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Who are we? Foodies, gourmets, gourmands, epicures?

I don't like the word "foodie." Gourmet, gourmand and gastronome are not very appealing either but at least they sound more grown up. Foodies I know like to eat mostly and once in a while will put on an apron.

Then there is the word coined by Carlo Petrini of Slow Food: gastronomer, which includes foodies, gourmets, gourmands, epicures, environmentalists, food activists, farmers, consumers and everything else connected to growing, producing, preparing and eating food. A friend of mine suggested it might mean a food scientist assigned to the space station.

In any case, this little article kind of sums up my weariness with all the hype in the food world which, as we say in the jazz community, has become "too hip for the room."


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  1. My favorite is "Gastronaughts" penned by dear old Keith Floyd. He used the name in many of his shows.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Puffin3

      Haha. That sounds like something he would invent :-)

        1. re: linguafood

          "Gastro-not?" I can think of a few of those I know :-)

          1. re: linguafood

            Like astronaut. Sorry for the misspell
            'naunt' is Greek for 'sailor' ie someone who is sailing to 'lands unknown' culinary-wise.

            1. re: Puffin3

              Thus my confusion. I thought it might be a clever word play.

        2. Me? I'm a glutton. And damned proud of it, too. I embrace fellow gluttons as well. It is the finest compliment to my cooking.

          1. If you are truly grown up, you can drop all the pretensions.

            1. I like food. I like to find it, eat it, cook and talk about it. I'll leave the labeling to someone else.

              1 Reply
              1. How about Escoffier!

                1. I have long refused to self-identify with anything that can have a 'y' [or 'ie']suffix or a 'head' suffix attached. I am an enthusiast of many things, food being one of them.

                  If I had to pick one of the above, it would probably be 'gourmand' only because of the late Justin Wilson's distinction between 'gourmet' and 'gourmand': "A gourmet, he like all kind of things, the very best. A gourmand, he just a P-I-G hog!" Justin Wilson was never too hip for the room.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Fydeaux

                    But you're OK with a 'and' suffix? LOL Just teasing.

                  2. Baby, sometimes I'm so carefree
                    With a joy that's hard to hide
                    And sometimes it seems that all I have do is worry
                    Then you're bound to see my other side
                    But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
                    Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood..................

                    1 Reply
                    1. If it is necessary to attach labels, then I'm always happy to be described as a foody, or to describe myself as one.

                        1. Kind of depends on which forum you're talking to. The Home Cooking set may be called cooks, the Regional boards may be food adventurers and few cooks. The NAF board has more restaurant connoisseurs and party goers.

                          We all are food lovers, though, and food enthusiasts. I think the gourmet, gourmand, epicure, etc titles sound too stilted for our casual way of speaking and living these days. Those terms remind me of Julian Perlmutter, from Clive Cussler's books. Big fat guy who was an expert on ships, literature, food and wine. That's a gourmand.

                            1. "Epicure" is the most neutral term, which means merely someone devoted to pleasure, esp. food in modern usage. See the thread linked by thegforceny.

                              1. Right there at the top of the page: "Chowhound!"

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                  That's nothing more than a marketing conceit to promote the website.

                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                    And, IMO, not a very good bit of promotion in regards to folk who are not from north America. In many parts of the English speaking world, "chow" is not in common use as a word for food.