Guide to Cheese Types
Gourmet Food - Gourmet Guide
June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly
Gourmet Food is food that is of exceptional quality, prepared accurately and skillfully using careful and artistic presentation. Gourmet Food may simply be considered fine food and drink, while the term Gourmet often refers to an individual with refined taste, knowledgeable in the art of food and its presentation. Gourmet Foods are high-quality premium foods that have become more available to Americans, as globalization, income and health concerns have risen in recent years. Availability, price and public perception are also taken into consideration when determining whether or not a food is considered Gourmet.
The meaning of the word Gourmet has evolved throughout the centuries. The word Gourmet is derived from an old French term for a servant that works with wine. The French are known for their love of foods, and word Gourmet often is tied to French cuisine particularly in relation to their cheese and wine. By the 1700s, the terms Gourmet and Gourmand were used to simply describe an individual who enjoyed overeating. Luckily, Gourmet lost its derogatory connotation and has been rehabilitated into a positive term, describing a highly desirable type of food.
Gourmet meals are typically served in small contrasting courses. This allows a broad flavor experience, but at the same time limits the exposure to the often rich flavors that Gourmet Foods offer. Gourmet Foods are prized for their exclusivity often due to scarcity such as the case of the Italian White Truffle or Caviars that cost hundreds of dollars per ounce. Many foods are in season only during certain times of the year, and are grown only in remote regions of the world. Many of these foods are likely to be characterized as Gourmet due to accessibility, cost and origin. It is important to recognize that Gourmet Foods are in the eye of the beholder, as Gourmet Magazine includes recipes for everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to foie gras and truffles. igourmet has made Gourmet Food accessible through our vast offering of thousands of difficult to find Gourmet Food items.
Popular Gourmet Food categories are:
Gourmet Cheese is cheese made from high-quality ingredients that are aged to perfection using time-honored methods and traditions. Gourmet Cheese has unique and complex flavors and aromas. Special care is taken to affinage, which is nurturing and aging cheese to obtain the perfect level of ripeness. igourmet offers over 800 specialty cheeses in the world's greatest online cheese shop. Gourmet and specialty cheeses are offered from countries throughout the world in addition to artisan American cheese producers. Our delicious and unique offering of Gourmet Cheese is carefully tested and selected for the most discriminating palates.
Caviar is salt-cured fish eggs from sturgeon traditionally from the Black and Caspian Seas, though due to regulations most Caviar today is farmed. Caviar is strictly from surgeon, whereas other fish eggs may be considered roe. Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga are the three main varieties of Caviar, and are considered a delicacy throughout the world and due to their rarity, and for their rich creamy flavor and delicate texture. Beluga Caviar may sell up the several thousand of dollar per pound, depending on flavor, size and consistency. Today, some varieties of farm-raised American caviar are considered very high in quality, comparable to Caspian caviar.
Considered a delicacy in France, these land snails, are usually served as an appetizer, are cooked in butter or wine, and then returned to their sterilized shells and typically served with garlic, herbs or nuts. The most popular varieties of Escargot are "Petit-Gris", meaning Little Gray and "Escargot de Bourgogne", meaning Burgundy Snail.
Foie Gras is the specially fatten liver of duck or geese. Prized for its butter and meaty flavor, this French delicacy is may be prepared in whole form, or as a mousse, pate, or terrine and is cooked prior to being served hot or chilled. The meat is finely chopped or minced and mixed with fat and formed into a spread to create a delicate and rich taste experience.
Gourmet Coffee is coffee made from high quality beans produced in certain regions and under specific growing conditions, creating a coffee with exceptional flavor, texture, aroma, acidity and after-taste. Thanks to upscale coffee chains, such as Starbucks, the growth of Gourmet Coffee has exploded in recent years.
Pate is a spread made from meat or vegetables, along with other base ingredients such as herbs, spices or alcohol. Pates are typically baked in a crust or molded in a terrine. The ultimate pate is Pate de Foie Gras, which is a spread made from the fattened livers of duck or geese. Pate may be served hot or cold, is tends to develop its best flavor when chilled. Pate is generally attributed as a French Gourmet Food, but in actuality found its roots thousands of years ago in ancient Greece.
Truffles are a rare form of fungus similar to mushrooms. Their rich and pungent flavor is unlike any other food in the world as Truffles are considered the diamond of the kitchen. Available in White and Black varieties, Truffles are a high demand Gourmet Food, due to their relative scarcity, labor intensive harvest process, resistance to cultivation and short growing season.
From Wagyu Kobe Beef to Exotic Game Meats, Gourmet Meat is made from the highest quality meat available. Sourced from four-star chefs as well as home gourmets, our Gourmet Meat includes free-range and organic meats. Many of our producers are dedicated to organic, natural, sustainable and humane production of their meats.
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