Would a Rose by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?


As I plug away at my book manuscript due in just over a month, the problem I just cannot seem to solve is a matter of proper naming. What should we call people who love food?

I know this issue has been kicked around for a long time, but I despise the term “foodie”. It suggests something small and trivial—doggie, sweetie, kiddie, newbie, etc. The book is about the food revolution and why we should take food seriously. “Foodie” suggests our newfound fascination with food is light-minded and frivolous, and the term is sometimes used with that intent.

None of the traditional terms work. “Connoisseur” is too fussy. Many people fascinated by food are as happy with a good slice of pizza as they are with Chateaubriand. “Gourmand” evokes visions of a rotund man with a turkey leg in one hand and a goblet of Bordeaux in the other with drippings on his chin. Foodist? Too close to “communist” and “nudist”. It is often not good to be an “ist”.

I often use the word “culinarian”. But that term should be reserved for inquisitive chefs, food historians, and others with deep expertise in the culture of the table.

Food fetishist? Please, an interest in food is not a fetish.  Gastronome makes me think of garden gnomes—enough said.

“Food lover” is too generic—who doesn’t love food? “Food Passionista” is too precious.

Then of course there is “epicurean”. I do have a soft spot for the ancient Greek sage, Epicurus, whose paeans to pleasure and  tranquility continue to be an inspiration. But this is an old term that doesn’t quite fit the contemporary ethos.

Will the food revolution stumble for want of a name?

Suggestions are welcome.




    1. Thanks Jonathan,

      I like that. It will definitely make an appearance. Perhaps pastiche is the best approach–try lots of easily recognizable neologisms and see what sticks.

  1. The Greeks, of course, have a word for it : Kalofagas with a
    “soft G” and the accent on the last syllable. Hard to pronounce but tells the story completely.

    Lucullus, was the original foodie, hedonist, gourmet and connoisseur. How about Lucullite? Lucullan? or some other variation thereon?

    And how about coining something new with a “phile” suffix? Gastrophile?

    Lastly, much like the wine types, Food Enthusiast?

    (Oh, the limitations of our English language!)

    1. Ha. I will try to slip Kalogasian past my editor. I actually like gastrophile. Thanks for the suggestions. I will have to look up Lucullus; might be an interesting historical reference point.

      1. go to my BlogSpot references for 2011 postings and click on “The pleasures of dining alone.” I did a bit of a write up on Lucullus for my blog.

  2. how about “Greatbiters” or “greattasters” or “food lovers” or
    “Food angels”.or foodcherishers ?

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