‘Don’t Call Me Foodie, Fatty’

New York magazine has an obsessively wonderful feature story this week on the lives of the young, rich and hungry in Manhattan and Brooklyn (with occasional excursions into Queens to pillage borderline genuine street food exotica). But one statement by one of the interview subjects, Diane Chang — a 27-year-old New Yorker whose impressive photo collage of all the items she ate in the last week serves as the opening artwork for the story and who has as the screen saver on her iPhone a close-up photo of fried pigs feet — roils a bubbling deep-fryer cauldron of controversy:

“I’m not a foodie, I just like what I like,” she says. “Yes, I know, it’s just like hipsters saying, ‘I’m not a hipster.’ ” (The cliché cracks her up.) “But it’s like when my boss says, ‘Oh, you’re such a foodie.’ I’m like, Oh God. When I hear the word foodie, I think of Yelp. I don’t want to be lumped in with Yelp.”

Chang is really going to freak out when everybody starts calling her a “hipster foodie,” — we’ve noticed this is kind of a thing in San Francisco, this sort of very specific sui generis name-calling among factions within culinary culture.

More important though is Chang’s excellent point about the word foodie. Yes, it’s always made our skin crawl. We’ve always been puzzled by the many, many permutations on the word that people use to describe themselves as well (also fashionista, also also foodista). To paraphrase a wise man, that’s a name nobody would self apply where we come from.