Taster, the delivery-only restaurant group, has explored the UK’s relationship with food to uncover the top 50 signs of what actually makes someone a ‘foodie’.
Travelling to another country or city purely for the cuisine, regularly frequenting street food markets and spending the majority of your paycheck on food were all identified as top ‘foodie’ indicators. Eating other people’s leftovers also made it into the top 50.
Of those polled, the majority said they felt a positive connection to food – with three quarters saying they simply ‘love’ food. But almost two fifths claimed to have the true characteristics of a ‘foodie’ (38 per cent).
Regionally, Londoners are most likely to self-identify as ‘foodies’ compared to other areas. Londoners also believe more strongly than others up and down the country that social plans should always revolve around food (29 per cent compared to the national average of 17 per cent).
During the typical month, British adults spend an average of £70.36 dining out at restaurants and cafes, £57.61 on takeaways and £56.05 buying food at markets and street food stalls. Londoners spend more than any other region, including £96.19 on eating out and £82.60 on takeaways.
The study of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Taster, the restaurant group founded in 2017 by former Deliveroo executive Anton Soulier. Taster has created a portfolio of delivery-only brands such as Out Fry, Mission Saigon and A Burgers which have been inspired by street food. Taster’s brands are available through delivery platforms like Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat
Taster’s research also found the top signs of being a food fanatic include importing ingredients from outside the UK, knowing different cuts of meat and having eaten at a Michelin starred restaurant.
The study also found three in five relate certain foods or meals to memories, including holidays (51 per cent), their parents (50 per cent) and school years (34 per cent).
Anton Soulier, Founder and CEO of Taster, said: “The first time I really fell in love with street food was when I travelled to Vietnam in 2008. I became obsessed with Phở and it led me to discover new flavours. This trip was also around the same time I started dreaming of creating a food business, so it was a great inspiration!
“It’s clear that being a ‘foodie’ isn’t one size fits all – and it’s interesting to see this research uncovering all the things that make us all so passionate about food and the memories food can evoke.
“The past few years have transformed the nation’s relationship with food and takeaway deliveries. We want to celebrate quality cooking, great taste and adventurous ingredients, as well as encourage the nation to try dishes and cuisines they may not have even heard of.
“And why just pick one cuisine when you have the ability to try as many as you want, street food style, delivered to your door?”
Of those surveyed, almost three quarters believe it’s important to try different foods from various cuisines in order to expand their palate (55 per cent), make meals more exciting (50 per cent) and learn different cooking techniques (34 per cent).
In the UK, Taster is currently live across London, Manchester and Brighton with plans to expand nationwide in 2022. Visit Taster.com for more information.
TOP 50 SIGNS OF BEING A FOODIE:
Visiting another city or country purely for the food
Cooking from scratch whenever possible
Being adventurous in the kitchen
Knowing what different cooking terms mean e.g. folding, searing, braising etc
Not being afraid to try something new
Having kitchen cupboards full of ingredients e.g. sauces and spices
Visiting food events in your city e.g. a beer festival or pop up market
Trying new dishes each time you eat out
Knowing where cuts of meat come from
Knowing all the food hotspots in your hometown
Knowing how to bake/cook something without a recipe
Regularly watching food/cooking shows on TV
Regularly visiting street food markets
Being open to trying different types of street food
Spending any free time cooking or baking
Eating at a Michelin star restaurant
Owning lots of cookbooks
Hosting/inviting people around for food regularly
Weekend plans revolving around food
Being the person people ask for cooking tips or recipes
There’s not a food you won’t try
Understanding every word on a menu
Importing foods / ingredients which aren’t sold in the UK
Shopping at independent food shops for ingredients
Following food influencers / chefs on social media
Reading food blogs
Prioritising spending money on food over other things
Knowing how to pronounce exotic ingredients
Getting excited by mealtimes
Having your own social media page dedicated to food
Owning top of the range cooking equipment
Taken cookery / baking classes
Regularly posting photos of your food on social media
Planning all social events around food
Owning every type of kitchen utensil
Eating a different cuisine each day of the week
Supporting independent food brands/restaurants
Owning a fancy set of chopping knives
Dining out at least once a week
Comfortable dining out alone
Always thinking about the next meal
Knowing restaurants / takeaway owners by first name
Knowing the names of TV chefs
Spending the majority of your pay cheque on food
Following Instagram cook-along lives
Planning meals ahead of time
Knowing all the best local takeaways
Knowing how to use chopsticks
Being the designated birthday cake baker in your family
Eating other people’s leftovers
Taster asked respondents for their favourite food-related memories…
‘Lobby’ as it’s known locally in North Staffordshire or simply stew. My mother made this dish usually every Monday to perfection.
A fish meal that we had on a holiday to Hawaii
Apple Charlotte dessert at school over 60 years ago. I’ve never managed to create the same taste when I’ve made it.
Catching red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico in Florida – taking it back to where we were staying and cooking it. This was in 1974 and it still evokes happy memories!
Chocolate crunch with pink custard in primary school. It tasted so good and brings back memories of the dinner ladies. They were like second mothers to us.
Fish and chips with mushy peas remind me of visiting my grandparents on the Isle of Man while sitting at the beach.
Grandmother used to make ‘Scouse’. Always tasted delicious and we couldn’t wait to see her and eat it.
Picking samphire on the marshes as a child, and my mother boiling and pickling it. Delicious!
The lobster baps on the beach from Cafe Mor on Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire. I need to go there at least once every year.
The most tender Filet Mignon at Prime restaurant in Las Vegas, overlooking the Bellagio fountains
Brown rice with lamb curry reminds me of family meals with all my family on special occasions such as birthdays and Eid