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Foodie vs Food Snob

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Have I become a food snob?

A few years ago, my mother visited from the Midwest.  She was making a sandwich for herself and asked me if we had any mustard.  She was unable to locate it so I walked up to the refrigerator door and pulled out five different jars of mustards. We had a Grey Poupon with white wine, a Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, Inglehoffer Deli Mustard, a Coleman’s Hot English Mustard and a Beaver Sweet Honey Mustard.  I said, “Here they are mom”, wondering why on earth she didn’t see any of these. She held up each jar, looking at the label and then placed each one of them back down and said calmly, “No, mustard.”

Specialty mustardsAfter about a five-second pause, I asked, “Do you mean the French’s?”  And she joyously replied, “Yea, the mustard.”  Well, we don’t buy French’s in my household and unless in a dining dilemma, try to never eat it. To me, it tastes like watery, bitter paste.  It was then that I realized I was well on my way to becoming a food snob.

Both of my parents are southerners so I grew up eating soul food and other hearty southern dishes.  But over the years, I have expanded my palette tremendously. I probably was first exposed to various mustards by attending October Fests, enjoying all sorts of sausages with interesting mustards.  Some had whole grain mustard seeds, others with beer or spices and herbs.  I’ve also enjoyed hearty sandwiches from Jewish delis, becoming exposed to sweet mustard, my favorite.  Because Stephanie and I both enjoy good food, we spend countless hours watching cooking shows on TV, reading food-related magazines and sometimes attending cooking classes.  And as home chefs, with me being the sous chef, we purchase unusual spices and exotic ingredients in an effort to recreate dishes we enjoyed in restaurants, saw celebrity chefs prepare on TV or tried to recreate from our travels.

An increase in immigration from non-European nations has allowed us to sample foods and spices that until 15 years ago, rarely left the confines of their ethnic households.  For those of us living in urban areas, this immigration shift has also led to a noted increase in ethnic restaurants.

Nowadays, people of all races and ethnic backgrounds routinely venture into shops and markets that previously had been considered “off limits”, for whatever reasons.  It’s just a short drive to easily obtain “foreign” foods.

Manufacturers have given us a myriad of choices and I’ve been more than happy to try these new products.  Grocery stores no longer limit ethnic foods to one or two shelves. Now, entire aisles are filled with cuisine from countries many of us would have difficulty locating on a world map.

If you are interested in experiencing the cuisine of another culture contact us and we can help you plan an epicurean getaway.  We know about food festivals held year round, even some held throughout the world such as the Salon Papilles en Fête in Paris, a culinary trends gathering of more than 200 artisanal French food and wine producers.  In addition, we can also help you plan a celebrity chef restaurant escape to Las Vegas, Chicago or another food-centric city.  Give us a call or drop us a note and we’ll be happy to get started planning on your gastronomic adventure.

I believe an abundance of great choices has helped us expand our food awareness, allowing us to embrace this sea of choices and elevate our previously restricted tasting experiences.  It has given us an opportunity to truly enjoy, fine living.  I live a fuller, happier life as a result of these experiences and my taste buds are truly ecstatic.

And isn’t that just fantastique? Sorry Mom.

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