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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Fuck “Foodie” (or: Hello 1994!)

posted by on April 5 at 11:46 AM

I thought the word “foodie” (that sneaky, silly word) was going where it should—into the grave. I hadn’t heard it in awhile. Hadn’t read it in awhile. Thought it was dead. Was glad.

But then, yesterday, I got an email that included the phrase: “… all my ‘foodie’ (god how I hate that word) friends.”

To which I replied: “I always thought ‘foodie’ was just a shame-faced way of saying ‘gourmand’—with both the epicurean connotations and the gluttonous, I-just-love-to-eat connotations.”

To which she replied: “For me, ‘foodies’ are those annoying, pretentious people who claim to LOVE food and know the subtleties of regional vinegar and six types of cinnamon but seem to only pull these random facts out to show just how much of a foodie they really are. One reason I find them obnoxious is that, often, I know better than they, and they’re talking rubbish.”

To which I didn’t reply: “Then stop using the goddamned word.”

But I did try a Lexis-Nexis search. That silly word is still everywhere. Within the last month, “foodie” has been used, without comment, in stories by CNN, NBC, New York Magazine, Willamette Week, the Cincinnati Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Globe and Mail, the New York Observer, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Australian, Boston Magazine, the Fresno Bee, the Jamaican Observer, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Glasgow Daily Record, the Los Angeles Times, the Montreal Gazette, the English edition of Agence France Presse, the Washington Post (which at least had the decency to clothe its naked ugliness in quotation marks), the South China Morning Post, the Utne motherfucking Reader, and Singapore’s Electric New Paper, whose name gives me the virtual creeps.

Foodies of the world: Just call yourselves gourmands. Don’t hide your aspiration under a fake-homey bushel. Fuck foodie. Figgity-fuck foodie. Forever.

And now, to cleanse the palate—for people who love bagel sandwiches, but don’t know how to keep them from getting smashed and soggy on the way to work: Bagelspindle!


Thanks, BoingBoing.

RSS icon Comments


While I love the rant and agree with your position, the word's here to stay. Sorry.

Posted by vc | April 5, 2007 12:23 PM

That's just a blank media spindle appropriated for bagels!

Posted by Baxter | April 5, 2007 12:26 PM

Lord yes. Anyone who willingly listens to The Splendid Table should email me for a punch to the face.

Posted by alto | April 5, 2007 12:28 PM

Dollar store tupperware?

Posted by Gloria | April 5, 2007 12:29 PM

Yeah, and while you're at it, stop calling yourselves "hipsters" and just say, "elitists."

Posted by booyeah | April 5, 2007 12:30 PM

"Hipster" is number two on my linguistic hit list.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | April 5, 2007 12:32 PM

Oh my god! The bagel spindle might be the greatest thing ever. If I used one of those 50cd spindles I could probably sneak a donut in there too!

Posted by Jonah S | April 5, 2007 12:35 PM

I don't mind foodie. It rolls off the tongue with ease and effectively describes many of my friends. On the other hand, I could never call a person a "gourmand" without rolling my eyes or making a big, silly production of it.

And I adore the bagle holder! (though, what happens to the meat in the middle of the sandwich?)

Posted by sniggles | April 5, 2007 12:35 PM

Plus, on paper it looks like it should rhyme with "hoodie" and yet it doesn't. Not even a little bit! Wrap your head around that!

Posted by flamingbanjo | April 5, 2007 12:39 PM

"Hey, old man. Here's you eating your bagel. Mmm, *drop*, roll away. Boo Hoo! Here's me, eating my bagel. Mmm, *drop* stays right there!"

Posted by Squagel | April 5, 2007 12:44 PM

Love the bagel spindle? Picture 10,000 of them lying in your local landfill for the next 10,000 years. Still in love? Wrap your fucking bagel sandwich in a sheet of fucking paper, people.

Posted by Trey | April 5, 2007 12:48 PM

i thought the preffered term today by foodies was fooder.

Posted by chops | April 5, 2007 12:52 PM

Dear Trey: I hate to piss on your hate-parade but the bagel spindle is actually a secondary usage of a CD spindle. Once you've burned all your blank CDs, you can still use the spindle instead of throwing it away.

You know, recycling.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | April 5, 2007 1:02 PM

Actually that would be reuse.

Posted by Hate Parade | April 5, 2007 1:07 PM

recycle: "to use again, especially to reprocess: 'recycle aluminum cans, recycle old jokes'; to adapt to a new use or function."

Posted by Webster | April 5, 2007 1:12 PM

Brendan, thanks for the clarification - at first, I thought this was a new way that bagel shops were packaging their products, not a re-use of a blank media spindle. If that's the case, I'm pro-spindle. But why is my post a "hate parade" - because I used the word "fucking" twice in my response to your post entitled, "Fuck Foodie" (in which you use the words "fuck", "figgity-fuck", and "goddamned")?

Posted by Trey | April 5, 2007 1:13 PM

There's nothing wrong with a little hate parade, Trey. You get mad at landfills and I'll get mad at silly-sounding words. Let you and I march, arm in arm, hating together.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | April 5, 2007 1:22 PM

But every good hiker knows that the whole reason to use a bagel for your sandwich is that it doesn't get squashed like a sliced bread sandwich, with or without the thoughtful reuse for a spindle.

Posted by Otter | April 5, 2007 1:22 PM

Instead of calling yourself a foodie, duder, just tell people you cook about 5 times a week and go grocery shopping about 10 times a week.

PS -- @3 the mere mention of The Splendid Table made me start swinging punches wildly into the air as if an obeah man was sneaking up to steal me shadow.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | April 5, 2007 1:30 PM

When I used to work for back in the good ol' days, we referred to ourselves as "foodies".

Posted by Tom C. | April 5, 2007 1:30 PM

Foodie, or metrosexual: Which term's use should carry a harsher prison sentence? Discuss.

Posted by tsm | April 5, 2007 1:33 PM

If I can't use foodie or hipster to describe those pretensious twits, what should I use?

Posted by anna | April 5, 2007 1:42 PM

I agree with the repulsiveness of this term. It unfortunately only seems to apply to massive-assed white women with adult braces and small dogs and/or large cats. I also suspect that these "foodies" read Pam Sitt regularly.

@10: David Cross ha ha.

Posted by HORAT!OSANZSER!F | April 5, 2007 1:42 PM

@22 - I think you answered your own question.

Posted by tsm | April 5, 2007 1:48 PM

Chris Onstad, the brilliant mind behind the brilliant strip Achewood, put it well on his blog:

It's an idiotic term, and an embarrassment of the age. Like food is something we discovered in 1995. As though it were a novelty thing. There were already words, and good ones. Which are you? (These are pared down to their barest essence)

EPICURE/GOURMET: One who enjoys good food and drink.

GOURMAND: One who enjoys good food and drink in large quantities.

GASTRONOME: One who enjoys not just food, but its history and sociology.

Where does "foodie" fit in? I don't know. To me it rhymes with "poprophiliac."

Posted by Paul | April 5, 2007 1:55 PM

I was just conversing with a friend the other day about HATING bagel sandwiches. Maybe it stems from my first job in Seattle at Noah's Bagels on Broadway or my mouth just not being that big; literally. But how does one eat that thing, seriously? A bagel is WAY too big of bread for a sandwich. That’s why you cut them in half and eat one half at a time! No one stuffs the whole darn thing their mouth. A bagel sandwich is quite frankly ludicrous.

Posted by hunh? | April 5, 2007 2:15 PM

The correct term is "eater". If that's too plebian for you, you should adjust your attitude, not your terminology. Most "foodies" eat even more heavily-processed junk than fatties from idaho; they just buy it in little tiny jars from Italy.

The bagel thingie ignores the fact that a good bagel as often as not doesn't have a clear opening down the middle, and NEVER has an opening once the sandwich fixins have been applied. Don't tell me you punch a hole in your cheese, ham, lettuce too?

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2007 3:42 PM

>Don't tell me you punch a hole in >your cheese, ham, lettuce too?

Why yes, it would. It mustn't die a virgin.

Posted by lauren | April 5, 2007 3:50 PM

I think the word "gourmand" is a lot more pretentious. I prefer "foodie," because it sounds like anyone can participate.

Posted by Andy | April 5, 2007 4:00 PM

And that's the problem. The word is a trick, a lie--not everyone can spend their time and money developing a palate for the different shadings of acidic in a variety of varietal vinegars. If you want to be that kind of person, admit what you are: a gourmand. (Or a gourmet, if you're on a diet.)

Posted by Brendan Kiley | April 5, 2007 4:11 PM

33333 i drink ssome asalchol a LOT and i KNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWwwwwww how it tastes &&& tellisng the difference. Iam a DRINKIE!

Posted by glug glug glug | April 5, 2007 4:55 PM

I am the anit-foodie. I basically don't cook. I microwave. If it has more than 3 generic ingredients, I'm lost. I can successfully boil water. Beyond that, my skills are seriously tested. My palette is completely pedestrian. I am perfectly happy at any old Chinese or Thai joint. In my defense, this makes me a relatively cheap and easily-to-please date. Oh, and my taste in wine is about the same. As long as it doesn't come in a plastic lined box, I'm probably fine with it.

Posted by SDA in SEA | April 5, 2007 5:19 PM

Jeepers, you're from Seattle right? 'Cause it shows.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | April 5, 2007 6:31 PM

brendan, you said "linguistic hit list". i love you forever.

Posted by kt | April 5, 2007 7:22 PM

Gee Willikers- sorry you are so upset. I know YOU don't care but for those bagel lovers sidetracked by the bagel carrier ---- try CASCADE bagels in Tacoma. Boiled not baked. Best in the NW.

Posted by delfina jones | April 6, 2007 7:18 AM

@5 Dude, nobody actually calls themselves a hipster. You're so not down. Read your handbook again.

@ OP...Gourmand? Fucking elitist.

Posted by Food Eater | April 6, 2007 11:00 AM

Brendan - I suggest at the next Iraq war protest, you march around with a sign that says "I hate Foodies".

Posted by him | April 6, 2007 11:23 AM

I went to dinner at a friends' house once, and they actually served fried sage leaves. As an appetizer. Yes, these people call themselves foodies, and ridicule any food preparation that doesn't take at least 15 ingredients, 10 pots, and half a day.

Gah. Screw that. Give me a nice can of soup anyday. It's just fuel, people. No wonder people are so damn fat, all they ever think about, talk about, obsess about, is food.

Posted by Geni | April 6, 2007 2:04 PM

If it's not boiled AND baked, it's not a bagel. I don't care how many holes it has.

Posted by Fnarf | April 6, 2007 3:05 PM

Bagelspindle = Brilliant!

Posted by lilblackcat | April 6, 2007 5:02 PM

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