Gastronomy is the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine.
The term subsumes cooking techniques, nutritional facts, food science, and palatability plus applications of taste and smell as human ingestion of foodstuffs goes.
Gastronomy involves discovering, tasting, experiencing, researching, understanding and writing about food preparation and the sensory qualities of human nutrition as a whole. It also studies how nutrition interfaces with the broader culture. Later on, the application of biological and chemical knowledge to cooking has become known as molecular gastronomy, yet gastronomy covers a much broader, interdisciplinary ground.
The culinary term appears for the first time in a title in a poem by Joseph Berchoux in 1801 entitled “Gastronomie“.
The derivative gourmet has come into use since the publication of the book by Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste. According to Brillat-Savarin, “Gastronomy is the knowledge and understanding of all that relates to man as he eats. Its purpose is to ensure the conservation of men, using the best food possible.”