Earlier this week, The Associated Press held a Twitter chat with guest editor J.M. Hirsch. The topic was food.
It was a fun series of tweets, and I learned, among other things, what “spatchcocking” is.
But this tweet gave me pause:
I understand that a gourmand is a glutton. But why can’t a gourmand also appreciate fine food, albeit to excess?
Some gourmands may prefer fast food and cheap beer, but others may enjoy fine wine and steak dinners at the fanciest restaurants. Either way, the gourmand is overindulging, perhaps to the point of obesity.
Is it possible for someone to be a gourmand and a gourmet? I believe so.
An example is R.W. Apple, a famous New York Times reporter. He took great pleasure in food and drink, and he had refined tastes. The headline for this Apple column on his favorite restaurants, published shortly after his death in 2006, originally called him a “global gourmand.” It was later changed to “global gourmet.”
The change was unneeded. In its obituary, the NYT mentions Apple’s “Falstaffian appetites” and “surplus pounds.”
To my eye, Apple was a gourmand and a gourmet. Either word would work. I hope that the AP Stylebook would agree.