The Food Snob

The Food Snob


Food Snob n: A person whose slightly heightened gastronomic knowledge is in part thanks to reading The Food Snob’s Dictionary: An Essential Lexicon of Gastronomical Knowledge by David Kamp and Marion Rosenfeld

I anxiously awaited my mail for a week. A package was to arrive, one that included a book sworn to be so informative and life changing I could hardly contain my excitement. Opening the small brown box from Amazon, I finally feasted my eyes upon the newest volume of culinary knowledge, one that would take me from merely an interested gourmand to the status of a true Food Snob. Turning back the pages of the tiny book, really no more a pamphlet of culinary facts than an encyclopedia of gastronomic knowledge, I quickly absorbed it’s mixture of random food trivia. Taking the book as seriously as say the authors, who jest not only at the odd facts but also at themselves for being the collectors of said facts, The Food Snob’s Dictionary is both informative and entertaining way to pass a few hours.

Traveling the alphabet, readers on their way to becoming Food Snob’s acquire a gastronomic education that spans cooking utensils, unusual produce, information about food celebrities and details about the highest quality producers. Some entries: Zest “The colored outer layer of the peel of a citrus fruit…” or Stone Fruit”…large pitted fruits…”are mainstream verbiage in this food obsessed day and age, making the Dictionary seem more an introductory guide for the culinary novice. The detailed descriptions of many of the world’s top culinary products and restaurant insider terminology argues otherwise. What true gourmand does not know the history and background of Berkshire pork(“Upmarket pork from purebred swine of British pedigree”) or Hudson Valley Foie Gras(“Upstate New York pioneer…manufacture of the traditionally French-made fattened-liver treat”). And doesn’t every line cook wear Bastad chef’s clogs and know that a Reefer is really a refrigerator. If they don’t, they certainly will after a quick study of The Food Snob’s Dictionary. The true gems of the Dictionary lay in the detailed descriptions of top influential culinary minds. Food Snob’s, if no one else, know that James Beard was not only the Buddha of twentieth-century American gastronomy but was widely known for his untidy personal life and that Washington DC pioneer chef Jean-Louis Palladin has poodle hair, comedy mustache, and Tootsie eyeglasses.

Finishing the Dictionary one can truly appreciate how vast culinary information is. Published in late 2007, the book already seems dated, although it’s sarcastic tone towards food snobs for whom the actual joy of eating and cooking is but a side dish to the accumulation of arcane knowledge about these subjects, allows at least this reader to relax slightly when faced with the overwhelming amount of knowledge the food worlds demands of its students. Written by David Kamp, the genius behind the very informative United States of Arugula, the book is at times almost laugh out loud funny while still succeeding to be educational. If only math text books could work the same way.

A Meal Fit for a Food Snob

Free-range Vegetarian-fed Egg Omlette with leeks, fingerling potatoes(pg 40), and Niman Ranch Bacon(pg 73) served with a salad of Wild Arugala, Raw milk(pg86) Buttermilk Blue Cheese, and Meyer Lemon( pg69)Vinaigrette

Omlette e Salat



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