UPDATE (five minutes later, after I finished reading the article, which is, BTW, a review of 1080 Recipes, the new English version of the Spanish classic):
This passage sums up some of my not-so-nice feelings about foodie culture:
1080 Recipes is authentic—it shows you (definitely in the Spanish version, somewhat less in the English one) how to cook what Spaniards really eat, down to the dreadful canned peas in their paellas. That authenticity, however, is not the same authenticity of foodie fantasy.
Now, I fully subscribe to this foodie fantasy, just like I completely buy into the romantic and glamorous literary/artsy fantasy of Paris during the '20s and even, say, the practical and wholly Midwestern design and architecture fantasy of central Michigan in the '50s.
What I question, though, is how healthy it is to subscribe to a current philosophy knowing that it's fantasy. It's one thing to believe the hype when it's softened by time - clearly, every day in Paris wasn't all salons and revelations and creation of masterpieces. There was a lot of day-to-day living, too, but that doesn't make it into the memoirs.
Part of my frustrations with foodie culture come from being intimidated: when I read stories of fabulous, dramatic meals being served RIGHT NOW in houses all over Portland or Raleigh or wherever, the tacos I'm making for dinner seem like a failure. I feel hopelessly disconnected to the culture surrounding my primary hobby. Like until I find a way to go gourmet (or at least local, etc etc) - every night - I can't even consider myself second rate.
Except that it IS a fantasy. Everybody eats tacos on occasion. Right? Right?
And that concludes this morning's whining.