This is a rant post. So if you are in no mood to taste the stirring sarcasm (though palatable), please don’t read further. But then, everyone loves sarcasm, so imply their Twitter posts. But it’s not a general chit-chat kind of post, nor the angst against the State or society. But about us, the people, the foodies. Who is foodie amongst us, in real sense? In fact, shall I term it Food-Lovers instead of Foodies to start with?
It baffles me to the core if I should call myself a foodie or not. I mean am I that knowledgeable a person to be called a foodie? Because I cook sometimes, I do understand the spices, intricacies, nuances etc. But not to the extent that I can figure them out in a food. At least not most of them. Okay, I must confess I don’t even know which spice subsides the other, which should be used in what combination, etc. But only being knowledgeable will classify someone to be a foodie? What about the rest of them?
Okay, so I think I should not limit the span of Foodies to the knowledgeable lot only. People who appreciate good food, who can differentiate it from average food, can also be included in the inner circle. And that brings me to another question, taste buds differ, so how to judge a person if he actually finds a certain food horrible even though you may be waxing lyrical about it? For the fact that when a person is well-travelled, well-fed, he tends to create a benchmark of his favourite food list, and when offered a lesser-awesome version of the same, he would be bound to express his distaste. Happens with most of the foodies, or food-lovers (if you must). How would one recognize that trait, if that person is actually cribbing or just pretending to be a foodie?
Next confusion is about that clique that finds everything super awesome! They would call themselves ‘foodies’ at the drop of a spice, tag themselves on social media anywhere and everywhere they go, post pictures of food most often, network with fellow foodies a lot, try to climb the foodie social ladder as fast as they could tweet. Are they capable of carrying the batons of ‘would-work-for-good-food’? At the end of the day, can they proclaim, “I’ve earned it to be called a foodie”?
Yes, many of them may be foodie in real sense too. I mean, a person who’s trying hard to sample all kinds of food at all types of places would be certainly on his way to understand what it takes to be called a seasoned foodie. I appreciate people who are open to eating most kinds of cuisines. Not the ones who stick to their kind of cuisines only and keep glorifying that.
As for me, I’m a self-confessed foodie too, like others, and I do talk a lot about food. People who know me have heard me talk mostly of food or travel. Most of the times I didn’t even realize if I was overdoing it, until people around me pinpointed the facts. Like I even gave directions of a place citing nearest restaurants and cafes. If someone started talking about food, I would be the one who’d end the conversation (or asked politely to end it). Most of the blogs I read are about food. Most of the notes I have are recipes.
Why I considered myself a foodie was though for a different reason. Simply because I go out of my way to eat something I crave for. Delhi is a paradise for foodies. And I have always tried to eat the best the city has to offer, and in the process, had worst as well. Being a late riser, I have found myself wake up at 5am to have Nihari at Old Delhi many occasions. In fact that became an obsession, to find the best Nihari there. I have spent hours at Old Delhi just eating, walking through the alleys and tasting whatever looked good.
I have made outstation trips just to have Chicken pickle at Parwanoo (in Himachal Pradesh). Many trips have been made to restaurants and hotels all by myself just to have certain food. I don’t need company, if the food is good enough. I have begged certain kitchens (caterers mostly) to let me have a la carte, when they don’t offer it. Like a Parsi kitchen in Delhi that doesn’t offer food to outsiders but only to their guest-house tenants or for catering orders. But I pleaded, and finally had their sumptuous cuisine. Numerous such cases, where I have embarrassed even myself, all for one cause – good food.
Not to mention selfish motives, like calling my Muslim friend Safdar only on Eid celebrations, to self-invite for a heavenly meal. His mom cooks the best Sevai in the world after all! Though I call him more often now, to keep in touch, and not come across as a hungry selfish person, ha.
It gets even interesting when I try to befriend the staff at restaurants. Some are receptive, others, well, super busy! But it opens up a world of knowledge. It also ensures that I get only the best from their cauldron.
After coming to Dubai, it has become even more interesting since the city offers more international cuisines, hence the strive to sample all is even greater now.
But ever since the cooking bug bit me, an uncanny habit of asking for recipes has started troubling me, or others, as they may say! I justified my colleagues by saying that it gets me more options to cook the same thing.
Coming back to the crux, after a deluge of Me’s and I’s, the question is, am I a Foodie? I still don’t consider myself an expert, whether it comes to understanding flavours or spices. However passionate or crazy I am for food, can I be called a Foodie if I act like a wannabe and take snap of each and everything I eat? Because of my exposure to many cuisines, I consider myself a foodie, but when I read posts of fellow foodies, I still feel that I need to sample so much. A conversation about food and preparations might not make me stand out, or perhaps it can even make me go mum on certain facets. But would that mean I am not a foodie? Should I keep reviewing restaurants purely on my limited knowledge, or consider myself an expert enough to know how a certain food should taste like?
Well, I’m just figuring out, meanwhile enjoying my food, learning more each day, not deterred by anything, and posting it whenever I can.