Are you a foodie??
I have been called a foodie by some, but I am not sure the term fits because a lot of people I consider foodies are way more into the techniques and the nitty gritties of food than I am. There are also those self professed foodies who are just wankers.
So what is a foodie?
TheFreedictionary.com defines foodie as:
A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet
I think Urbandictionary.com reflects my views a lot better with its definition:
* A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation.
* A foodie is not necessarily a food snob, only enjoying delicacies and/or food items difficult to obtain and/or expensive foods; though, that is a variety of foodie.
* A douchebag who likes food.
Douchebag – “I’m a big foodie.”
Non-doucher – “Really? I like food too, but I’m not a tool.”
So for want of a better term that applies to you and I, people who really like food and everything about it without the pretension or weirdness – we are foodies too.
Have you ever noticed how foodies know stuff? They know what horiatiki salata is and feel quite comfortable discussing the various uses of quinoa, freekeh and fregola. They will have tried to cook their salmon sous vide, and start breathing heavily when passing a Thermomix.
If you really like your food but haven’t got a clue what these words mean, you are not alone. Luckily the lovely Anne Stanfield has dedicated 10 years of her life to help you out. I recently received her book “foodiewords” – a food & dining lexicon that will help you tell your buckwheat from your burghul. It’s an easy to follow A-Z format, small enough to sneak into your handbag and it covers “all manner of cuisines from Australian Bush Tucker, modern Australian to foods from France, UK, Greece, Italy, Thailand, Middle East, Indonesia, India, Morocco, Nepal, South America, USA and more.”
I thought I was pretty cluey when it came foodie words but it turns out I have a lot to learn. This little book is a fabulous quick reference guide and I was über happy to see that Quark made it in as well. This is a term I am often asked about and it’s about time this gorgeous ingredient finds its way into everyday food language.
“It’s a 200 page pocket book, about the size of a traveller’s language phrase book with over 2300 food and dining terms with meanings, origins, pronunciations of foreign words. It’s peppered with personal food and travel anecdotes.”
I really like it and I think it will make a great gift idea for your foodie friends or those that look really scared when they encounter foreign menus.
Horiatiki salata – Greek salad made of ripe tomatoes, onion, cucumber, feta, black olives (no lettuce)
Quinoa – Ancient South American grain, high in protein with a nutty, crunchy texture often used as a cereal or side dish similar to couscous. The leaves of this plant are eaten as leafy greens (think silverbeet).
Freekeh – Middle Eastern – Green wheat harvested unripe, sundried, roasted and cracked.
Fregola – North African – Made from semolina, similar to couscous.
Sous vide – Cooking method where food vacuum sealed in a bag then cooked in a water bath for a long time at low temperature. This means everything is cooked evenly, without the outside getting all the attention and retention of moisture. There is no browning on the outside which means that sometimes food needs to be finished off in a pan to gain colour.
Thermomix – If I say it’s a kitchen appliance I know I’ll have some friends write nasty letters because it is a bit more than that. Ok, a lot more. It’s a blender, steamer, scales, food processor, grater, juicer, slow cooker, beater, kneader and 4th year chef apprentice all in one. Plus it does everything it does in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it the old fashioned way.
Buckwheat – A herb, not a cereal. Often ground into a dark, nutty flour it is very nutritional especially high in potassium. Since it is not actually a wheat it contains no gluten, hence a recipe like buckwheat pancakes will combine wheat and buckwheat for the right consistency.
Burghul – Middle Eastern – Wheat grains steamed, dried and crushed. Reconstituted in dishes such as tabbouleh
Quark – German – Often compared with cream cheese, curd cheese or cottage cheese, but “traditional quark is not made with rennet. It is soft, white and unaged, similar to some types of fromage frais. It is distinct from ricotta because ricotta is made from scalded whey. Quark usually has much lower fat content (about the same as yoghurt) than cream cheeses and has no salt added” (source wikipedia). It is used in sweet and savoury deishes, makes for a killer cheesecake.