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Gourmands by Krzysztof Lubieniecki, Warsaw National Museum

A gourmand is a person who takes great pleasure and interest in consuming particularly good food and drink.[1] Gourmand originally referred to a person who was "a glutton for food and drink",[2] a person who eats and drinks excessively.[3]


Gourmand was derived from a French word that has different connotations from the similar word gourmet, which emphasizes an individual with a refined, discerning palate[2][4] and is more often applied to the preparer than the consumer of the food. But in practice, the two terms are closely linked, as both imply the enjoyment of good food. In his book Alamanach de las Gourmands, Grimod De la Reynière wrote that a gourmand is not only a person endowed with an excellent stomach and strong appetite, but also adds to these advantages a delight taste. Reynière concluded that the first principle lies in a single delicate palate, matured with a long experience. The French Academy dictionary suggested that the term 'gourmand' was a synonym of 'glutton' or 'greedy'.[5]

Henri Brispot's A gourmand

An alternative and older usage of the word is to describe a person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink, as a glutton[2] or a trencherman.[citation needed]

Regarding the latter usage of the term, there is a parallel concern among the French people that their word for the appreciation of gourmet cuisine gourmandise is historically included in the French Catholic list of the seven deadly sins.[6] With the evolution in the meaning of gourmand (and gourmandise) away from gluttony and towards the connoisseur appreciation of good food, French culinary proponents are advocating that the Catholic Church update said list to refer to gloutonnerie rather than gourmandise.[citation needed]

Another alternative use has gained popularity among perfume and cologne designers. In this field, gourmand refers not to a person but to a category of scents related to foods, such as cocoa, apple, and plum.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brein, M.; Keller, T. (2013). Travel Tales of Michael Brein: My Best 100:. The Travel Psychologist Travel Tales Series. Michael Brein Incorporated. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-886590-27-4.
  2. ^ a b c Garner, B. (2009). Garner's Modern American Usage. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 398. ISBN 978-0-19-988877-1.
  3. ^ "Definition of GOURMAND". Merriam-Webster. 2024-02-06. Retrieved 2024-02-07.
  4. ^ Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms: A Dictionary of Discriminated Synonyms with Antonyms and Analogous and Contrasted Words. Merriam-Webster. 범문사. 1984. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-87779-341-0.
  5. ^ Breguel, Martin; Atkins, Peter J.; Vabre, Sylvie (May 17, 2021). Food History:A Feast of the Senses in Europe, 1750 to the Present. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781000390964.
  6. ^ "Seven deadly sins | Definition, History, Names, & Examples". Britannica. Retrieved 2024-02-06.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Gourmands at Wikimedia Commons