will work for cheese

- from my senses to your screen -

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So what is a foodie? And, am I one?
I am not sure yet, but for some reason I don't like the term and I definitely don't like to be categorized as such.
Is it somebody that follows new restaurants around and is obsessed with Chefs? Just like a rock star groupie but with food? So, instead of trying to get up on stage to sing with Bono, are they jumping on top of the table holding a lamb chop in one hand and the new Giada De Laurentis book on the other to get it signed and take a peak at her cleavage?
Is it someone that only eats at fancy restaurants and would never get caught having a hot dog from a cart in the middle of the street? Would that be considered derogatory for a "Foodie"?
Is it a new breed of people that would use words as abstract, ephemeral, ethereal to describe a 55 dollar entree when they don't really know if they actually like what they are eating?
Is a foodie someone that could confuse food with fashion? Somebody that has never chopped more than 2 onions at a time, that has never cooked for over 30 people, that does not have battle scars from the kitchen but they can recite the entire top 20 new restaurants from Food and Wine Magazine and give you a quick bio of their chefs at your wine tasting party?
Do they believe that eating at El Bulli is definitely much, much better than eating paella directly from the pan while drinking Rioja out of a cup? Do they think that a dollop of mango foam is better than biting into the sweet, juicy, messy fruit as you sit under the tree you got it from?

Don't get me wrong. I have been there. I have been thru phases in my life where I just loved to eat at fancy restaurants and skipped all the "hole in the wall" local eateries. I once bought a very expensive VIP ticket and waited in line in a big sweaty crowd (duck confit in hand) to get a picture with Tony Bourdain (and I will do it again). I have paid absurd money to be sitting at the most fashionable restaurant in SoBe at the time- I was very impressed at the level of theatrical performance and had the best drink of my life (would never go back unless somebody else pays and the food improves substantially). I think I could sacrifice an entire year of cheese (what?!) to have the opportunity of eating at Ferran Adria genious food lab.

All I have to say is that because I have done all that, I can testify that these elements do not give you any kind of guarantee of better food or experience.
Don't call me a foodie. I have gotten my hands dirty, have cried rivers cutting onions to make hallacas (Venezuelan's tamale-like food) for Christmas, I have battle scars from hot ovens and sharp knives.
I love eating mangoes with my hands, love eating food from a street vendor. I have stepped into a little fisherman's home with my family and asked him if he could share some baby shark (cazon) empanadas with us. I have eaten arepas and fried pig on the side of the road (dirt road) on my way to the beach. Nothing compares to those big, bold, fantastic flavors.

Food should not be compared to fashion. Creativity should be felt in your taste buds and not so much looked at in your plate. Food is good when it tastes good, not only when it looks nicely arranged or when it comes from a familiar part of the animal. Food is great when it's tied to history, when the culture of your town is reflected in that one bite, when memories hit you as you smell the burning fat and garlic -you can hear your mother calling you to the table when you were 5 years old. Food represents our family and our love, our hard work. Food brings stories to our dinner table. It makes everything more meaningful, our successes and our failures, our welcomes and our losses.

So, Foodie? I am not sure what it actually means. If anybody can better explain to me what a foodie does or what it is, it would be greatly appreciated.

Buen Provecho!


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