Sunday, May 15, 2011


Foodie is a term used to describe someone who has a special interest in food and drink. The word was coined for the first time in 1984 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr who used it in the title of their book - The Official Foodie Handbook. Foodie represents someone who shows a lot of interest in all things that revolve around food.

A great cook may not be a foodie. Also foodie is different from a Gourmet. A gourmet's tastes are very refined and they may not be interested in ordinary food. But for a foodie any good food is something of interest. A foodie will go through a lot of effort and trouble to find that one little joint that sells the best pani poori in Kolkatta, for example. Or the best Vada pav in Mumbai, or the best sundal on the beaches of Chennai.

I am a certified FOODIE. I love to cook, experiment with new food combinations, eat in good restaurants, shop for specific ingredients, scout local markets for food inspirations, watch cooking shows, flip through cook books in a book store, browse the net for authentic recipes and dream about food. I take pleasure in meeting other foodies and in sharing valuable information on where to buy what and where to eat in my town and when I travel.

For instance, I have travelled many kilometers from the confines of a resort in Kumarakom to a popular toddy shop that I once read about to try their local speciality - Karimeen Polichathu. I have travelled many a times in rickshaws in Kolkatta to savor the different chaats in different locales. I have made many trips to find places where they serve delicious non-fussy organic meals in lovely little spaces. Every quest to find good food has been an adventure. The food may be disappointing at times but the journey has always been satisfying.

There are many ways to find information on good food. There are food guides for most big cities these days. Trip advisor and other websites help in narrowing down your search based on reviews. Also food blogs give a good picture of the food scenario in many cities. It also helps when you talk to friends who travel and to the natives while traveling.

Food ingredient shopping is another fabulous experience. I love to visit local markets and ethinic food stores to source ingredients that are not available in regular departmental stores. Sometimes I discover new and fascinating ingredients which I try to incorporate in appropriate dishes. I remember how chatting with a fellow cooking class student once led me to finding an ingredient - Kaachum puli (coorgi) - I had been searching for many months. There was also a time during a market tour in Paris, we stepped into a grain store and found Celery salt which comes in handy while making bloody marys.

Any foodie will have many memorable stories to share with a fellow foodie. It was fun sharing some of my food adventures with you. I hope it inspires you to set out on your own food adventures.

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