I’ve always intensely disliked the label “foodie”, and cringe a tiny bit whenever I hear myself described as one. It’s friendly enough, but to me the word is just too cutie-pie in its diminutiveness. You might as well call me “bootie” “cookie” or “tootsie”.
According to Wikipedia, foodie is a synonym for a gourmet that emerged out of the yuppie, Silver Palate eighties, the era of sun-dried tomatoes and California cuisine. Coined by the co-authors of The Official Foodie Handbook, it seemed a slightly derogatory connotation for a certain kind of food groupie who bought foie gras futures and quoted from the Zagat guide as if it were the Old Testament.
It had some staying power, though. These days everyone’s a foodie, and proud to say so.
But what would be a better description? Gourmet, gourmand, epicurean, connoisseur? They’re all fusty, outdated words that call to mind images of white-gloved butlers and escargot out of a can.
I’m proposing a challenge to any of you who happen to be reading this to help me think of a new word. You know, something catchy, but cool. Come on! Get creative, and post a comment to share. To get this started, how about:
Fooder : heftier and more on-point than foodie, but admittedly could also refer to someone who tends to eat out of a trough.
Okay, back to business. Our assemblage of fooders was surprisingly well behaved (now I’m wondering – did we need stronger cocktails?) and the array of foods on the table was as varied and tasty as the people who brought them. And, as someone observed, we managed to talk about food pretty much the whole night.
My Crunchy Shrimp with Cilantro Ginger Dipping Sauce
Nupur’s Vegetable Biryani with Carrot Raita (photographer was vibrating)
Bruno’s Whole Grain Rustic Bread
Alanna’s Creamy Mascarpone Tart
Kristen’s Buttery Fruit Cobbler
Randall’s Artful Cheese Plate: Stilton, Aged Gouda and Marcona Almonds
In attendance were local bloggers Nupur of One Hot Stove* (see Nupur’s step-by-step biryani recipe here), Alanna of A Veggie Venture and Bruno of Zinfully Delicious along with a talented food-obsessed group from our weekly rag, The Riverfront Times; Malcolm, Kristen, Ian, Brooke and Randall.