This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"There are two broad varieties in French lovers of eating - the gourmets and the gourmands. The difference between them is so great that they may be considered as complete opposites. The gourmand is a mere glutton, who eats as much as he can, devouring one dish after another. The gourmand is the man who omits not one of the dishes at a table-d'hote, and then complains that he cannot dine properly in that hotel. The gourmet, on the contrary, is a product of high civilization. He enjoys with discrimination, and he is quite on the side of temperance; he even values the commonest things, if they are excellent of their own kind. A French gourmet once said to me, ' I am excessively fond of oysters; but I never exceed one dozen, being convinced that after the first dozen the palate has become incapable of fully appreciating the flavor.' A real gourmet preserves his palate in the healthiest and most natural condition; he prefers the simplest meal, such as fried mutton chop, if it is really well cooked, to an elaborate banquet where the cookery is less than excellent.
" But a plain leg of mutton, my Lucy, I Pr'ythee get ready at three: Have it smoking, and tender, and juicy, And what better meat can there be?"
I knew a Parisian who was a gourmet in Thackc ray's manner, and his way of living was to order one dish of meat, one of vegetables, and a little dessert, at an excellent and expensive restaurant a la carte. He did not desire the more abundant feeding at the restaurantes a prix fixe and the tables-d'hole. lie drank very moderately also; in a word, he lived as a gentleman ought to live, without excess, yet with perfect appreciation".