What is a Foodie?

Are you a foodie? Relish magazine readers threw out a few definitions in last week’s newspaper insert: “A ‘foodie’ is discerning and won’t settle for ‘something’ to eat” and “I think FOODIE people are great people, and every FOODIE I have known is a happy person.”

I liked these definitions because they don’t assume you must be an awe-inspiring wiz in the kitchen to be a foodie. You simply enjoy food.  And then there are those folks who are simply curious. Perhaps they’re closet foodies? A dear (and happy) friend who says she reads this blog daily (imagine that) told me Friday:  “And I don’t even care about food.  If I could take a pill to replace my meals, I would.”  But she admits she’s curious about what people eat and how they get it to the table every night.

Then there’s a friend who once said:

“I’m like a dog.  I’m always thinking of what I can eat next.”

I hear ya, sister. To me, food represents that perfect bundle of culture and nourishment. My brain connects smell and taste to treasured memories of places I’ve lived, people I’ve known. It doesn’t mean I spend hours in the kitchen. Life as a working mom doesn’t allow such indulgences.  But I do have a profound appreciation for food with integrity — fresh, simple, and occasionally artfully prepared — and I’m hugely fond of people who are easy-going yet passionate about its preparation – Molly Wizenberg, Jamie Oliver, Deborah Madison, the late Sheila Lukins, among others. It’s a soulful experience to these folks. That’s the ultimate inspiration for my foodie self.

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