The Foodie-Anti-Foodie Manifesto
Reading the Julie/Julia Project reminds me of a bunch of things I’ve been meaning to talk about here that I haven’t gotten around to. Julie (and I) is (are) anti-foodie foodies. That is so say, we shun the holier than thou food snobbery of the Dean and Deluca or Whole Foods overpriced over-precioused fancy pants groceries. Don’t get me wrong. If I had the money to shop only at Whole Foods (never even stepped foot in D and D) I would; their offering of foods is seductive but what they have the nerve to charge for their food has a lot more to do with coddling the self-righteous whims of their over-privileged customers. I read in (I’m sure it was the New York Times) that their definition of service includes, opening 75 jars of different mustards so that 1 client could taste each and make sure he was getting just the right one. Imagine the sense of entitlement of that asshole who apparently had no qualms about making the store clerk open 74 not-good-enough mustards before he got to the right one! Not only is it criminal to encourage these rich bastards to feel that they deserve only the freshest hand-harvested springtime fiddlehead ferns for $28/lb but the Whole Foods permutation of the foodie revolution has left most of us in the dust. What good is it if only the very few have access to this? I have a friend back home who insists on only the best ingredients (at whatever price) and thinks cooking means doing as little to them as possible. To me, that's not cooking; that’s one step over from making reservations for dinner. See Julie’s brilliant foodie-anti-foodie manifesto that says it much better than I ever could.
Julie also seems to have it in for smug Americans living in Eurpoe who write about all the precious, wonderful food so readily available here. I hope I haven't made that impression. Actually, living in (way less glamorous than you might imagine!) Milan and seeing all the wonderful fancy-pants food that EVERYBODY buys and eats because it's reasonably priced has led me to question a lot more the whole American foodie revolution. Here it's no big deal. Most people here love food and expect it to be great. Even the lowest common denominator food. So I DO have the luxury to dine on celeriac and cardoons and red radicchio and fennel and pheasant that I know would be out of my economic reach back home. It's just that here, great food isn't a luxury. I wish I knew how to get that concept rolling in the States.