Noun – Gourmand
Strictly speaking, a gourmand is someone who loves food and eats way too much of it.
But, more loosely, a gourmand can also simply be someone who loves and appreciates food.
Part of speech:
Noun, the countable kind: “he’s quite the gourmand,” “it’s popular with gourmands.”
The plural is “gourmands.”
You can also use “gourmand” as an adjective: “these gourmand tourists.”
If you need a verb, we’ve got one, but it’s ugly: “gourmandize.” “They gourmandized themselves on the roast pig.” Sometimes you’ll see this spelled without the “u” as “gormandize.”
If you need a noun meaning “the love of eating a lot,” use “gourmandism,” or my preference, “gourmanderie.”
How to use it:
When “foodie” feels too casual, pick “gourmand.”
In times past, it was an insult. Here’s Thackery (1848): “Jos, that fat gourmand, drank up the whole contents of the bowl.”
These days, “gourmand” often has a kinder tone. You can refer to someone as a gourmand–or talk about gourmands as a general group–and simply mean that they’re enthusiastic about food, not necessarily greedy or overindulgent.
“There was Jackie Newhouse, the descendant of the great lover, gourmand, violinist and duelist Giacomo Casanova. Jackie Newhouse had, like his notorious ancestor, both broken his share of hearts and eaten his share of great dishes.”
— Neil Gaiman, “Sunbird,” M is for Magic, 2007
“The city’s gourmands are flocking to supper clubs like Mesabrava, where guest chefs prepare multicourse communal dinners in auction houses and shuttered factories.”
— Paola Singer, Travel and Leisure, 6 December 2016