I’ve always said that I eat simply because of a constant debilitating ailment. Hunger. So to me eating is simply to fulfill a functional necessity. Flavour and texture merely adds delight to the experience. Nothing more. Food is simply fuel to drive me through other much more diverse experiences of life.
However, many folks that I’ve come by are way beyond such fundamentals. For them food has become a choice way of life. Lifestyles evolve from it. Family and social lives revolve around it. They’ve developed philosophies with it. Enjoyment behooves everything else about it. Heightened pleasures are derived by getting off on it.
So how do I identify such folks? Well, before I proceed, I should say that I originally called foodies food-a-philes. However, sensitive souls whose worldview only recognise the philia associated with the deviant obsession of children find it offensive. Despite there being shitloads of other philias in the human condition. Nevertheless, foodie is their very own moniker of choice. So who am I to disregard such pride of the pack.
Btw, proper philia for food is cibophilia. Not to be confused with sitophilia or sitiophilia – those have sexual connotations in the mix. And I’ve not met anyone who is open about that – though I suspect many in the closet with it.
You know you’re a foodie when . . .
• you don’t stop eating when you’re full. You stop when you hate yourself.
• you can’t help but talk about food while you’re having a meal.
• you can’t help but talk about the next meal even while you’re still having dessert after the present one.
• you explain to others that your constant snacking is merely succumbing to the urge to munch. But still swallow through all that has been munched.
• asking someone what they had for their meal is the only conversation starter that truly interest you.
• you hear about celebrations and you desperately need to know what was being served, right down to the last flavour.
• you can’t decide on your impression of a person until you know their food preferences and/or eating habits.
• you’re not interested in much else about a person apart from their food preferences and/or eating habits.
• you reply “buffet” when asked what dish would best describe yourself.
• you can’t place Mexico on the map, but you know your guacamole.
• you are the bane of Customs Authority for countries with strict regulations about bringing in food, such as Australia, because you insist on bringing in your own foodstuff.
• your adventures to foreign land are curtailed by your concern that you won’t be getting the food you desire when there, and not much else. [For binary-minded foodies.]
• your adventures to foreign land will revolve around the food you look forward to having when there. And not much else. [For foodies who think themselves as liberal-minded.]
• your daily vacation itinerary revolves around the time you need to get back to the service apartment in order to prepare meals. Three times a day.
• your children learned to walk faster because their pushchair is always being used to taxi the family snacks.
• your social life revolves around meals with pals or family just so you could be around more varieties of food to order. Hence, more varieties for you to pick around the table and sample. And of course more people to talk food with.
• the high point of your self esteem is every time someone agrees with your opinion or recommendation on a dish. Especially popular with impressing kids.
• you have a need to follow up every food recommendation with calling in immediately before a personal site forensic investigation.
• you move on to diet versions of food and drinks only so you could have more of them while displaying health consciousness, care and concern.
• even McDonalds have annual food events you find worth tweeting and texting about.
• all your daily meals consists consistently of similar servings or portions. E.g., nasi lemak for breakfast, nasi berlauk for lunch, nasi pulut for tea, nasi kandar for dinner, nasi goreng for supper.
[For non-local readers, “nasi” is simply rice. That’s all you need to know. The rest are just variations on the theme.]