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Gourmet vs gourmand

Gourmet and gourmand are two words that are often confused. We will look at the similarities and differences between the definitions of gourmet and gourmand, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Gourmet describes someone who has a refined palate, a person who enjoys fine meals and fine wine. Gourmet is also used as an adjective to describe something that comes up to the standard of a person who enjoys fine meals and fine wine, such as a gourmet kitchen. The word gourmet is derived from the Old French word groume, which means wine-taster.

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Gourmand describes someone who enjoys eating and drinking, usually to excess. A gourmand may have a refined palate, but does not necessarily have a refined palate. Gourmand carries the connotation of piggishness or of gluttony. Sometimes one sees the words gourmet and gourmand used interchangeably, though more properly the word gourmet carries a connotation of sophistication while the word gourmand carries a connotation of gluttony. For the gourmet, the pleasure of eating is in savoring the flavor, for the gourmand, the pleasure of eating is in ingesting copious amounts of food and wine. The word gourmand is derived from the Middle French word gourmand, meaning glutton.

Examples

He is a gourmet, who likes eating fine food, and lives downtown in Manhattan, where great food shops abound and gourmets congregate to enjoy a high standard of restaurant cooking. (The Telegraph)

The pastry chef behind the Wynwood gourmet doughnut shop that inspired blocks-long lines resigned last week. (The Miami Herald)

Then, Orson Welles, gourmand and director of classic films such as Citizen Kane (1941), found the restaurant and became a fan of the Austrian chef’s French nouvelle cuisine, applied to California ingredients. (The Straits Times)

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