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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Don't Get Food Snobbery

While checking out write-ups and blogs about a specific dish I had in mind, I came across something that I will never understand: food snobbery.

If it's good, who cares if it's "pedestrian?"
(Courtesy of

The blog I encountered was actually a nicely designed one (and, if I remember correctly, one of the "pioneers" as far as food blogging in this country is concerned). The author was talking about a dish that s/he had, which, even though was expensive, was completely worth it. The post had a feel good vibe - until I decided to read the Comments section.

"I've been to that restaurant! It's so elegant, so nice...but there's this customer there (while we were enjoying our meal) who was complaining about ____________! Can you imagine? You get to this nice restaurant and then you'll order ____________ lang, and then raise a fuss about it pa? Some people..." (I took the liberty of paraphrasing, but this is what the comment was conveying.)

Good vibe gone.

What is it about this country - or is this a general human trait - that cannot wait to look down on someone else, and assume that one has "arrived?"

Hello. I've had fishballs, kikiam, and other assorted "street food" since...ever since. Just because a steak costs 5000 pesos does not guarantee it will be "the best ever" - I distinctly remember Anthony Bourdain talking about this point, that it is in poorer communities where some of the best tasting food can be found, mainly because of economics, they have had to find ways to make their "simple" fare better tasting.

The food snobbery that was displayed in that comment is not isolated, and based on something so irrelevant as "social class". How many times have I heard someone say "Yuck! You'll never find me eating there" or "How can you even eat something like that?" I've already lost count. The comment I read had an underlying message: yun lang o-orderin mo? (That's all you can afford?)

Some of the best tasting meals/foods we've had were from hawker centers in Singapore, or small food stalls in Thailand, and yes, that okoy down the street or Ilocos empanada on every street corner in that Northern province. I prefer to judge food on the basis of taste, and not by what people will think of me should I decide to enter this restaurant or order only a certain dish. I go by the Andrew Zimmern philosophy: If it's good, eat it.

And yes, my finger is raised for that food snob.

1 comment:

  1. It still redound on what had been used to be eaten on a day to day basis that drives us to put judgement on the food we eat, and the term, food snobbery? it's even my first time to hear about it.