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What is a foodie?

  • By Mark Wardale
  • 24 Jan, 2016

A debilitating affliction!

    I have heard so many people refer to themselves as a foodie......... What the heck does that really mean? According to the oxford dictionary a foodie is "A person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet". At the risk of repeating myself, what the heck does that mean? Don't we all enjoy food? Granted that some peoples taste are a little more straight forward than others, but our individual tastes are what makes us unique. For instance I like spicy food, Im not talking warm, I need to feel the burn, sweat enduring, tear streaming, stomach gurgling heat, I don't know why but I just love it, I mean breakfast wouldn't be breakfast without hot sauce, right? On the other hand my poor  husband who has suffered my heat afflicting addiction for 6 years prefers a simpler  style of cuisine. If I gave him the choice of beef wellington with pomme fondant or a noodle soup, I know hands down he will choose the soup, does this make him less of a foodie.......... No that is his taste. 
    I think the term foodie is used too loosely these days, "I eat gourmet burgers, I'm a foodie". "I love olives, so I have to be a foodie". I think it is far far deeper than that.
   I think of my love of food as less of a term and more of a debilitating affliction, unfortunately passed down through the generations of my family, and my god we all have it. 
   What I am about to confess will make people who know me like me a little less, maybe think I'm even crazier than they already think I am,  and will possibly result in a few raised eyebrows. So here it is I am going to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth right from the very beginning.
 Confession 1. At aged 6 I told one of my friends I could not go round to her house because I did not feel well......
In reality I wanted to stay home to bake butterfly buns with my mum.
Confession 2. I once made friends with an Indian classmate, not because I liked her because her mum packed her up with curry and I would usually trade lunches with her.
Confession 3. I Used to say to my friends I was never allowed to stay for tea because I had a sensitive tummy.
Reality is that the majority of my friends would have a sandwich for tea and I thought this was barbaric, I wanted my mothers cooking so I would make my excuses and scarper.
Confession 4. Growing up my grandfather was a very stubborn man who never ate beef because he said that it was diseased and so on........ at 15 I made a family dinner.......... with beef mince............ said it was pork!

 Ahhhhhh!! It's good to confess! One thing that I do realise whilst looking back on these confessions is just how much I absolutely love food, I would pick food over friendship as a kid and that is not normal. The thing is all of my family are like this, all we do is talk food, we argue about it, we compete, I win obviously, but we never eat to live we live to eat.
    My grandmother from sweden as crazy as she is makes the best damn gravy you will ever taste, yes it has an inch of butter floating on the surface and could easily send me into cardiac arrest, but who cares, it is flipping scrummy. She also won an award for her famous waffle recipe in the waffle house where she would work, now I have that recipe and cook them in my cafe on her waffle iron.
My grandfather has always grown his own fruit and vegetables, he grows the best tomatoes I have ever tasted, sweet and meaty and full of flavour, his secret? He urinates on them, you read correctly, he actually pees on them. But we all eat them, and we love them, obviously we wash them ten times at least. I have grown up amongst food a plenty, my paternal grandmothers infamous tomato and red onion salad on an enormous platter is summer to me. I love the fact that whilst most grandmothers would be tucking in to traditional british foods my grandmother has a thirst for middle eastern food, though she still pronounces Quinoa Qui- Noah. It is always summer in their household, but winter in the oven, with the same pot filled with bean soup that has always been used.
  And finally to the worst culprit of all, my mother. The true foodie, someone is quite willing to smuggle contraband food from Sweden to England, but not in her OWN suitcase, that would be unethical, why it's her 8 year old daughters suitcase. That's right I was my mothers mule!
We always had two fridges, one in the kitchen and a spare in the garage, this for her "Insulin pens", but really when guest comes round and there is Swedish food in the kitchen fridge she stashes it in the outdoor fridge so she does not have to share. Now that is a real foodie, when food makes you do things that can get you arrested and disowned by friends.
  The thing is that I too smuggle food in my suitcase, I also hide the good food for a rainy day. Believe me we are all kinds of crazy in my family. If you are not eating as soon as you walk in the door of any of my family members homes they get very upset that you are not hungry, sometimes force feeding is the only way to get them to relent. My mother packs up the window cleaner, with lovely wraps filled with smoked salmon, avocado etc and served with swedish cinnamon buns. I know what you are thinking but Im a ticking time bomb, I too make gifts for the lady who works in the corner shop!

All i'm trying to say is I accept that you like food, but that might not make you a foodie, a food lover definitely, but until you smuggle food, make friends just for food, and eat tomatoes that you know full well have been urinated on just because they taste to damn good...........

Like I say it's a debilitating affliction.

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