Food envy, adventurous eating, and taking pictures of your tea
10. Food envy Not a mild case of “can I just have a taste of what you ordered” to a patient dining companion. More like “table-42-just-ordered-the-last-two-avocado-jus-doughnuts-and-if-you-don’t-help-me-get-them-off-their-table-right-now-I’m-smashing-this-place-up” levels of yearning.
9. Adjectives alert If you can’t identify with foods that don’t come with scene-setting descriptions, you’re on the path to full foodiedom. Don’t understand? Which of these makes you hungrier: foraged wild fungi on farm-baked sourdough bagel with pumpernickel seeds, or mushrooms on toast? Furnace-heated legumes, or baked beans? Line-caught églefin on a bed of fresh garden purée, or haddock and mushy peas?
8. Pasta problems You can identify dozens of different types of pasta and carry indexed notes on which are best paired with varieties of sauce and seasoning, yet you don’t know the names of people who have worked right next to you for the past 18 months. Friends or colleagues come and go, but carbs are forever. 7. Cold food You get used to the taste of lukewarm dishes because you spend the first ten minutes of every mealtime photographing, smelling, discussing and analysing your food, and then photographing it again, before eating it.
6. Walking the walk Visiting another town because you’ve heard they sell a certain brand of kimchi seasoning there seems like a good use of a holiday. In fact, it’s no wonder you’re hungry all the time, considering most of your free time is spent going from one food market to another and stopping off at the right delis to source the correct grain of salt – if it’s not Himalayan rock salt on your double-fried, hand-cut chips, then you may as well just eat mud.
5. Adventurous eating Anything, anywhere, anytime. That’s the sort of meal selection mantra that routinely has you eating bugs, brains and brine-pickled seafood of unidentifiable origin every time you go on holiday. Dishes on a menu that you probably won’t be able to pronounce, never mind digest, is your idea of a proper list. 4. Food for thought If the number of times you’ve thought about food today exceeds the number of conversations you’ve had with another person, don’t worry, that is perfectly normal. If, however, the amount of time you spend considering barbecue techniques, making mental lists of your top vinegars and reflecting on how much better life has been since you switched from tomato to persimmon in your tiffin boxes on any given day exceeds the amount of time you spend speaking to people, then you are a true foodie. Just bear in mind that daily food consideration, as a guideline, should not be greater than the time you spend talking to your family each month.
3. Doing your homework A little bedtime reading usually means skimming through menus (dictionary and translation apps in hand), looking for words you don’t understand.
2. Change is good You have not eaten the same meal twice in four years. Going back to the same restaurant feels like a betrayal of opportunity, but if you absolutely have to (forced by taste-averse dullards who wouldn’t recognise a seasonal vegetable if it was bounced off their heads), then you can’t order what you had last time, what somebody at the same table is having or anything that looks like it takes less than 45 minutes to prepare. 1. Take it slow For foodies, there is no such thing as fast food. There are burgers, sandwiches and snacks, but they’re never going to rush them. That might mean marinating patties the night before cooking a burger or visiting the pop-up farmers’ market across town to find the right type of onion to chop into a taco at dinner time. Do you really think a person who spends sunny afternoons indoors commenting on baking blogs and designing menus for meals only they will ever eat is going to accept a bowl of instant noodles and ketchup?
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He once ate seven meals in one day.