About Those Meaningless Food Terms: Can "Gourmet" Get the Boot, Too?

A post on food terms that no longer carry their weight has gotten some love. While we picked on "all natural," "fun size" and "cage free" (can you see me doing dramatic "air-quotes" at my desk?), commenters chimed in with their own over-abused terms. James Scott penned my favorite:

I've been thinking about this for a while and it suddenly hit me. "Gourmet" anything. This particularly came to mind when glancing at the "Panda Express" logo, which proudly proclaims "Gourmet Chinese Food."

Gourmet is definitely one of the most over-used terms in food culture. To be sure, I grabbed my Food Lovers Companion and found the exact definition. In addition to describing a person of discriminating taste, "gourmet food is that which is of the highest quality, perfectly prepared and artfully presented."

In other words, more like this:

And less like this: