvisor and shit of the sort. I don’t want to be lumped in with Zomato though, the team here in Beirut are friends. Nonetheless, denying you’re a foodie is like shying away from the fact that even your phone’s screen saver is a close-up photo of a pile of “truffle crispy potato allumettes”.
“For years, the word “Foodie” was used sparingly. A populist food critic might have been described as a “foodie.” A gustatory pleasure seeker with the time and money to invest in obscure cooking methods, niche coffee roasting techniques, and not-to-be-missed meals might have earned the distinction too. It wasn’t a compliment; it was just a descriptor. It was an unpretentious way to categorize a growing but still relatively small group of people. Over time, the word has undergone an all-too-familiar transformation, bubbling up to a point of ubiquity that has stripped the word of any semblance of meaning. On a good day — or bad, depending on how you look at it — most people would qualify as a “foodie” to someone. The net the word casts is just too wide.” – The Washington Post
There is of course, people in today’s world to whom food is a solemn cultural quest. And yes, being an “epicurean” has unquestionably become an outlining fascination among Millennials. It’s not soccer or Xbox. It’s more like K-Pop. Just like the music of, say, PSY blasting off in a Parisian club, food is observed as a genuine choice for a pastime.
Food’s revolution from a boring hobby to today’s “sensation” has occurred extremely fast. The concurrent rise of Instagram and Snapchat deserves a share of the praise, but none of this would’ve happened without the popular uprising in fine dining. Typically, you’re either the type “I eat to live” or “live to eat”. Nowadays, you’re likely to add another category, the “I live to eat, and Instagram it” one.
So is being a “Foodie”, a twenty-tens’ epidemic? Let me know what you think.