The list of things foodies are wrong about would be too long even for the internet, and it would start with the name “foodie.”
For now, though, let’s focus specifically of the foodie subgroup who scours ethnic neighborhoods in search of authenticity.
Let’s call them the “food tourists,” and here are the things they’re wrong about:
Secret menus: Foodies love all the cultures of the earth and want to go forth and have an experience with all of them. Just like the British Empire of yore. But they also harbor a deep suspicion that every ethnic restaurant they enter has hoarded away all the authenticity. This suspicion is made manifest in the foodie neurosis that a “secret menu” is being kept from them.Secret menus are complete nonsense. You might go somewhere and get a menu that isn’t the standard one, but it’s not going to be a big secret. The fact that you’re holding a laminated printout that says “American Specialties” will be a pretty clear tip-off.
Hidden gems: The notion that ethnic cultures have hidden their best food in the greasiest, dirtiest establishment in their neighborhood is bonkers. Why would they do that? Are all the people in the neighborhood who made the famous restaurant famous wrong about their own cuisine? More than likely it’s the foodies who are wrong.
New Chinatown: The foodie’s obsession with the new Chinatown, the one that just popped up somewhere new, is a great source of foodie wrongness. They’re not wrong that such a place exists, but they are wrong in assuming that because there’s a new Chinatown, going to the old Chinatown is a barbaric act of tourism.
Street Food: Street food is prepared for you by a person with no viable means of washing their hands. This person’s dream is to open a proper restaurant where he or she can cook food properly and with dignity, at which point the foodie will lose all interest in them.
Language: Foodies are well known for speaking “menu French,” which is a foodie phrase that means: “I speak no French.” Foodies believe that if they go to, say, a Russian supper club in Brighton Beach (not Tatiana’s, but the “real” one) and say Spasibo to the proprietor, he will insist that the foodie marry his daughter at once. Needless to say, the foodie is wrong again.
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