Sara Dickerman in Slate:
It gets ever harder to be a snob these days. Take food: It used to be a simple familiarity with Valrhona chocolate or a decent recipe for pad Thai could convince companions that you were an alpha in the food realm. Now, however, what was once esoteric food knowledge has trickled out of the subcultural creeks and into general culture. So, to help you take your food knowledge to the next level, David Kamp, who wrote last year’s savvy history of the American “food revolution,” The United States of Arugula, and who’s also sought to define the film- and rock-snob subcultures, has partnered with Marion Rosenfeld to put together a little book called The Food Snob’s Dictionary.
Part Preppy Handbook, part Dictionary of Received Ideas, and quite funny throughout, the Food Snob’s handbook doesn’t so much seek to define individual terms, like poulet de Bresse (the esteemed French chicken) or induction cookers (the electromagnetic cooktop), as define how such terms can be used to score points against other snobs or food-loving novices. Take a line from the FSD‘s definition of “nouvelle cuisine,” the French food movement of the 1960s and ’70s: “Snobs love to clear up the misperceptions that nouvelle chefs favored tiny portions and rejected cream-based sauces, noting that it was flour-based sauces that nouvelle-ers shunned.”