The 25 Stages of Being a “Foodie”

The life of a modern-day feinschmecker.

  • foodie
  • You're totally over your mom's breast milk. It's so...breast-milky. So obvious. Ugh.
  • You hang out with your grandma one day in the kitchen while she cooks your favorite dish. Later on, you will romanticize this memory beyond any shred of reality, and perhaps use it as inspiration to launch a short-lived food truck.
  • You sneak into your parents' dinner party and have your first encounter with stinky cheese. It is funny and gross.
  • Food Network replaces Nickelodeon in your life. Iron Chef is religion.
  • You go on vacation somewhere—anywhere—and realize, "Whoa, this food so much better than the stuff I previously ate that was called the same thing!" You decide your parents are holding you back.
  • You go to college and subsist for four years on pizza and ranch dressing. Four times a year, you go to the most expensive steakhouse within a 10 mile radius and order surf and turf.
  • You decide that in order to be an adult, you should learn to cook. You make a lot of pasta and sauce.
  • You get bored of pasta and baked salmon, so you decide to start reading blogs and looking at cookbooks for inspiration.
  • Big moment: You refer to yourself as "#foodie" on social media. You start going to lots of mediocre restaurants that have good Yelp ratings.
  • You read a Michael Pollan book because the person you're dating is really into it. Whoops. Caring about food politics and stuff is exhausting. You become vegan to figure things out.
  • You like bacon again. In fact, it is all you can talk about. You make a Tumblr about it that gets mad follows. Life is good.
  • No more Kraft products and packaged turkey slices; you only fuck with Whole Foods.
  • A rich relative takes you to a fancy restaurant and buys you foie gras. It is gross and funny just like when you smelled that stinky cheese as a child, but this time you resolve to fight past this feeling and enjoy it.
  • You now "drink wine with meals." You overuse the word "minerally." You get carpal tunnel from overswirling.
  • You're really into "ethnic" food. Strip malls are like magnets to you. 
  • Eater is your homepage, and you refresh your browser every few minutes on Tuesdays waiting for the New York Times to publish its restaurant review. You enjoy being the go-to recommendation source for your friends, but you get incredibly angry when someone challenges your taste.
  • When asked about a restaurant, you begin by saying, "The chef used to be at…"
  • You go to Babbo. You experience "Mario's iPod." The food is great. Mario's iPod is crap.
  • You ask cheap burger joints if they use "heirloom tomatoes" before making your order. Blank stares abound.
  • You go to a three-star Michelin restaurant and eat spherified oyster brine, food that has been turned into a foam, and savory ice cream. You feel like Buzz Armstrong after going to the moon, and wonder if a normal meal will ever satisfy you again.
  • The two weeks of vacation you get each year are now entirely devoted to insanely gluttonous food-related trips. Joe Beef is your mecca.
  • You have to console your mom on Thanksgiving after skewering her cooking and yelling at her for not buying heritage-breed turkeys.
  • You almost miss rent one month because you over-spent on artisan jams. Your strong opinions about kale have made you a pariah at the office. At least you have friends at your CSA who understand you, and who will let you sleep in their barn while you get back back on your feet.
  • In a moment of honesty, you admit to yourself that really, you just like cheeseburgers.
  • BONUS: All that locally sourced pork belly catches up to you, and you die young. At least your grandkids will know that you didn't support Big Ag!

With kids sucking on vegan breast milk lollipops and starting food blogs at the tender age of six, the road to epicurean wankery is shorter than ever these days. But most of us were born before the age of the foodie took hold, and we now find ourselves somewhere in the middle of that journey, adapting as best we can to a time when admitting you don’t know what sous-vide means is like admitting you don’t know who John Elway is.

Exactly how far along the path are you, and where do you have to go from here? Click through the gallery above to witness the complete life of a foodie, from mom’s teet to the final, artery-clogged dirt nap.



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