A gourmand is a person who takes great pleasure in food; a person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink; a greedy or ravenous eater. The word has different connotations from the similar word gourmet, which emphasises an individual with a highly refined discerning palate, but in practice the two terms are closely linked, as both imply the enjoyment of good food.
An alternative and older usage of the word is to describe a person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink, synonymous with a “glutton” or a “trencherman”.
In this latter usage, there is a parallel concern among the French that their word for the appreciation of gourmet cuisine (gourmandise) is historically included in the French Catholic list of the Seven Deadly Sins. With the evolution in the meaning of gourmand (and gourmandise) away from gluttony, towards the appreciation of good food, French culinary proponents are advocating that the Catholic Church update the infamous list to refer to “gloutonnerie” rather than “gourmandise.”
Synonyms for gourmand
- bon vivant