Making Money Off the F-Word

Photo courtesy knock knock

After years of thoughtless usage, the word "foodie" is finally garnering some of the scorn it truly deserves. Chefs hate it (and are generally none too fond of anything but the wallets of those to whom it is most classically applied). CNN's Eatocracy blog recently did a long(ish) piece on the word and its modern usage (which included a brief but impassioned tirade against the word from yours truly). And a few months back, there was even a minor groundswell of support for the anti-foodie movement which I tried to whip into a full-scale semantic rebellion. Didn't work, but it was fun to watch the discussions that bounced around Blog-O-Land for a while.

But still, if there's a way to make a buck off something, someone is going to get out there and make that buck. Enter Foodie Flashcards.

It was the sharp-eyed folks at slashfood who first brought this to my attention, but it seems to me that these cards--which purport to offer the uninitiated a linguistic entry point into the mystifying world of the modern foodie--are a perfectly couched and gentle jab at the foodie culture that drives me so bonkers. From the product description at Knock Knock:

"The foodie movement continues to grow in both popularity and scope and learning the patois of the distinguished palate is increasingly important. If you or someone you know likes to eat, it's likely that concepts such as flavor profiles, foams, and food trucks are perplexing. With the humor and classical education techniques of our Foodie Flashcards, you'll learn to speak omnivorously in no time!"

The choice of words ("crudo," "artisanal forcemeat," "deconstructed," and "foam") is clever, and pairing them with completely straight-faced definitions and retro '50s-style line art makes them just snarky enough to deflate the ridiculous pretentiousness of the movement without just immediately resorting to name-calling (as I do). If I could, I would wallpaper my office with these things. And that way, if I ever accidentally found myself swooning over the "salumi" (fancy lunch meat) at some hot new neighborhood "boite" (restaurant), waxing poetic over the "terroir" (dirt) or talking about the "mouthfeel" of anything, I can stop myself before becoming an "insufferable douchebag"--one apt phrase that is, tragically, not included in the deck.

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