This is a project borne of frustration … The frustration of being labeled a “foodie”.
There was an instance that, for lack of a better phrase, was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. The moment it happened wasn’t unlike any other and in fact it was quite similar to past experiences. I was discussing my feelings and thoughts about food with a new acquaintance (now a friend) when he stated “Oh, you’re a foodie!” Since I began writing Luna Pier Cook in 2006 this had become quite a common statement from others. I’ll never quite understand why it made such an impact at that particular moment more than a decade after I had first began to have similar discussions, but I suddenly found myself scrambling to explain that not only was I not a foodie, but that I was something else entirely.
It occurred to me at that moment that I lacked a specific term to counter with. I lacked a language, a series of descriptors, an honest label for myself and others like me. I couldn’t explain in any kind of a succinct manner how the term foodie is not only incorrect but detrimental to my efforts. I lacked the ability to describe what it means to explore the culture and ethnic groups surrounding a given dish or collection of restaurants and markets in a city or region, or the history of a regional series of wars thousands of miles away that were directly responsible for the groupings of ex-pat families with similar goals in restaurant and recipe development in the midwest, or the legislation that creates a lack of given ingredients and specialties in a particular state that is managed in a different manner in a nearby state to ensure safety and enjoyment. Before the conversation had concluded I found I was determined to explore these thoughts and develop the result to what I hoped was a logical conclusion. It took some serious thought and some research that went in odd directions, but I finally realized what I was after. What I found though was entirely unexpected.
What was not unexected though was finding I’m definitely not a “foodie”.