Noun 1. gastronome - a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)bon vivant, epicure, epicurean, foodie, gourmetsensualist - a person who enjoys sensuality. Follow me on Twitter: @Aghastronome

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What's in a name? Or, moniker?

Of late, I have been too busy to blog (I hate when that happens), however, neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor a bad internet connection can keep me from reading about things, mostly food things and how to quit your job in grand style.  Monday, I got a good giggle out of Katharine's article in the HoustonPress about "Foodie" backlash - and all of the comments associated thereto.  Then, there was yesterday's "destructions" on spotting a "Foodie" by John Seaborn Gray.  Again, great comments, I took both articles as rather "tongue-in-cheek", you know, since I am a foodie, foodblogger, gastronome who happens to play with words.  I really identify with food nerd best, or rather, food dork.  What you will "catch" me doing, if you catch me out at all, is waving my magic crackberry over my plate.  I do have a twitter account, I am not all "tweetalicious".  If I'm doing anything with my crackberry at dinner, it's texting Christy that I am seated in the same dining room as a man that looks like Fabio, is wearing Nichole Richie's sunglasses, snakeskin pants and, AND (kid you not) open-toed, black patent platform Ho-Letto's.  I had to retext about the "Hope Amethyst" on his pinkie.  I know I was in the presence of someone important, and - I was entertained.  I stated in an earlier post that food, like art, is subjective - it is, you just cannot argue with me.  I like reuben sandwiches the very best, when they are crispy-toasty and oozy with cheese and good sauerkraut.  Some people, some, think fried bologna on white with "that salad dressing" that makes a mockery of mayonnaise is the crown jewel of the sandwich family. To each their own...Love, Peace and Chicken Grease, ya'll.

Somehow, we "like writers" occasionally, well, know one another.  You know, like we might hang out over pints and "pickles frites" and have a chat.  Why, just to the northwest of us, KS's friend at Austin360 picked up on the "foodie debate" and had this to say.  So, I'll weigh in, because I can't really help myself, I felt a compulsion and my willpower is a wisp of a thing anyway.  What in the wide world of sports is a "foodie"? Why all the fracas?  The term was "coined" in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr and further used to title their book "The Official Foodie Handbook", published in 1984 - when Twitter was not even a glimmer in a code writer's eye, and blogs contained peat.  Oh, wait, that's "bogs", oops.  My social networking in the mid-to-late eighties involved "city shorts" and "cauliflower bangs", mosty at The Volcano and mostly involving frozen screwdrivers.  I'm not proud.  It is what it is.  So, what exactly is a "foodie", per se? Following are some of the definitions from Urban Dictionary:

1. foodie

A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation. A foodie is not necessarily a food snob, only enjoying delicacies and/or food items difficult to obtain and/or expensive foods; though, that is a variety of foodie.

Because he was a foodie, he liked to collect menus from restaurants which prepared food he enjoyed.

2. foodie
A dumbed-down term used by corporate marketing forces to infantilize and increase consumerism in an increasingly simple-minded American magazine reading audience. The addition of the long "e" sound on the end of a common word is used to create the sensation of being part of a group in isolationist urban society, while also feminizing the term to subconsciously foster submission to ever-present market sources.

Though the terms "gastronome" and "epicure" define the same thing, i.e. a person who enjoys food for pleasure, these words are perceived by the modern American consumer as elitist due to their latin root forms and polysyllabic pronunciations.

Also spelled "foody"

3. foodie 

Either a 27 year old woman with a boob job, or a gay man with a great job. Both claim to have many friends that are also foodies. They see Rachael Ray have foodgasms and expect the same from Burger King.

They spend too much money trying to emulate food celebrities they see on Bravo, and do ridiculous activities like going out in a party of 10 to a Kobe beef tasting.

Essentially, if you call yourself a "foodie", you aren't one; or you aren't what you think it means. A firefighter would not walk up to a burning building, criticize the flames, and proclaim that he and his coworkers are firefighters.

"This restaurant sucked, me and all my friends are foodies, and my steak wasn't hot enough, and there were some sea salt crystals on my bread."

I've also heard the argument made that a "foodie" is one who totes a big camera and has stunted tastebuds ...whatever, haters.  Here's what I am, and some of what you can expect from this little dusty nook of the interwebs.  I like to eat...hell, don't we all?  I don't seek out the newest trends on purpose.  I will, however, put pretty much anything in my pie hole, at least once.  I tried sea urchin....I will never, ever, upon pain of death try it again.  Disgusting. Nastified, even.  You like it?  Great!!  You can have mine, really.  What, you hate liver?  Are you crazy?  I love it.....some fava beans, a nice Chianti - lusciousness. I'll take your share of liver, gladly and with gusto.  I will even do the "happy dance" in my chair. Seriously, I've had both the guinea fowl and duck hearts and livers over toast points at Feast and I declare them magically delicious.  I like pig chips, or chicharrones - a lot.  I do not like grease biscuits, at all (read: donuts).  I do like comfy eateries, and the pleasantries of dining.  Rush me and your tip might suck. 

I like children, especially the ones that have babysitters.  I have had a grubby little hand snake across my table for the chip basket and try, try to dip in my queso.  Did I just whack your ill-behaved offspring on his precious little hand?  Hell yes, I did.  Try duct tape...he belongs at your table, not at mine. your home, the cat can be a centerpiece on your table while the dog counter surfs, unless I am a dinner guest.  Out of your home, I don't want a friendly lick hello while I eat, my empty plate licked or doggie prints on my clothes.  If your little darlings behave, really behave and not just in your eyes, I got no bitch with that.  I really think we need a new trend toward civilized dining, where adults control conversation and children know how to behave, use table manners...etc. I mean, is the owner of that child paying for MY meal?  I don't think so.

Into every life some junk food must fall, as must the occasional chain-meal.  For the most part, I want a nice meal from a local establishment.  I dine out rather selectively and not rather often, it can be costly so I don't go out for "Applebee's Garden" and whatnot - why bother, I can best that in my own kitchen.  I like organic and locally grown - it's not a trend, I was raised on a farm.  Today, I pet the goat, tomorrow he is the cabrito on the pit, one makes you wash your hands, the other makes you lick your fingers.  What can I say?  I picked the garden, I cleaned the vegetables and I ate them.  I helped can or freeze the extra and I had no idea what a pickle from the store tasted like for years.  My Mama did not cook out of a box.  We ate instant nothing, unless "instant fresh fruit", you simply peel and eat, counts.  Don't tell anyone, especially not the anti-foodie-frogs-not-trendy people, but I have *gasp* gigged a frog.  I also know where venison comes from...sssshhhhhhhhhh.  Basically, I am not on a "trend wagon", I'm just me, eating what I like, hoping for great service and having a beverage or two along the way.  I like live music, I'll mutter about it on occasion.  I am eco-friendly, but I am not militant about it. This is just my extention of my corner of Houstonist, with less content.

At any rate, foodie, food nerd, "eating person who talks about it", or not - I'll tell you what I like, where it is located, what I don't like and various other things I feel like sharing.  Read and enjoy!!  It's a rather contentious topic, please feel free to leave your thoughts.

I will be adding links and such time allows, so check back.

The HoustonPress Music Awards are at Warehouse Live, Tonight.

I'm learning this "Twitter" thing and "public'd" my following thing, so, you can follow me!  I don't tweet bunches, but, I am out there. Alone, with one follower.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post. I just found this site after cleaning up my RSS feeds and getting sad again about the demise of the Houstonist.

    I was not a real fan of the HP foodie posts, not because the writing wasn't entertaining, but because I think they were insulting without making a good case.

    I'm not a Yelper and I'm not a foodie, but I believe in being critical of the things we love. Because I do this, I make a point to also compliment the things I really like (karmic balance?)... like this post... and this blog. I'm adding this to my feeds right after I click "Post Comment." :)