Chapter 2 “On Appetite” is broken up into various categories, today I bring you “Definition of Appetite”.
“Movement and life are the cause of a continuous wastage of substance in every living body; and the human body, that complicated machine, would soon break down if Providence had not equipped it with a device for warning it when its strength is no longer equal to its needs.
The warning device is appetite. That is the name we give to the first indication of the need for food.
Appetite is heralded by a certain languor in the stomach and a slight feeling of fatigue.
At the same time the brain dwells on objects analogous to its needs; the memory recalls things which have been pleasant to the taste; the imagination pictures them, as it were in a dream. This condition is not without charm; and we have heard thousands of adepts exclaim joyously: ‘Oh what a pleasure it is to have a good appetite, when you know that an excellent meal is waiting for you!’
In the meantime, the whole machinery of nourishment is set in motion: the stomach grows sensitive; the gastric juices rise, the internal gases are noisily displaced; the mouth fills with saliva; and all the digestive powers are up in arms, like soldiers only writing for the word of command to go into action. A few moments more, and spasmodic movements will beginp; there will be yawning, stomach pangs, and finally hunger.
It is possible to observe every phase of these various conditions in any room where people are being kept waiting for dinner.
They are so natural that the most exquisite politeness cannot disguise the symptoms; and hence my aphorism, ‘The most indispensable quality in a cook is punctuality.’”