There’s been a lot of debate lately about using the “F” word.
Do I personally call myself a foodie? Truth be told, no. Like many others, I think the term has somewhat of an elitist, exclusive connotation at times, and I would prefer to just say that I have a passion for food, cooking, eating, and all that lays in-between. However, it’s really a matter of social semantics than it is the definition of the word itself. After all, according to the Oxford Dictionary, a foodie is nothing more or less than a person with a particular interest in food. For all intents and purposes, I fit that label quite well.
And just like the term “sports fan”, “foodie” should simply be used to express a state of curiosity and excitement aroused by something specific. To me, there’s no problem with identifying yourself with that which interests you, and trying to group yourself in with others who share that passion. There isn’t one person on earth who doesn’t do that.
However, I have seen all too many times the self-proclaimed “foodie” dismiss someone’s proud meal for almost inconceivable reasons. I never use truffle oil, only real truffles! You should only buy grass-fed, organic beef. Your steak isn’t cooked right. Your plating is terrible. My problem with this is that the implication is that someone is wrong for how they enjoy their food. People are made to feel guilty or inadequate for their culinary adventures instead of being commended for their attempts. Helpfulness takes a second hand to snootiness and snobbery and the chance to propel yourself above someone else.
Unless you’re in a food competition, I just don’t vibe well with that.
That’s certainly not to say that all foodies are like that. Not at all. However, there are enough that I try to politely back away from using the label. But am I not a foodie? That, too is hard to say. Who, realistically, is not a foodie? Does every person not house some sort of particular interest in food?
Realistically, food and our relationship with it is one of the most consuming aspects of what it means to be human. Our health, our happiness, our cultures, our economy, and our self-perception are all greatly influenced by what we eat. Food not only sustains life, it defines a large part of it.
So what is the line between a foodie and a not-foodie?
Is it the nutritious value of the food we eat?
Is it the frequency with which we are willing to spend large amounts of money on expensive ingredients or the trendiest restaurants?
Is it the complexity of the dishes we prepare or order?
If it is any of those things, then I want no part of it. After all, the best food is often simple food. (Like these Marinated Antipasto Skewers, hello!)
But if being a foodie truly implies the simple desire to learn about and experiment with flavors, textures, ingredients, cuisines, or techniques, then I suppose I don’t mind it. If being a foodie means appreciating the perfect balance of a crisp grape tomato against a soft, fresh ball of mozzarella, then it’s not that bad. If being a foodie means going out of your way to try and invent new ways to enjoy old recipes, like by threading that Antipasto salad onto skewers, then I’ll accept it.
But in case it doesn’t, for now, please don’t call me the “F” word.
Antipasto salad gets a makeover with these delicious marinated skewers! With tortellini, mozzarella, grape tomatoes, salami, and sopressata, Marinated Antipasto Skewers are sure to be a favorite at your next get-together.
- 1 lb mozzarella balls
- 1 lb tortellini, cooked according to package directions
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 stick genoa salami, sliced and halved
- 1 stick sopressata, sliced and halved
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Curly parsley or basil, to garnish
- In a large bowl, add the first 8 ingredients. Mix to ensure that everything is well-combined. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- On a bamboo skewer, add the marinated mozzarella and tortellini, the salamis, and the tomatoes in whatever order you’d like.
- In between each skewed piece, place a bit of parsley or basil to garnish.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving, then bring to room temperature.
What do you think of the term “foodie”? Let me know in the comments!
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