If, like me, you’ve been referred to as a foodie several times in your life, you’ll understand the familiar feelings of confusion and suspicion whenever someone refers to you as a foodie. A myriad of question bubbles pop up one by one into my mind as I ponder on the meaning of the term “foodie”. What does this person mean? How do you know I’m a foodie? Can this person tell I’ve had one too many lunches today?

Needless to say, it took a while for the label to sink in before I finally began to grasp and embrace it. It took slightly longer for me to actually feel worthy of it (because if you really think about it, it is a compliment. What can be wrong about someone recognizing your passion and deep appreciation for one of the greatest joys in life?).

So here are a few ways for you to know if you’re a foodie:

  1. Eating hot food over taking pictures, any day, any time. Anything more than five seconds spent on social media journalism is a crime and a blasphemy to your dish.

Do you know what’s worse than people who take forever when taking pictures of their food? People who insist that the whole table waits for them while they finish documenting everyone’s meals. It doesn’t matter that your sick grandma in her wheelchair is staring sadly and longingly at her chicken porridge. It doesn’t matter that your father is creating a dent on the tiles from angrily tapping his foot on the floor. Who cares if the world is burning around you and that everyone around the table has been reduced to a hangry blur? The only thing that really matters is that you have the perfect flatlay for Instagram (#fotd #lunch #familytime #foodporn).

The clock is ticking and every wisp of steam reflects the simmering turmoil in your mind. If you’re not spending the first few seconds of your meal staring appreciatively at your plate, are you even present for the meal?

  1. You love watching, hearing or reading about food being prepared.

Foodies are not professional food critics. In fact, many of us can barely claim to even be good at cooking (I don’t ever cook for other people, just because I enjoy being able to truthfully say that I’ve never killed or poisoned anyone before). However, there’s a special joy that comes with witnessing food being prepared whether it’s TV shows, food-themed novels, live demos, or even just prying into a friend’s kitchen. Hell’s Kitchen or the Great British Bakeoff, anyone?

  1. You know what you’re eating two meals ahead.

Even as you’re driving to work, you’re already planning what you’re having for lunch. And then dinner. And then post-dinner dessert. How else are you supposed to get through your day? Your well-planned meals are the only light that shines in the dark tunnels of your long office days.

  1. You take your cravings very seriously.

Cravings are like the red power-up mushrooms in Super Mario; you have to catch them before they jump off and disappear. Here is a chance for you to experience your favourite food for the moment with a renewed vigour and a bounce in your taste buds (while, of course, appreciating the fact that your privilege, which not everyone is lucky enough to have, allows you to do so).

  1. You weep buckets every time you watch “The Hundred Foot Journey”.

You cry every time you watch Madame Mallory’s face after she tastes the pigeon, and then you cry again when she tries the omelette that she and Hassan cooked together. You cry when Marguerite brings out that beautiful tray of red, juicy tomatoes, bread and cheese in the beginning. When Hassan loses himself in Paris and finds himself again in a humble Indian dish, your heart breaks and it feels like you’ll never be able to love again.

Basically, you cry any time someone eats something throughout the movie. And your life motto is: “IF YOU HAVE A SPICE, USE IT! DON’T SPRINKLE IT. SPOON IT IN!

But then again, there are really no set rules when it comes to loving food. The beauty of being a foodie is that love is love is love and as long as you have a strong appreciation for what’s on your plate, you can never go wrong or be down for too long.