Are You a Foodie? Or a Culinarian?
The word foodie is a surprisingly controversial thing to call someone, or self-identify yourself as. This is in part because different people have different understandings of what the term means. Some think it’s a compliment, an acknowledgment of a passionate interested in food. Others consider it a pejorative, an insult, actually. A foodie is frivolous and trend-following and not to be taken seriously. Lately, I’ve been hearing another term slipping into the language: culinarian.
I’ve only heard the term culinarian used a few times, casually dropped here and there in the middle of a sentence. A few times on the radio, a few times at food events but enough that it’s got my interest. It’s used by people who are seriously interested in food and cooking. People who know their techniques and ingredients in a solid, non-trendy kind of way.
I’m someone who does not care for the word foodie and I’ve gotten used to not using it, even though it is a convenient short cut way to describe an interest in food. Because culinarian has a less frivolous feel than foodie, I’m inclined to prefer it but truth be told, I will probably stick with my practice of not using any single word to describe myself and my interest in food. I’ve gotten used to letting my words and actions speak for me without feeling the need to paste a label on it.
How about you? What do you think of being a foodie or a culinarian? Or do you use another term that fits the bill?
• The image above is from the infamous ‘Is It Local?‘ episode, a very funny and classic spoof on foodies from the TV series Portlandia.