It was inevitable. I grew up on dinners like this: boiled potatoes and carrots, meat, white bread, milk, and canned fruit for dessert. How could I not grow up to become a food snob – as an act of rebellion? It crept up on me slowly.
Step 1 – Living on My Own
- When I left home, I realized I could actually make rice in a pot on the stove, and didn’t need either a rice cooker or Minute Rice.
- I grimaced when I was invited to a friend’s place for dinner and was offered spaghetti from a can – I had never eaten it before.
- I lost my taste for iceberg lettuce and graduated to romaine, red leaf, and – inevitably – arugula.
- Although it took me a dozen tries, I finally learned to like fresh cilantro.
Step 2 – Upscale Substitutions
As my tastes became more adventurous and my salary increased, I swapped out ordinary ingredients for the snob foods of the day:
- My favourite cheese evolved from cheddar to brie to chevre (with mango white Stilton as a treat)
- I preferred feta and olives on pizza to pepperoni and mozzarella (and artichoke hearts would not go amiss)
- I switched from bottled tomato sauce to pesto on spaghetti – then back to fresh tomatoes and herbs
Step 3 – Got All Holier-Than-Thou
- I disdained hot dogs
- I gave up McDonalds and Burger King
- I developed taste for portabella burgers
Step 4 – Benefits of Money and Travel
- I like squash ravioli
- I prefer gelato to ice cream
- I have successfully made a soufflé
In my latest incarnation, instead of being a gourmand, I make homemade/rustic everything, which is, of course, its own kind of (reverse) snobbery. I am a fresh/veggie/ locavore foodie-in-training. On the other hand, I still have gluten, dairy and non-organic foods!
I have at least 3 non-snob holdovers:
- Canned baked beans
- Peanut butter and sliced bananas on toast
- Kraft Dinner
Some habits never die!
If you are a hardcore connoisseur, you might relate to Esquire’s quiz, Are You a Food Snob?
Let me know!