I am a lucky girl. Through all my travels and writings, not only do I get to sample various kinds of cuisines with their incredibly varied flavours, but I also get to meet, interact and hang out with different kinds of food-lovers, both overseas and closer home, whose relationships with food are quite unique, and are stories by themselves.
There are those who just love food in any form, and in large and happy portions, regardless of whether it is a humble Biryani, a fat slice of Terrine or a whole Trout spanning the width of their plate. But they are not foodie fools. They are discerning when it comes to taste, and know their turkey from their chicken… It’s just that they will eat it all anyways!
On the opposite end to this are those who will find fault with even a fried egg! These guys love their food too, but want it ‘just so’! A terror at restaurants, they have an opinion or problem with everything from the ketchup to the temperature of the ‘room temperature water’ to the ‘doneness’ of medium-rare steak or fish… Psst! They are referred to as DBC – Douche Bag Central! – in waiter-speak, and if not ‘86’-ed (kicked out or removed), sometimes get served a little something extra as seasoning on their meal, which I am told is not of the edible kind! Ugh!
Then there are those who love their food, but love talking about it much more… The origin of the grain that made the flour that made the dough that made the pasta holds more interest than the actual taste of the fresh, hand-made and inviting Orecchiette laid before them. They mean no harm – but they do induce instant sleep in their unwilling audience!
I have three personal favourites in types of foodies, and I have my own loving names for them too…
One is the Indiana Jones – those bravehearts who will explore anything new or different on the menu, or, when at home, stir up dishes with the most adventurous combinations, like (gulp!) slow-cooked pork in a peanut butter sauce! I’m not saying I love all their experiments, and in fact, it is almost impossible to keep a straight face after tasting one of their weirder concoctions. But at least they have the courage to stretch the boundaries and explore new flavours, tastes and dishes.
Next is the Inspector Clouseau… those foodies who are clueless about ingredients, names of dishes, techniques or time taken to make a dish, and are largely immune to presentations or any other corrupting influences, but who know what tastes good and will tell you like it is – honest, to your face, without batting an eyelid, or making a big noise about it… thereby affording chefs, restaurateurs and home-styled cooks the best possible litmus test of their cooking!
My third favourtie group of foodies are the Magi – the wise ones who KNOW! They know their lentils, their sausages and their cheeses. They know the best cooks who can create magic out of those ingredients. They know the places to go to for the best preparation of those ingredients… at the best price! AND they will go to great lengths to get some fabulous and gorgeous ingredients from all over the world and bring it to you, much like the original Magi… and then order you to enthrall them with your creation of it!
Yesterday, some enlightened Magis came with the drool-worthy offering of a large block of intensely-flavoured Farmer’s Goat Cheese from a small village in the outskirts of Munich, Germany. With a lump in my throat, and happiness in my heart, I’m thinking of Goat Cheese Omelette, Fig n Goat Cheese Salad, a Sauceless Goat Cheese Pizza topped with a few Arugula leaves, or an adventurous Spring Salad with Chicken and in-season Fresh Strawberries and Goat Cheese, maybe even stretch myself a bit for a Shrimp Primavera, or a much easier Fresh Goat Cheese Cannelloni. Or piled high on a simple Bruschetta. Or globbed on to a warm n Rich Winter Soup. Alright then, anyone coming over for a taste??