Observations on the subculture of foodies...please take everything with a pinch of salt.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

14. Cooking Shows

Wait a minute…..everyone fucking likes cooking shows now as evidenced by the huge success of MasterChef and spin-offs like My Kitchen Rules. 

It’s one thing for a foodie to read about how to cook something from a cookbook, it’s another thing to visually see someone cook something. One of the hardest things to put into words is the ‘how’ of cooking something. Attending cooking classes is one way for a foodie to watch someone cook something but television offers a cheaper alternative in the comfort of your own home. With the increasing popularity of cooking shows, foodies have been switching their TVs on again to watch ‘how’ celebrity chefs and contestants dish up food.

Foodies can now engage in work water-cooler conversations as colleagues discuss last night’s episode of MasterChef and show off their expertise in the art of cooking, and impress their colleagues by revealing that they have interests (a life!) outside of work.

Whether or not foodies are interested in sport, sport is a very important part of Australian culture. By watching cooking shows, foodies can also feel that they are engaging in spectator sport with contestants cooking off against each other as individuals or in teams, eliminations, judging, there are winners and loosers, and kitchens are not just kitchens – they are kitchen STADIUMS!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

13. Blogs

The blogosphere allows people with similar interests to connect and share information with each other no matter where they are. 

Foodies have embraced the phenomenon of blogging and there is an ever-expanding number of food blogs in cyberspace. 

Foodies will read numerous food blogs for other peoples thoughts on food, experiences with recipes and reviews of eateries. 

Foodies want to share their own musings on food by commenting on other people’s blogs or having their own blog to document their eating and cooking experiences. 

Food blogs provide a great resource for recipes and inspiration for cooking new dishes, and can be used to learn how to cook as people detail their cooking endeavours and write about their failures and provide helpful tips. 

Food blogs also let foodies know where they should or shouldn’t eat. Watch out restaurants, cafes and bars….now anyone can be a food critic!

More importantly, food blogs are the best source for food porn (it's free and unrestricted)!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

12. Sea Salt

Ignore all the talk about salt being bad for you and that you should consume less of it. Salt is a very important seasoning for food. It is a taste enhancer and taste modifier. It strengthens the impression of aromas that accompany it and it suppresses the sensation of bitterness. 

Salt is primarily comprised of sodium and chloride, and comes from the sea in one way or another but there are considerable differences between table salt (probably the more widely used salt by the general populace) and sea salt. Commerical table salt is obtained from the salt deposits which are mined, heat-blasted and chemically treated. The process of producing table salt strips it of all minerals other than sodium and chloride, and some anti-caking agents are added to table salt to make it free flowing. Sea salt is obtained through the evaporation of seawater and as it is unrefined, sea salt maintains its natural mineral content (such as iron, sulfur and magnesium). Thus, sea salt has more flavour and will make food taste better than table salt. 

Using salt properly is one of the most important skills in cooking. There is that saying “being worth one’s salt” - a foodies preferred salt to add finesse to meals is sea salt. You should use salt liberally in cooking, but do not under-season or over-season - it’s all about balance!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

11. Wine

Although many people wouldn’t be overly concerned about what wine they serve with dinner, the reality is that the proper wine choice will complement the food you eat. Foodies value the matching of wine with food as certain elements (such as texture and flavour) in both food and wine react differently with each other, and finding the right combination of these elements will enhance the dining experience. Foodies seek to increase their knowledge of what are good wines and what wine should go with different foods. It is also important to only cook with wine that you would drink!

10. The Australian Gourmet Traveller

The Australian Gourmet Traveller is the country’s premier food and travel magazine. It also has a website which contains lots of great recipes, inside news on food and wine, food guides, reviews of restaurants and information on great travel destinations. 

A foodie would have used the Australian Gourmet Traveller as a source for recipes many times and eagerly awaits their annual restaurant awards, wine lists of the year, travel awards and top 100 lists.

Friday, June 4, 2010

9. Post-Christmas and End of Financial Year sales

While most people look forward to the Post-Christmas sales and End of Year Financial sales to stock up on work clothes, bed linen, to improve their home theatre entertainment system by buying a new TV even though the one they have at home works fine….etc.

A foodie will head straight towards the kitchen appliances and cookware section, and see it as an excuse to buy more kitchen gadgets and gizmos, even if you have don’t have any more room in your kitchen for them or it’s something that you will rarely use. You need no other justification other than it’s on sale because good kitchen cookery and gadgets are not cheap! 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

8. Kitchen Gadgets

Most people would own some basic kitchen gadgets such as a garlic crusher, can opener, measuring cups, vegetable peeler etc.

A foodie goes beyond this and owns gadgets like a kitchen timer (a normal clock will not do) thermometer, a kitchen blowtorch, a digital kitchen scale, microplane grater(s), pasta machine, meat mincing machine, a pressure cooker, slow cooker, immersion blender…