When I see or smell or think of something delicious, I feel a motivation to eat it. I may be hungry or I may be not hungry, it does not matter. Nor do I suffer from pathological polyphagia.
How to describe this kind of appetite in English?
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A food craving - an intense desire to consume a specific food, and is different from normal hunger.
Consider this example:
I had a sudden craving for french fries, so I pulled into the nearest fast-food restaurant. (Merriam-Webster)
Craving french fries, for example, means you are hungry for french fries. However, you probably wouldn't have enough of an appetite to eat something else (like salad.)
Gustatory: Related to or associated with eating or the sense of taste (Merriam-Webster online).
Strolling through the streets of Paris at dawn is a gustatory delight: the stimulating aroma of coffee mingles irresistibly with the smell of baking bread as local cafes and boulangeries spring to life in the City of Lights. Paris and its denizens are at breakfast.
When I see or smell or think of something delicious, I feel [tempted]. I may be hungry or I may be not hungry, it does not matter. Nor do I suffer from pathological polyphagia.
If you're British, peckish (which Merriam-Webster claims was first used in 1740) fits the bill.
British informal [predicative] Hungry.
- ‘And if you get peckish there's a café, which uses organic produce from the farm's garden whenever possible, and a shop which sells organic vegetables, herbs, plants, honey and eggs.’
- ‘Come lunch time today I found myself feeling really rather peckish but didn't fancy anything cooked.’
It's not full blown hunger, but it can be triggered by seeing a mouthwatering dish, or because lunch or dinner time is drawing near. You are more likely to eat a snack in order to keep these hunger pangs at bay.
In Italian we have "sentire un certo languorino", one Italian-English online dictionary suggests its English equivalent is: to get the munchies
1.1 (the munchies)
A sudden strong desire for food.
‘I bought a pork pie to stave off the munchies’
English Oxford Living Dictionaries
On the other hand, Wiktionary translates it as peckish
While I'm aware that the expression “the munchies” is often used in the cannabis culture, it is also used to express that insatiable desire for something sweet or savoury to fill the empty hole feeling we all experience at one time or another.
3. the munchies, Slang. hunger, especially a craving for sweets or snacks: suffering from the munchies.
Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.