The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What IS a foodie anyway?

My guess is we all think we know what makes a foodie a foodie. I think a foodie is someone who has a great interest in all things food. I think a true foodie can go into a fridge or a pantry that would be considered barren by the average person's standards and create a great meal. I think a foodie has instincts about the pairing of flavors and textures. A foodie doesn't put food in boxes like "breakfast" or "appetizer." She knows that food just needs to be good, not punctual. A foodie doesn't turn her nose up at things simply because she's never seen, heard of, or tried them before. A foodie is adventurous, thoughtful, and knows that life is too short not to enjoy fabulous food.

What, in your opinion, are the characteristics of a foodie?

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at 7:30 AM Anonymous FoodieToo said...

I don't think a foodie has to be able to prepare food (I can't cook....), I think it can be someone that just really enjoys food.

at 8:59 AM Blogger Nicci King said...

Hey, FoodieToo! :)

I'm always so curious about people who say they can't cook (as opposed to saying they don't like to cook). So tell me: What is your experience with cooking that makes you say that? I can understand people who flub up baking, since that is so exact and precision is often necessary. But it seems like lots of dishes are hard to mess up. Just wondering... Whenever someone says that they can't cook, I just want to take them to my kitchen and show them that they really can! :)

at 11:09 AM Anonymous Trav said...

I don't think there is anything to it other than someone who just loves all kinds of food, and thinks of food as almost a passion. The kind of person who can go out to eat something they love (or cook at home as well) and consider just that a great night. I think most foodies enjoy eating as much as anyone else would going out and drinking (alcohol). It also helps to be very interested in trying new things.

at 1:14 PM Anonymous nicejewishgirl said...

I think a foodie is someone who eats for pleasure and not merely for sustenance. Someone who is open to trying new foods and appreciates knowing where their food comes from. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it has been my experience that a foodie is someone who is generally gregarious, open to learning about other cultures, and has an inquisitive nature. When I meet a fellow foodie I immediately know it because I have found a kindred spirit on many levels.

at 1:39 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

I totally agree, NiceJewishGirl! When I meet true foodies, it's like instant simpatico. Whether it's in the grocery store or a bistro or while traveling abroad... I love that.

at 3:09 PM Blogger cakegrrl2007 said...

am I the only one who hates that word? :(

at 3:16 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

I know what you mean, CakeGrrl. I don't so much hate the word as I do how it is just thrown around... I know of some people who love to say, "I'm a foodie!" They really mean they are greedy. :) Just because someone cooks does not mean they're a chef. And I think just because someone likes to eat does not mean they are truly into food... I think NJG just about hit the nail on the head with her comment...

at 3:45 PM Anonymous nicejewishgirl said...

You know, I really hate the term foodie as well. Its been overused to the point that it sounds trite, but I don't know what else to say. Foodlover, gourmand, and epicurean are good substitutes, but they just don't seem to have caught on the way foodie has.

at 5:51 PM Blogger Matt Morris said...

I think it was in "Comfort Me with Apples" when Ruth Reichl (of LATimes, NYTimes, and Gourmet Magazine fame)wrote about the emergence of this term on the cuisine scene. I think generally, like "foodietoo" said, she found people calling themselves that when they didn't cook. She quoted one woman as saying something like "i'm okay at cooking, but my real gift is eating."

at 4:30 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

That's interesting, Matt. Etymology is odd in that way... But that would make sense.

How come no one wants to be a cookie? ;)

at 12:05 PM Anonymous FoodieToo said...

Sorry.. been on vacation..

I just really enjoy good food. I love tasting things I've never eaten before, being exposed to new flavors.

With regards to me saying that I can't cook, its just that I don't seem to have the drive/desire to look up recipes. My husband (who is an amazing chef) has this knack of being able to look in a cupboard and instantly think of something to make (he's like a culinary MacGyver!!). It's something I wish I had, but I don't. Maybe I am a lazy foodie or just need to make time to learn.

I am not adverse to cooking, I just find it to be something that I don't have a natural gift for.

I guess I shouldn't let that discourage me.

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