I have a problem.
The other day a friend asked me about a recipe I posted here on the blog. She wondered where she could score the same cut of meat I used. My eyes twinkled, my pulse quickened as I explained in detail where she could not only get this choice meat, but also how to cut it and which knife she should buy to do the cutting. I may have even uttered the words, “You need to find a really good butcher. Someone you trust.” (Who am I?) Her smile faded, her eyes deadened. And yet, I kept going, over-explaining how even the cheapest cut of meat will do because the recipe cooks low and slow for hours. When I admonished that low and slow does not mean throwing everything into a crock pot, I noticed a veil fall over her face. A veil of boredom. I swear, her glazed, unseeing eyes were telling me, Shut UP about the cubed meat.
My antics didn’t stop there. That SAME NIGHT I could barely hide my horrified amazement when another friend talked about her Taco Bell obsession. Then, I grilled a third friend about the boxed cookies she buys and began lecturing about genetically modified foods. As my dinner mates (and former friends) stared at me in their own kind of horrified wonder, I actually heard “Mwah mwah mwah. Mwah, mwah mwah” in my head, as if I played the teacher in a Charlie Brown Special.
In my defense, one could say that since starting a food blog, I just know more about food in general, and I like to share what I’ve learned. One could also call me a know-it-all. One could say I have refined tastes and a sophisticated palate. One could also call me a snob.
Okay, I admit it.
My name is Rachel and I’m a Food Snob.
Just a few short years ago, the only things on my menu were Ramen noodles, egg salad, and peanut butter and jelly. I couldn’t afford any better. But look at me now, with a grocery budget, putting on airs and pretending to be Alice Waters.
My own mother, the mother who cared enough to make me and my brothers wholesome dinners every night, says things like, “Oh, Rachel, you won’t want to come for dinner. I got the chicken from Costco.” Or “If you come over to watch the game, you’ll have to eat jarred salsa.” When did Costco chicken and heaven forbid – salsa from a jar – become an object of contempt in my mind?
How did I spiral so deep into this organic pit of food snobbery?
I have no one to blame but my own taste buds. After discovering the summer joy that is a local, homegrown tomato, I detest the mealy, salmon-colored, grocery store variety.
After grilling local, Pennsylvania-raised chicken thighs, I scoff at what’s sold in the supermarket.
After meeting the farmer that grew the best strawberries I’ve ever had, I can’t bring myself to buy a cellophane package shipped from California.
While the masses may call me a food snob, I say I have food values. And I don’t care who knows it. I’m starting a club – Food Snobs, Named and Known. If you come to weekly meetings, I promise the salsa will always be fresh.
So tell me, are you a “food snob”? Or do you have a Taco Bell obsession? (Be honest. This is a judge free zone – I’ve been known to frequent the drive-through of a certain fast food chain selling chicken that’s definitely NOT from Costco.)