Monday May 11, 2015

Quebec's language cops cook up a new word for 'foodie' & call it this...

Massimo Lecas

Massimo Lecas (Canadian Press)

Listen 5:30

Quebec is known for its rich and diverse cuisine — from poutine, tourtières, pea soup and sugar pie — and if you are a food lover in Quebec, you're no longer considered a "foodie." You're a "cuisinomane."

Due to the growing popularity of the term "foodie" within the province, the language watchdog Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) created the new term "cuisinomane."

"It sounds like a superhero name if you ask me," jokes Quebec restaurateur Massimo Lecas to As It Happens co-host Carol Off.

Lecas has run into problems with the OQLF in 2013 for using Italian words like" pasta" on the menus in his Ristorante Buonanotte in Montreal. His fight against the OQLF drew worldwide attention and was dubbed "Pastagate." He was eventually allowed to keep his menu as it was.

"We lag so far behind when it comes to just the French language," Lecas says. "We don't need to attack ourselves on making up names for replacing [the words] 'hamburger,' 'souvlaki', 'pizza,' 'foodie'... that's my number one peeve."

But what about the word gourmand? Doesn't that already describe a "foodie"?

"Gourmand is more like a glutton, somebody that loves food, as opposed to a foodie, somebody that has an extreme interest in food," he responds.

Lecas says it's incidents like "Pastagate" and the creation of terms like "cuisinomane" that discourage business in Quebec and create the outside perception that its language laws are overbearing.