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Gastrosophy

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Mar. 6th, 2011 | 01:07 pm
mood: hothot

Maybe it's time for a Word Of The Day™ (or a Wørd Öf Thé Dåŷ, with apologies to Colbert[1]):

Gastrosophy
Gastrosophy is the science of appetite and the art of the table’s pleasures. It combines culinary knowledge with the enjoyment of food, drink and traditions. As with philosophy, its objective is gastronomy and the activities over what is cooked, drank, and above all, how it has been done throughout history.

Quoted from this site, which attributes it to Wikipedia. I can't find the relevant Wikipedia article (and the well-meaning suggestion "did you mean Gastroscopy?" was more amusing than helpful), but here's an entry in the German Wikipedia edition, at least.

As befits a German text, it's dry and technical, but it's interesting insofar as that it points to a distinction between three kinds of foodies, namely gourmands, gourmets and gastrosophs; there's some overlap with the distinction I made myself in the past ("gourmet, gourmand, glouton"), so maybe I should extend that to include the fourth term. :) On the other hand, I'm not sure the idea of a "gastrosoph" isn't crossing into into "food snob" territory, too (where a "food snob" is someone for who it's not the food proper anymore that's central to the experience).

  1. I also can't help but think that this looks a bit like a very weird cross between English and pseudo-Vietnamese. :)

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Comments {4}

The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit

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from: porsupah
date: Mar. 6th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
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It seems to me the critical distinction between this rather adorable little term and the others is the explicit inclusion of history, of a broad perspective. Of course, one could quite plausibly argue that a gourmet would also have a fine understanding of a particular dish or ingredient, and its uses elsewhere and in the past.

I have a vague inkling I'd enjoy learning Vietnamese, but ye gods, it does look intimidating, with that reliance on multiple styles of intonation (rising, falling, high, mid, low, etc) - although at least it forsakes hanzi/kanji style glyphs in written form. =:)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Mar. 6th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that does seem to be the distinction; it certainly seems to fit when you consider what "gastrosophy" actually means. To draw an analogy to wine[1], a gourmet might appreciate fine wines, the subtle (or not so subtle) differences in taste etc., but he might not necessarily care about the associated wine culture. Perhaps "food aficionado" would be a term encompassing both.

As for Vietnamese, it sure does seem intimidating, doesn't it? On the other hand, it would be interesting, and others have learned it before, so there's no reason why you couldn't if you wanted to, too. :)

Also, I'm really glad to see you back on LJ! :)

1. I understand that the term "gourmet" actually comes from wine culture and that a "gourmand", in French, really is someone who appreciates fine food rather than what is typically meant in English or German by the term, but I'm not a fan of linguistic prescriptivism; the terms mean what they mean nowadays. :)

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moonhare

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from: bunny_plush
date: Mar. 8th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
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did you mean Gastroscopy

At first glance I thought you were considering getting your stomach scoped...

;o)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Mar. 8th, 2011 10:55 am (UTC)
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No, I'd rather avoid that if possible. :P

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