What’s a foodie anyway?


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:

n. Slang
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 salataGreek salad made of ripe tomatoes, onion, cucumber, feta, black olives (no lettuce)

QuinoaAncient 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).

FreekehMiddle Eastern – Green wheat harvested unripe, sundried, roasted and cracked.

FregolaNorth African – Made from semolina, similar to couscous.

Sous videCooking 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.

ThermomixIf 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.

BurghulMiddle Eastern – Wheat grains steamed, dried and crushed.  Reconstituted in dishes such as tabbouleh

QuarkGerman – 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.



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  1. Id consider you a foodie, and its ironic that you are blogging this today when I have been doing nothing but discussing food / foodies for the last two days! I hope to become a better foodie – Ive developed quite a passion of late about food (if you havent noticed from my facebook) and only just recently (this week) started blogging about it.

    • Yes I have noticed and followed your latest food exploits Rhi. Your journey to meatlessness has been really interesting for this carnivore 🙂

  2. Rather interesting this after my weekend experience, went to a French class gathering where they mixed 3rd year students with the ones who had been doing it just 4 months (me amongst them!) and I was absolutely rubbish. Until it got to someone asking what we were having for tea, to which without thinking I replied “steak au poivre, frites, petit pois avec salad”, no hesitation! The conversation spiralled to mentioning English names for fruit and veg and people asking me the French ones and I answered correctly each time, even showing off with a few French herb names. A lady said see you’re not as bad as you think, to which I replied, no I am, I’m rubbish at French but good with food!

    I love quark, I make a chocolate dip with it, one of my diet recipes, and use it for lots of things where you want a creamy and cheesy taste as it’s very low fat, and very versatile. Is Burghul the same as what we have called Bulgar over here? Sounds like the same sort of thing, if so I get to tick another foodie box as we have bulgar instead of rice with curries and chilli as it has a much nicer flavour and texture to me. I think the final ‘foodie’ nail is in the coffin for me when I find myself getting totally excited about a new French baking book just purchased. One which really I shouldn’t have bought due to the temptation and diet danger implications, but which I just couldn’t resist. Will it be enough to just look at the pages I wonder? I guess not lol!

    • Oh I love it! Isnt it always the way? You learn best what you are most interested in. While growing up in Germany my English teacher told me I should pick up a different subject as I was just not meant to learn English, I was hopeless. Fast forward a few years and I am in Australia. I love to talk so I had to learn the language and I picked it up in record time – fluent in 6 months, lost accent after 12 months. Guess that shows I talk too much *laughs*

      Cultures have come together over food throughout the ages, you prove the point beautifully that food is universal 🙂

      Yep, your bulgar is the same as the burghul I mentioned.
      Unfortunately we dont get quark much here in Brisbane, but it is a fantastic food to work with and so good for you (assuming you eat dairy of course 🙂 )

      You bought a cookbook? Arent your 540+ herb books already taking over all the shelf space? lol

  3. I only hope I will speak French as well as you do english as a second language Anke, I forget that it’s not your first language, so glad your love for talking spurred you on to learn the language that helped us meet! 🙂 I was going to say that the language of food is universal but the French seem to have a way with food that we just don’t have in the UK.

    I’m lucky to be able to get regular supplies of quark, can’t get Freekeh or Fregola here though, shall investigate.

    LOL, Yes I bought another cookbook “The Art of French Baking” already got Flan a la Parisienne and Strawberry Couli with Lavender Creme Brulee ear marked for making over the weekend, although diet wise I may do one this weekend and one next need to lose 2lb this week! Goodness knows how many other gateaus, biscuits and puds will wind up coming out of the book and on to my hips lol! I actually bought 5 books this week, the baking book and 4 books in french on herbs and aromatic plants. One is like a filed guide with 90 of the most commonly found wild herbs in France ;0 ) I can never have enough herb books, lucky to have a room full of bookshelves and about to add another set of shelves soon for adding more books to 🙂

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