This is a tongue-firmly-in-cheek article that I did recently for the Esperance Tide, our lovely local magazine. If you want to read the whole edition, it’s available online.
You may have heard the word ‘foodie’ being used a lot lately. What is a foodie? Well, I’m so glad you asked. The dictionary may tell you that a ‘foodie’ is a person who has an interest in food and loves trying new and interesting food. Well, I’m here to tell you that a foodie is someone who eats kale even when they don’t like it, or anyone who can correctly pronounce quinoa on the first try. Being a foodie is now an essential part of being cool. Not a foodie? Well, there certainly is still hope that one day you can be hip, but it’s going to take some work. Here are a few tips on how to improve your foodie game.
1. It all starts with coffee. You really need to work on your coffee attitude. When you talk about your morning cuppa, be sure to use words like ‘dark roast with fruity overtones’ and ‘rich blend with floral notes’. Make sure you have a favorite coffee shop, and drink ‘cold pressed’ or ‘filtered’ coffee at home. Even if you like the taste of instant coffee, you must never admit to drinking it, and be sure to hide your tin of International Roast right at the back of the pantry cupboard.
2. Never eat iceberg lettuce. Instead, try swiss chard, endives, radicchio, baby spinach and dandelion greens. And, of course, try to squeeze some kale into every meal. Even rocket, that ubiquitous weed, is a good alternative. Yes, I know you planted some in the veggie garden in 2003, and you haven’t been able to get rid of it since, but now that will come in handy! Iceberg lettuce can only be used ironically. The same for cos lettuce-pair it with some sundried tomatoes and some Backstreet Boys, and you’re all set for a 90s throwback party!
3. Learn how to pronounce quinoa. Pro tip-it’s not pronounced the way that it is written. Also acai, and freekeh and bouillabaisse, pho and prosciutto and chipotle and chai and chia seeds. You don’t really need to know what they are. Who has the time to learn what every new ‘it’ food is!? You just have to be able to drop them into a sentence. It’s easy, I do it all the time! You just say things like, “I could really go for a nice hot cup of prosciutto right now,” or “I think I’ll order the acai for dinner tonight,” or even “Would you like some bouillabaisse on that?” See? Easy!
4. Follow a food fad! This one is easy, as there are so many to choose from. You can try paleo or keto, or sporadic fasting or only eating before 6 o’clock, or only eating on days that end in ‘y’. You could be a raw vegan, or sugar free, or only eat foods watered by the tears of the rainbow coloured unicorn and harvested in the light of the full moon. It doesn’t matter which one you follow, just be sure to keep some backup blocks of chocolate in the pantry for days when the going gets tough, and be sure to tip your waitresses extra when you ask them for all those things not on the menu. No, really. Tip them a lot.
5. Throw out your frying pan. From now on, you’ll be cooking things like a foodie! You can par boil, braise, infuse, flame grill, sous vide and bake things in a wood fired oven. Even smoking things is becoming very popular at the moment – and I don’t mean what you do behind the garden shed when you think your mum isn’t looking (she is) or what you did to that frozen pizza that you forgot in the oven last night (although now everything else in the kitchen is smoked). Smoking meats is becoming very popular now, according to that food program I watched last night on TV. Here’s what you will need to smoke your own meat at home: a beard, a checked flannelette shirt, lots of patience and time, some fancy wood that is not available where you live, such as ‘hickory’ or ‘maple’, and an average cut of meat that you plan to transform into something miraculous. Oh, and a smoker. The piece of equipment, that is, not your 2 pack a day uncle.
6. Don’t forget your beverages! When you’re not drinking coffee, you should be swilling turmeric tea, kombucha, or something that has ginseng or matcha in it. (To be honest, I don’t really know what they are – Some kind of insect, I think? It doesn’t matter, though, just speak confidently, and no one will suspect your ignorance.) When drinking alcohol, make sure that your beer is ‘craft’ and has an artfully hipster picture on the front of it, such as a pirate riding a unicycle, or a cow sailing a yacht. If you prefer wine, forget about your basic merlots and chardonnays. Instead, you should opt for a wine type that you can’t pronounce, such as a tempranillo, a grenache, or a gewurztraminer. Yes, that last one is actually a type of wine, not a German made bicycle- I googled it.
Well, there you have it folks! Turns out its easier to be a foodie than you thought. Keep up the good work! I’m off to whip up a quick braise of wild foraged truffles in a pino grigot sauce topped with some smoked turnips and a light sprinkling of kale. Should be delicious!