I am a foodie. There’s no doubt about that. At the moment, I’m a food snob in a barren wasteland of deep fried fat and white bread. I’ve been slow to find other foodies. Of course, coming from a place where a modest food cart can hide a gourmet delicacy around any corner, I’ve been a little spoiled. And that is a tremendous understatement.
How ever I look at it, I enjoy food. I enjoy finding it. I enjoy preparing it. I enjoy serving it, and I especially enjoy eating it. Good food is a great pleasure. I spend more money of my budget on food and beverage. I am an epicure.
You may have a website of a similar name bookmarked for frequent recipe research as I do. While the internet and databases are new, the word epicure dates back to the 1540’s.
I found this etymology of Epicure at Online Etymology Dictionary:
late 14c., “follower of Epicurus,” from Latinized form of Greek Epicouros (341-270 B.C.E.), Athenian philosopher who taught that pleasure is the highest good and identified virtue as the greatest pleasure; the first lesson recalled, the second forgotten, and the name used pejoratively for “one who gives himself up to sensual pleasure” (1560s), especially “glutton, sybarite” (1774). Epicurus’s school was opposed by the stoics, who first gave his name a reproachful sense. Non-pejorative meaning “one who cultivates refined taste in food and drink” is from 1580s.
Merriam-Webster always distills it down to the simplest form:
- archaic : one devoted to sensual pleasure
- one with sensitive and discriminating tastes especially in food or wine
I’m not going to give you the history again, but thought the Oxford English Dictionary gave the best current sense: One who cultivates a refined taste for the pleasures of the table; one who is choice and dainty in eating and drinking.
We see the more modern, and current version of the word begin showing up in the 1700’s. Of the OED examples, my favorite, and the one I most relate to, is: 1814 Scott Waverley II. vi. 111 As an Epicure protracts, by sipping slowly, the enjoyment of a delicious beverage.
While I’ve been typing, I have been bouncing around websites, sipping my glass of wine, savoring a few pieces of chocolate, and planning the latkes I will be making for dinner tomorrow night. I can honestly tell you some of the most memorable food experiences I have had are the ones where I’ve been able to sit and savor, and experience the pleasure of dining. Do you have a favorite food memory like this? Are you an epicure?