The three pears symbolize food, knowledge, and pleasure.
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Gourmandiary, August 2004
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Mastering the Mundane
Modern Food Issues
A Gourmands Diary.
About and Jason Ryan
The Food Snobbery Scale
don't even know it!  Do issues like this keep you up at night?  Wouldn't it be helpful
if someone created a scale of food snobbery so that, when you next attend a dinner
the needs of my gastronomic friends, this month's Gourmandiary presents the first
ever rating system for food snobbery.  Phew!  Now you can finally get some sleep!  
See where you fall on the scale and drop me a line to let me know!

The Concepts that Inform the Scale

There are many kinds of snobs in the world.  But no matter what the topic, the
behavior is the same; it’s important for
them to make sure that you know just how
they are.  When we encounter this behavior at the table it can leave a bad
taste in the mouth.  A meal is a communal experience meant to enliven, enhance,
and enrich your day.  Being somewhat knowledgeable about your meal is a boon to
both you and your dining companions in as much as, when tactfully shared, that
knowledge can facilitate a deeper enjoyment of the repast.  When such knowledge
is instead wielded as an instrument of personal power, the friendly communal spirit
of a meal is broken.  The snob betrays to us all that his infatuation with himself is
more important than the enjoyment of that which he professes to know all about,
and yet, does not understand…the pleasures of the table.

I think this scale works pretty well for wine-snobs too.
Level 3

You're Informed...

You're a thoughtful eater that makes
thoughtful choices.  You appreciate the
communal spirit of the table and strive to
embellish it by sharing your gastronomic
enthusiasm with those at the table with you.  
You tread a fine line between teaching and
annoying others which you sometimes cross.
So there you have it!  The scale of food snobbery.
I would say I fall between a 3 or 4.
How 'bout you?
Thanks again for spending some time with me this month, and remember,  
Eat thoughtfully for full pleasure!
Level 1

You're a Glutton...

You're a quantity not quality eater.  The only
discernment you evidence is a tendency to
avoid 'green' foods.  The party is a disaster if
they run out of chow.  Your love of food
informs your day, it even dictates your
behaviors, but it's an immature love that
knows no bounds.  You're infatuated.
Level 2

You're Awakening...

You woke up one morning with a sudden
preference for DelMonte Ketchup, not Heinz.  
Perhaps last weekend you broke out of your
box wine and bud routine, and now you don't
understand how you got that way to begin
with.   Perhaps someone gave you a big slice
of roasted red pepper that sent your palate reeling, or a piece of perfectly grilled
fish with fresh mango salsa that was an epiphany on your tongue.  At any rate, it's
clear, there's no going back now.  Something has occurred that has introduced you
to the idea that great food is neither complicated or snooty.  Your growing curiosity
begins to inform your meal choices.  It's time to start exploring.  
Occasionally you take too long with the menu or wine list, but others appreciate
your taste and the tasteful way you explore the world of food with them.
Level 4

You're Persnickety...

preferences you have the wisdom (or
preferences you have the wisdom (or
insecurity) to keep them to yourself.  Sure,
you'll still demure when a big pile of carbs are
dumped in front of you claiming to not feel
welldumped in front of you claiming to not feel
later that evening.  Your food choices affect the community spirit of the table, but
not in an offensive way, and usually only your dinner is ruined.  This is not to say
that others at the table don't perceive (and are suspect) of your issues, it's just
that your reticence makes them feel bad for you not angry.

You're a Menace...

You use your food-knowledge as a weapon.  
Each meal is an opportunity to insist on depth
of your food-smarts makes you special.  the
difference between putting sumac or saffron in
the Iranian wedding rice.
you think it should be sumac anyway!