What Is the Meaning of Decadent Food?

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The term "decadent" is often used to describe food that is over-indulgent and rich in flavor; it is usually associated with food that is high in calories and therefore a "guilty pleasure."

So-called decadent food is often rich in flavor.
So-called decadent food is often rich in flavor.

Misconceptions

The phrase "decadent food" is meant in a tongue-and-cheek way because the noun "decadent" actually denotes something that is "decaying or in decline." The term relates to the idea that certain food types are so indulgent that they must be bad for you.

Slice of chocolate cake
Slice of chocolate cake (Image: Pete Saloutos/iStock/Getty Images)

Types

Foods that may be described as "decadent" include: chocolate, caviar, wine, champagne, lobster, canapes and foi gras. Any type of food that is high in calories and rich in taste can be described as decadent.

Black caviar in a bowl on ice
Black caviar in a bowl on ice (Image: voraorn/iStock/Getty Images)

History

The phrase "decadent food" is thought to have been coined from a verse in the Bible which states that overindulgence is sinful and may lead to ruin. However, the phrase in contemporary society no longer has a religious context.

Bible with cross bookmark
Bible with cross bookmark (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

References

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