Language is a fickle mistress. Who would have thought that a word that was initially used synonymously with “gourmand” would come to mean “a douchebag who likes food” only three decades later?[1]

The term “foodie” first popped up around 1980 in a New York Magazine article by Gael Greene.[2] Since that utterance more than three decades ago, the term has proliferated popular culture, and media. In the more than three decades since its inception, the word has gone from being a clever witticism to describe those interested in the culinary world, to being a term that is coded pejoratively by many who hear and use it.

Friends Dining Outdoors Party Cheerful Toast Concept Foodies

For whatever reason that may be (when in doubt, I always blame Guy Fieri), I’ve taken it upon myself to present some alternatives to “foodie” that one might consider entering into their lexicon. What follows is a list of all the terms I think would be appropriate replacements to a word that might be in its dying days. If you have any that are not on the list, please feel free to send them to, and I will compile them and include the best ones in a follow up to this post!

Alternatives to “Foodie”

Gustatory Adventurer  A Gustatory Adventurer (or G.A… maybe?) is someone who is willing to go great lengths just to try new or novel food. This is the guy or gal who drives five hours to attend the restaurant grand opening by the guy who bumped shoulders with the janitor from the James Beard Association last Christmas. They want to be on top of what’s happening in the world of food, and that is their main objective in life. Perhaps a bit extreme for most casual food enthusiasts, a G.A. is a real Viking when it comes to food. No weather or natural disaster shall keep them from the new fusion restaurant offering a Southern interpretation of Kefka or Tabouleh! 

“Being a Gustatory Adventurer myself, I’ve recently hiked Mt. Everest and obtained the freshest ice possible for my frozen Margarita… It was alright, but I think that Casa Pueblo might still have a lock on the frozen Marg Market.”


Epicurean Pioneer — Similar to the Gustatory Adventurer, Epicurean Pioneers seek the adventure that food brings. Where as a G.A. might be interested in the highest quality artisan food items, however, an Epicurean Pioneer seeks to redefine “luxury” in the culinary context. They’re the kind of person that would actively seek out and enjoy the raw pig’s blood soup of Thai cuisine. Though seemingly extreme, it is the pure elation and almost meth-like high that food brings the Epicurean Pioneer that fuels their culinary endeavors.

“Rhonda, Leopold, and I, and the other Epicurean Pioneers from our Facebook group are looking forward to Thursday, when we will be bagging and frying live octopus on the S.S. BallsofSteel.”


H-eat-donist  A H-eat-donist is purely a culinary pleasure seeker. They will try anything that they think will afford them a good time. They’re as much invested in the party and company as they are in the quality of the food itself. You’ve got to hide your chocolate when this group comes over, as they might attempt to melt it all and use it as body paint on unsuspecting houseguests. 


“Did you see what happened to all our whipped cream? I haven’t seen it since that h-eat-donist Shelly came over for dinner last week…”


Eathead An Eathead is in your face about the food they’ve freaking like, bro. They treat appetizers like lifting. “I’m gonna try EVERY SINGLE KIND OF DUMPLING MAN.” Akin to Fluffy from the Harry Potter book series, on  full stomach, with light country or Dubstep playing in the background, they will likely fall asleep dreaming of the most delicious ways to consume protein. 

“ ‘Do you even pan-fry your own simosas, bro?’ said the eathead aggressively to his pal at the crossfit themes garden party.”


Perhaps none of these are actually appropriate replacements for foodie, and this list is more the various species to be found within the genus “foodie.” In any case, if you have any suggestions for the categories found under this very eclectic header, please send them my way and I will include them in the follow up to this post!

In good food,

Zachary McElgunn







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