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Old 01-24-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
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Can I be Gourmet if I do not eat ...

I like to think of myself as a good, adventuresome, creative cook, maybe even gourmet/gourmand, at least my friends call me that.

But... I do not like Offal, Sweetbreads, Haggis, Organ Meat, Game, Small birds like pigeon and quail, Sushi, Sashimi, or even Caviar... does this disqualify me a a serious cook/gourmet?

It must derive from my familys background... down to earth first generation off the farm.

I watch the Food Network and cannot even imagine eating a lamb's bladder filled with who knows what... I cannot conceive of that being good. I might eat it if my plane crashed in the Andes and that was all there was, but if there is an alternative- why?

Thoughts?

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Old 01-24-2007, 11:09 AM   #2
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Hopz, the rational is waste not want not. No part of a living animal was allowed to go to waste ...some way was found to make it edible. Not only is that good stewardship, but it is also good economics. We in this land of plenty waste so much. But sausage is ground tough meat scraps with fat and spices inside intestine. Pate is liver and fat and broth and seasonings. Things like Haggis are just forms of those. Well made quite good. Poorly made, rather gross.

It's possible to change your way of thinking and tastes. There are more meats than just cow and pig. There are more fish than flounder and shrimp. No one broadens his or her perspective overnight, but start expanding your tastes little by little.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:35 AM   #3
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Why not, Hopz? Many "gourmet" are specialized in particular fields, and I am sure there also are "vegetarian gourmets" and I have absolutely no objection. Even among food experts, it is not necessary for everyone to agree upon which are good food and which are not, if you like to be adventurous and enjoy experimenting with new possibilities within your comfort level, and explore the new boundary of your culinary repartoire, I would surely consider you a gourmet
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:38 AM   #4
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I think one of the thinks that makes the gourmet is the willingness to try and appreciate things, so the fact that you have tried these things is good, and counts :) I too am a bit squeamish about offal, but I am prepared to be won around, and will taste most hings at leat once. For example, I would rarely choose to eat sushi, and definitely never sashimi, but I do eat it, and try new things often when I go, because I have learnt to appreciate it. And I want to like fennel so much I eat it a few times each year when I cook it/put it in a salad for DH/family/guests but however much my mind wants to love it my body will not.

Is it a grossed out factor with the small birds (I love both pigeon and quail so hard for me to seee where you are coming from)

I think gourmets do not like some things, but I think they are prepared to try. I am not a gourmet though, so what do I know ;)
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:52 AM   #5
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Hopz - not in the very least!!! "Gourmet" has absolutely nothing to do with eating something you don't like. That would be idiotic.

In Webster's Dictionary, the word "gourmet" is stated as "a person who likes and is an excellent judge of fine foods and drinks". Nothing about having to like every edible on the planet.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:07 PM   #6
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There is no one on this planet who likes everything they eat. Everyone has something they tried and do not like or will not even try to begin with. Everyone has their limits. that does not exclude you from being a gormet or a foodie or anything else like that.

I love food, but you will never catch me putting an insect in my mouth, even though I have no doubt that they can be delicious. I just won't do it. I like to think though that I have a pretty open mind and will at least try most things at least once, even if they sound gross to me. If I did not have that mindset then I never would have tried raw fish in sushi and I would have missed out on what is now my favorite food.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:39 PM   #7
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I fully agree with you GB.

Both my parents are excellent cooks, & I credit the way my brother & I were raised by them in relation to food to the way we both feel about it today. Back in the 50's/60's, my parents cooked things that were unheard of in a world when most other folks of our acquaintance were eating spaghetti, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc., etc.

My parents had just one rule for us kids - we didn't "have" to eat anything we didn't like, but we did HAVE to taste it. If after taking a bite or two we still didn't like something, we didn't have to eat it. Knowing that we had that kind of fairness behind us, my brother & I grew up trying lots of different things, & have never had food fears, like so very many of our little peers did.

Did we like everything we tried? Of course not. But at least we tried them.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:43 PM   #8
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I grew up with the same rule Breezy. It was called a "No Thank You Portion". We had to at least have a no thank you portion (usually about a tablespoons worth) and then after we had that we were off the hook if we did not want anymore. Very often after that initial taste we were begging for more.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopz
I like to think of myself as a good, adventuresome, creative cook, maybe even gourmet/gourmand, at least my friends call me that.

But... I do not like Offal, Sweetbreads, Haggis, Organ Meat, Game, Small birds like pigeon and quail, Sushi, Sashimi, or even Caviar... does this disqualify me a a serious cook/gourmet?

It must derive from my familys background... down to earth first generation off the farm.

I watch the Food Network and cannot even imagine eating a lamb's bladder filled with who knows what... I cannot conceive of that being good. I might eat it if my plane crashed in the Andes and that was all there was, but if there is an alternative- why?

Thoughts?
Hoptz, I recall some time ago, Michael, brought up the term/topic re 'gourmet.' Gourmet, imho, does not depend on what one likes to eat, or 'disqualifies'? one as a gourmet. Here is a good description:

Gourmet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Like yourself, there are many foods I would not put in my mouth, nor would I cook, because they simply don't appeal to my tastes/preferences.

Another interesting related topic that comes to mind - restaurant reviewers. Are they gourmands? NOT! LOL.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
I do not like Offal, Sweetbreads, Haggis, Organ Meat, Game, Small birds like pigeon and quail, Sushi, Sashimi, or even Caviar...
I'm curious how many of these foods you say you don't like that you've tried.

So many folks say they don't like something before they've tried it, and then when they do, sometimes they are pleasantly surprised.

As I understand the meaning of the word "Gourmand," the fact that you don't eat (at least most) everything would disqualify you from that title, but certainly not from the appelation of "Gourmet!"
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:32 PM   #11
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First of all, I believe the word 'gourmet' is overused. I don't think of my self as a gourmet cook but anyone who knows of my interest in food and cooking refers to me as one.

Secondly, just check the International Gourmet Society's official list of foods you have to eat on a "regular basis" to qualify as a gourmet. That will solve the problem for you without question.

Oh, wait, there is no such list.

I'd be pleased to be known as a "...good, adventuresome, creative cook...".
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:52 PM   #12
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Very well said Andy M.
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:20 PM   #13
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I agree with you too Andy. The word "gourmet" has been tossed around so much no one even knows what the heck it means anymore. On a recent shopping trip I spotted a package of "gourmet hot dogs." Now what is a gourmet hot dog? These things are made with offal, and God only knows what else, so what makes them gourmet? I love calves liver and onions and veal kidneys sauteed til brown with onions but that doesn't make me a gourmand. Squab and quail are on my list of good foods too, still doesn't make me a gourmand. I agree that haggis sounds horrible, but in certain cultures there are a lot of foods we, as Americans, find horrible too. My parents came from Italy where the head of a cow or calf was a treat. It boiled on the stove for hours and when it was done the family members faught over who would get the eyes. That's enough to make me sick. Fortunately my parents didn't engage in that disgusting practice once they arrived in America. The adage "waste not want not" applies here. When you live in poverty sections of the world, you don't waste anything and judging from what goes into hot dogs neither do we here in America. I have heard of worse (worse than THAT?) but you get the point. To each their own. We all don't like the same thing, but please let's not get crazy with the word "gourmet." I see another blog coming. LOL
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:03 PM   #14
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Websters defines a gourmand as:

1 : one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking
2 : one who is heartily interested in good food and drink

I think, by those definitions, most of us here could be considered a gourmand.
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:21 PM   #15
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This is what the Wiki dictionary says: The first definition is the one I was aware of while the second is what GB's definition says. If the 2nd definition could be used for gourmet, the first definition could be used for glutton.


1. a person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink. A greedy or ravenous eater; a glutton. See gormand.

2. a person who appreciates good food. (Usage note: Some people feel this is an erroneous usage and should be gourmet for this sense.)
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Very well said Andy M.
Exactly. Seems extremely silly to exclude someone because they don't like some foods.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:42 PM   #17
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Gourmet/gourmand does not mean omnivore. It's OK to have a bit of discretion, however you want to define that.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:45 PM   #18
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You are a gourmet if those that you like and love enjoy your cooking.
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
2 : one who is heartily interested in good food and drink
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
2. a person who appreciates good food. (Usage note: Some people feel this is an erroneous usage and should be gourmet for this sense.)
But, who's to decide what's good and what's not? That is subject to interpretation, perception, and personal preferrence.
With that being said then, should there be different levels for different types of gourmand/gourmet (i.e. uspcale gourmand, casual gourmand, etc.)? I wouldn't consider a person who loves foie gras and caviar to be the same type of gourmand as a person who loves smothered pork chops and mashed potatoes just because by definition, each person perceives that what they are eating is good.
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:17 PM   #20
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Why can't both of those be "good" though IC? I understand what you are saying about good being subject to a variety of factors, but I think that foie gras and pork chops and mashed potatoes can be equally good. There can be good foie gras and bad foie gras and the same with the chops and potatoes.
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