Gourmet vs. Gourmand
It seems that some people use the word interchangeably on here.
I always though that a gourmet was a person who appreciated fine food and a gourmand was a glutton. When I googled for the definition, the preferred def of gourmand was a lover of fine food.
Is the glutton component of gourmand "old school"?
>>>I always though that a gourmet was a person who appreciated fine food and a gourmand was a glutton. <<<
That was always my understanding as well, but I have recently heard the two words used exchangeably. According to my dictionary, a "gourmet" is a connoisseur of fine food and drink, i.e. an epicure, while a "gourmand" is a person who delights in eating well and heartily; so, obviously, the words are related, but the second has the nuance of eating "heartily" as well as enjoying fine food.
The etymology of the words clears things up a bit. "Gourmand" is from the Middle English word "gourmaunt,' which meant glutton, and "gourmaunt" itself was derived from the Old French word "gourmand/gourmant." That word came from the Old French gromet/gourmet, which was a wine merchant's servant.
In the words of the late Justin Wilson, in his "Gourmet & Gourmand Cookbook": "A gourmet is a person what likes fine food. A gourmand isn't nothin' but a P-I-G hog. Me, I'm both."
I think a gourmet actively cooks or prepares the good stuff. A gourmond just enjoys the good stuff. Never associated either with gluttony.
I've noticed the misuse of gourmand here and elsewhere in the food world. At least I was convinced based on a couple years of high school French that it was wrong to use them interchangeably.
Then I confirmed it.
I was in Europe at a wedding about a year and a half ago and asked the question of some fellow wedding guests, a couple from Lyon, and they confirmed to me that, at least in French, gourmet is a lover of fine food and gourmand is a lover of lots of food.
IIRC, this was determined to be a mistranslation. Could be wrong, but that's what I recall reading when the issue has come up before.
Usage-wise, the definition of gourmand (a noun, a person)
is someone who enjoys gourmet (an adjective) food. This has been my understanding for many years reading food writing and food history. Though there was some connotation I learned of several years ago of gourmand being someone who consumed food in excess, that was certainly, in my history of reading about food, a secondary definition and not the main one.