Foodie Underground: Why So Serious?

ColumnA new web series hilariously mocks the foodie movement.

When the Portlandia trailer hit and all my Portland-based friends had it posted to their Facebook profiles within minutes of each other, I had no idea that four weeks down the line people outside of my bubble would be asking me, “So is Portland really like Portlandia?”

Some find Portlandia hilarious (me) and others cock their heads and raise their eyebrows, because why would anyone find the reality of Portland funny? But that’s the thing about going viral: the message has to strike a chord. And so when Portlandia makes fun of book shop owners ogling the zine section, or restaurant goers overly concerned about where their chicken came from, it’s hilarious because there’s an element of truth. It’s a lesson in not taking yourself – or where you live or what you eat – too seriously.

In Foodie Underground, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about organic food, DIY markets, and underground trends, which I am sure that many of you are very interested in. But when was the last time you brought all three of those topics up at a dinner party and didn’t get a look of disapproval? When we take ourselves too seriously, it gets much more difficult to get our message across.

Which is why Foodies, a new web comedy series, premiering March 9th, should get a good laugh.

Mockumenting “a group of L.A. culinary enthusiasts whose passion for food spills off the table and into their personal lives,” the series is all devoted to poking fun at the smugness that so many love to point out comes along with loving good food. That assumed pretension some people think is inherent in the foodie movement may or may not be a valid argument, but in poking fun at it, Foodies is actually giving the movement more street cred.

“She’s still into me, cheese puffs prove it.” This is good humor for anyone who has a food obsession.

Click to view: Foodies

Even the recipes have a certain tongue-in-cheekiness that’s easy to appreciate.

Example: Moose’s Classic Gougères

The fun thing about gougères is that they sound really impressive for a little work. You can say things like, “Oh, these gougères? They’re nothing. I just whipped up a pâte à choux, threw in a little gruyere and called it a day” and still have time to enjoy wine with friends. Because really, it’s just a cheese puff with a fancy name.

So, put the DSLR down and stop uploading last weekend’s food photos to Flickr. Take some time to find the humor in the movement that we’ve created. Because, after all, food should be fun.

This is the latest installment of Anna Brones’s column at EcoSalon, Foodie Underground, taking a conscious look at what’s bubbling in the underground food movement, from supper clubs to mini markets to the culinary avant garde.

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.