Why Curious Eater-ish: An Introduction

“A food sub-editor is needed to provide reviews and recommendations on food. Applicants must have a passion for food.”

This was a job ad in one of the many newsletters that I subscribe to and seeing it sent a jolt through my head. “You can’t write about food,” I said to myself.

Must have a passion for food. Passion for food. Must have. Passion. For food. The words repeated in my head and sounded like a lie.

I would never call myself a foodie and my answer to the question “Do you love food?” is “ummmm”.

Because the truth is, I don’t love food per se.

But I’m curious about where my food comes from and how a person’s childhood affects their attitude towards food when they are grownups.

I’m fascinated by how the history of a region plays a role in determining their traditional foods. I think about how certain recipes have changed over time because of external influences, the availability of ingredients and the development of cooking technology.

While I don’t love food, I love how it has a kind of power. Anthony Bourdain wrote in Kitchen Confidential that, “[Food] could inspire, astonish, shock, excite, delight and impress.”

More than that, it has an influence on things like government and politics. The French Revolution was driven by the shortage of bread! It’s also been said that the agricultural depression in the 1930s led to World War II. (I promise to find citations for these at some point, if I ever go into more detail.)

And of course, I love the taste of good food. I love how experiencing a really good meal makes me feel. I love satisfying strange (cold butter dipped in hot chocolate sauce) and specific (the fried tomyam spaghetti I cooked in Melbourne) cravings .

So… I’m not a food professional in any way. I’m not even an enthusiast or a hobbyist.

Whenever I cook, my mom worries I’ll start a house fire. Once, when my uncle spotted me buying eggs, he asked what I was going to do with them. (What else does one do with eggs??) “You know how to fry meh?” he asked, when I told him I was going to eat them.

But am I curious about food? Yes. Am I an eater? *shrug* Kinda, sorta, I guess so. Hence, Curious Eater-ish.

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