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ON OUR RADAR: Interesting Nibbles From The Past Week

– Craving a hard-to-find ingredient? Or do you just want to know how many restaurants in your city serve rack of lamb? Now you can search for restaurants by food item. Hankering for cardoons, the wild artichoke? Ramping up an appetite for ramps? Want to try wild boar, moose or ostrich? will tell you where to find them at a restaurant near you. [via Gothamist]

– Are you an epicure, gastronome, gourmet, gourmand or glutton? The Old Foodie, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, takes it on thusly:“In the lexicon of lip-smacking, an epicure is fastidious in his choice and enjoyment of food, just a soupçon more expert than a gastronome; a gourmet is a connoisseur of the exotic, taste buds attuned to the calibrations of deliciousness, who savors the masterly techniques of great chefs; a gourmand is a hearty bon vivant who enjoys food without truffles and flourishes; a glutton overindulges greedily, the word rooted in the Latin for ‘one who devours.’ … After eating, an epicure gives a thin smile of satisfaction; a gastronome, burping into his napkin, praises the food in a magazine; a gourmet, repressing his burp, criticizes the food in the same magazine; a gourmand belches happily and tells everybody where he ate; a glutton embraces the white porcelain altar, or, more plainly, he barfs.”

  Ostrich meatFeel like having ostrich for dinner? Hunt it down
at Or, buy these ostrich filets
from one of our favorite exotic meat purveyors,
Blackwing. Read our review of their amazing bison.
THE NIBBLE’s take is a bit different. Here is our response to a reader in our Letters To The Editor section in THE NIBBLE online magazine:A foodie can be defined as someone who has a passion for high quality food, and pursues it with zeal. Foodies are interested in all foods, including everyday and casual foods like breads and potato chips, as long as they are the finest quality.- A foodie is a different psychographic than a gourmet. A gourmet is considered to be a person who has sophisticated tastes in food and wine. Foodies can be gourmets, but many foodies are not gourmets: They just prefer the best of the basics. By the same token, some gourmets are not foodies: They prefer their rarefied experiences, and are not excited, e.g., by the thought of searching Chinatown for the best scallion pancakes, or finding a truly amazing old-fashioned jelly doughnut.

– We would argue that today’s gourmet is a broader-perspective fine food enthusiast who pursues the complex and sophisticated flavors in the major world cuisines; and that there is still a dividing line between what is accessible and enjoyable to many people, and what is more rarefied and of interest to those whose palates and noses seek higher levels of nuance and challenge (i.e., the gourmets). A simplistic example might be the difference between the enjoyment of a fine Brie, appreciated by a large number of people, and an Epoisses, which is much more demanding of the nose and taste buds (and can be thrilling or off-putting, depending on which side of the line you stand).

– An epicure is a connoisseur, a person who cultivates a refined taste, especially in food and wine. Epicurus was an Athenian philosopher (341 B.C.E. to 270 B.C.E.) who taught that pleasure is the highest good. Thus, epicureanism is touched with sensuous enjoyment. Gastronome and gastronomist are synonyms, as is gourmet—the emphasis being on connoisseurship as well as sensuous enjoyment.

– A gourmand is a person who is fond of good eating, often to excess, but generally a lover of good food. The word evolved from the Old French word for glutton, gormant. Here, the emphasis is on sensuous enjoyment over connoisseurship.

– A glutton eats voraciously, excessively and indiscriminatingly. The word comes from the Latin for “to gulp down.”

By the way, the term “foodie” was coined in 1984 by authors Ann Barr and Paul Levy, in The Official Foodie Handbook, a tongue-in-cheek observation of passionate food lovers (including Levy) who would wax poetic about radicchio and have enraptured conversations about their food discoveries. The phenomenon was first recognized and described in the book by the duo, a magazine editor (Barr) and American-born journalist (Levy), both based in London.

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