Do you collect cookbooks? Have you unwittingly spent half the day at the farmer's market deciding what to make for dinner? Is the kitchen your favorite room in the house?
With the influx of great food and entertainment shows, it's no wonder that so many of us are spending more and more time in our kitchens. But have you become more than just a home cook? Are you, perhaps, a full-blown foodie?
If any of these signs sound familiar—well, you just might be.
1. When planning a vacation, you put as much thought into restaurants as you do the hotel
Let's face it, most people get out of town to escape the weather or the stresses of everyday life. They're looking for a clean, comfortable place to crash, a few touristy side trips, and possibly a fruity rum drink sporting a tiny paper umbrella served poolside.
But foodies take a different approach: For them, it’s all about the dining experiences that await. If you find yourself scouring Travel & Leisure or Food & Wine and picking your travel destination because you found a four-star restaurant with the killer six-course meals that you just have to try—well, just know that’s not how most people plan their trips.
2. You collect info on the likes and dislikes of professional chefs
Anybody can clip coupons and recipes, but as a die-hard wannabe chef, you also save feature articles on the pros: You have to know where they like to eat, their favorite recipes, and kitchen utensils they can't live without. Hey, it’s food for thought for your next vacation, dinner party, or kitchen remodel, right?
3. You keep instant espresso powder in the freezer (and you've never once used it to make a cup of coffee)
Most non-foodie types have no idea of the depth of flavor that just a teaspoon of instant espresso powder can impart on an otherwise mediocre batch of brownies. But foodies know that espresso is the Instagram of food: Just as a simple filter creatively enhances an otherwise bland image, the tiny espresso granule lives to elevate the chocolate experience.
4. You take your kitchen knife sharpening appointments as seriously as you do your time at the hair salon
You understand the importance of keeping kitchen knives sharp (and the surprising dangers of the dreadfully dull blade). Enough said.
5. You reschedule a long-delayed dental appointment to attend the opening of a new grocery store
Speaking of appointments—for a foodie, there’s nothing more inviting than a grocery store opening, an event that focuses on all things culinary (well, except maybe for the opening of a new Jean-Georges restaurant). The great menu ideas, even better deals, and the prospect of some cool freebies—how could you turn it down? Nevermind those errands you were supposed to run, they can wait.
6. You know the difference between chiffonade and julienne—and you're not afraid to use them
Mincing, dicing, slicing—everyone’s mastered those simple food prep tasks. But foodies take it a step further. You can chiffonade bright green basil leaves to sprinkle over farm-fresh tomato slices glistening in olive oil and you learned how to julienne cream-colored jicama to update your slaw recipe—and you know the difference it makes.
7. A food photo on the cover of a magazine in the checkout line pulls you in faster than Us Weekly
I admit—even when it isn't dinner time, a photo of a perfect square of lasagna oozing a river of bechamel sauce will grab my attention like no shirtless photo of Johnny Depp ever could. (Well, almost.) But if the mere mention of George Clooney has you thinking less about how nicely he fills out a tux and more about what he's serving for dinner at his Italian villa—it might be time to admit that your relationship with food is one of the most important in your life.
It takes more than just watching the food shows on television (and following the blogs of all the hosts) to be able to legitimately stake your claim as a foodie. But if these signs are all hitting a little close to home—you just might be a true fanatic of all things culinary. And you know what? That’s a good thing. Like Alice in Wonderland, jump into your kitchen and see where it leads.
Photo of chef courtesy of Shutterstock.