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Favorite Food Quotes

compiled by Tanith Tyrr

On Beverages

Coffee"Liqueurs were not lacking; but the coffee especially deserves mention. It was as clear as crystal, aromatic and wonderfully hot; but, above all, it was not handed around in those wretched vessels called cups on the left banks of the Seine, but in beautiful and capacious bowls, into which the thick lips of the reverend fathers plunged, engulfing the refreshing beverage with a noise that would have done honor to sperm-whales before a storm."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste



"As viscous as motor oil swirled in a swamp, redolent of burnt bell peppers nested in by incontinent mice and a finish reminiscent of the dregs of a stale can of Coca-Cola that someone has been using as an ashtray. Not a bad drink, though."
Excerpt from "The Moose Turd Wine Tasting" by T. A. Nonymous


Drinking wine"I'm not under the alkafluence of inkahol that some thinkle peep I am. It's just the drunker I sit here the longer I get."
Harald Milz


"A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. "Much obliged," said he, pushing the plate aside; "I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

Mouthwatering quotes

"In the centre of a spacious table rose a pastry as large as a church, flanked on the north by a quarter of cold veal, on the south by an enormous ham, on the east by a monumental pile of butter, and on the west by an enormous dish of artichokes, with a hot sauce."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste


Buttered toast"When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries."
The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame



"There's nothing sexier than a poached pear with a perfect sorbet."
Lisa Hershey, The Art of the Plated Dessert, Boyle and Moriarty, 1997


Philosophical musings

"The joys of the table belong equally to all ages, conditions, countries and times; they mix with all other pleasures, and remain the last to console us for their loss."
Jean Antheleme Brillet-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste



Jean Brillat-Savarin"Gourmandise is an impassioned, rational and habitual preference for all objects that flatter the sense of taste."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste



"I am a strong partisan of second causes, and I believe firmly that the entire gallinaceous order has been merely created to furnish our larders and our banquets."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste


"The smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us...."
Marcel Proust


Beef cow"This is what is meant by "sacrifice", literally, the "making sacred" of an animal consumed for dinner. Yet sacrfice, because it dwells on the death, is a concept often shocking to the secular modern Western mind - to people who calmly organize daily hecatombs of beasts, and who are among the most death-dealing carnivores the world has ever seen."
Margaret Visser: The Rituals of Dinner



"A smile is great. A memory is even better. But a tear of joy is the ultimate."
Jacquy Pfeiffer, The Art of the Plated Dessert, Boyle and Moriarty, 1997


Ingredients are not sacred. The art of cuisine is sacred. It is at that altar I worship, and I shall go to sacrifice the fat geese and tender cattle to serve its ends. The holy icons of the chef's faith—fragrant truffles, rich foie gras, well-marbled meats and other luxurious ingredients - these are not God. Their synthesis and their miraculous transformation into a sum greater than its parts is creation, and this is what I find most worthy of reverence.
Tanith Tyrr, 1997

On Food Complaints

Large salami"At the table of a gentleman living in the Chausee d'Antin was served up an Arles sausage of enormous size. "Will you accept a slice?" the host asked a lady who was sitting next to him; "you see it has come from the right factory." — "It is really very large," said the lady, casting on it a roguish glance; "What a pity it is unlike anything."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste


Seafood"A connoisseur of gastronomy was congratulated on his appointment as a director of indirect contributions at Periguex: and, above all, in the pleasure there would be in living in the midst of good cheer, in the country of truffles, partridges, truffled turkeys, and so forth. "Alas!" replied with a sigh the sad gastronomer, "can one really live at all in a country where there is no fresh sea-fish?"
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825



"In England, there are sixty different religions—and only one sauce."
(Attributed to Voltaire, 1694-1778)


Food chase "It can jump off the plate at you but it doesn't have to chase you out of the restaurant." - Marshall Rosenthal, on fusion cuisine
The Art of the Plated Dessert, Boyle and Moriarty, 1997



RatBabbington looked wretchedly from one to the other, licked his lips and said, "I ate your rat, Sir. I am very sorry, and I ask your pardon." "Did you so?" said Stephen mildly. "Well, I hope you enjoyed it." "He only ate it when it was dead," said Jack. "It would have been a strangely hasty, agitated meal, had he ate it before." said Stephen.
Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S Surprise



"People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it is safer to harrass rich women than motorcycle gangs."
Unknown



Squash"The first zucchini I ever saw I killed it with a hoe."
John Gould, Monstrous Depravity, 1963



"Gastronomers of the year 1825, who find sateity in the lap of abundance, and dream of some newly-made dishes, you will not enjoy the discoveries which science has in store for the year 1900, such as foods drawn from the mineral kingdom, liqueurs produced by the pressure of a hundred atmospheres; you will never see the importations which travelers yet unborn will bring to you from that half of the globe which has still to be discovered or explored. How I pity you!"
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

On The Glory Of The Truffle

"Whosoever says truffle, utters a grand word, which awakens erotic and gastronomic ideas...."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste


"The most learned men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord."
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)


"At the time I write, the glory of the truffle has now reached its culmination. Who would dare to say that he has been at a dinner where there was not a pièce truffée? Who has not felt his mouth water in hearing truffles a la provencale spoken of? In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825


Truffled turkey"Those truffled turkeys, of which the reputation and the price are still increasing, appear like beneficient stars, and make the eyes sparkle of all sorts of gourmands of every category, whilst their faces beam with delight and they themselves dance with pleasure."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste



apple "Ye, the first parents of the human race, whose gourmandise is mentioned in history, you who ruined yourself for an apple, what would you not have done for a truffled turkey? But in Paradise there were neither cooks nor confectioners."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

On Soup

(with thanks to Maria Robbins)
Bowl of soup"Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don't catch steak hanging around when you're poor and sick, do you?"
Judith Martin (Miss Manners)



"I believe I once considerably scandalized her by declaring that clear soup was a more important factor in life than a clear conscience."
Saki

The Frugal Gourmet Speaks

Crab "Do not overcook this dish. Most seafoods...should be simply threatened with heat and then celebrated with joy."
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet



Scallop
"Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class. But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our table should be treated with class."
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet



"Omit and substitute! That's how recipes should be written. Please don't ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute."
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet


Eggplant"How can people say they don't eat eggplant when God loves the color and the French love the name? I don't understand."
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet



"Slaves were taught to be fine chefs, but they endangered their lives if they made a mistake or served an ill-prepared dish. Rather than being reprimanded, they were often hauled into the dining room and flogged in the presence of the guests."
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet


Salad "Serve this dish with much too much wine for your guests, along with some cooked green vegetables and a huge salad. You will be famous in about half an hour."
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet



"The squid is so cooperative. Its body forms a tube that can be stuffed with marvelous fillings. You don't have to be Greek to enjoy this one. "
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet, oddly appropos

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