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food snob…bad term but not necessarily a bad thing

March 26, 2011

I hate the term food snob. I just think it sounds annoying and pretentious. This doesn’t mean that I don’t belong in the category though.

Unfortunately my parents raised me on tasty food. It wasn’t crazy gourmet, but in a neighborhood where meat was always cooked to medium well and an artichoke was unheard of, my house was a michelin star restaurant. Friends would come over for dinner and would be dumbfounded by the fact that sue and mike flynn served more than the standard meat and potatoes or the ubiquitous casserole.

And then there was the dining out. There is an italian restaurant on the south side of chicAgo called il vicianato. It was close to my dads office in a mini little Italy. The food was simple and most importantly, not chain restaurant Italian. The night before I took the ACT for the first time I ate there because they tell you to carbo load for brain power. I did quite well with a 26 after refusing to take a preparation courses or study from a manual. I also ate there the night before I took the SAT. My luck was not so good with that test. No amount of carbo loading could save me from being clueless on that one. If only I had enough ambition to have taken a prep class…where would I be now? I digress…my parents liked this little Italian gem and also loved to head downtown to eat.

Another family favorite was scoozi. My friend steph credits a birthday dinner at scoozi for changing her perspective on food and starting her on a course to being the “food snob” that she is today. Outside of whipping up souffles the girl cooks up a mean gourmet mini burger on an l.a. Food truck, the patty wagon (got to give the plug to my favorite food truck). what I find interesting though is she credits her love for amazing cheese and restaurants like AOC to my parents.
My parents showed me and many of my friends what good food was. Because of this I have a hard time eating bad food…I can eat bad food, but I had better be prepared and in the mood for it.

Tonight was one of those nights. I had a long emotional week at work and was exhausted. The original plan was to make a few quick pizzas with jim lahey’s crust recipe out jeffs no knead bread book. Then, I drove past the new Chinese restaurant in driggs. It was supposed to be open in December and now here it was, finally with the open sign on. Take out Chinese! Exactly what the doctor ordered. I was not expecting much. This is the south east corner of Idaho not some major metropolitan center. I ordered pot stickers, egg rolls and pork friend rice. Jeff got moo goo gai pan of all things. Funny enough the gai pan was probably the most edible item. The egg roll looked and tasted more like a really and I mean really greasy chimichanga. it was opening night so yes they need more time to perfect.

The point I want to make though is my parents raised me on good home cooked, take out and restaurant food. Because this is what I am used to, I have been forced to learn how to cook it. So I guess being a food snob is not always a bad thing…especially for my husband who is not but gets to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Guess I need to crack that fryer out of storage and start learning to make egg rolls.

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