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May I dare to be a gourmet?

I could be a gourmet.

I'm not yet a gourmet, but I'm surely a gourmand.

I like both those words; I like the way both of them sound. "Gourmet" has that refinement French and French-sounding words have to my English-hearing ears; "gourmand" has a stoutness to it...not quite Jabba the Hutt stoutness, but it has a nice solidity.

Here's how my Webster's Unabridged defines 'em:
gourmet: an epicure; a judge of choice foods.
gourmand: 1) a greedy or ravenous eater; a glutton. 2) a gourmet; an epicure.

So there's actually some overlap in the two words' meaning. I didn't know that.

I say I'm not a gourmet yet for a few reasons:

1) I've never really been all that creative in the kitchen. I have a small kitchen, certainly, but I've had larger and better-equipped ones; docbrite and chefcdb would probably find more creative use of them than I have. (Hey, I could practice more involved cooking in the kitchen my dad's niiiiiiice, much better than the Seventies-era kitchen the house had when my folks bought it. Half of the original burners didn't work in that kitchen before Dad gutted it...)

2) One of the skills I've yet to develop as a writer is describing tastes and flavors. (As blubeagle knows, when asked how something tastes, I tend to start joking...) Writing restaurant reviews holds no interest for me. And I'd say that's a sign I haven't yet really thought enough about what food and taste mean to me.

3) Can I truly be a gourmet while still appreciating something like the caramel-pretzel Klondike Bar I had for dessert tonight? ;-)

All that said, I see my potential to be a gourmet. I'm trainable. Considering my happy reaction to Ratatouille, a film that promotes the idea of savoring, and that even visualizes what taste is like (one of the film's neat effects), I have the foundation of a more developed food appreciater.

Plus now I know one can be a gourmet and a gourmand at the same time. Sweet.


Whale fluke
Chris Walsh

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