The Pleasures of the Table 1

Here is the first glimpse at the “The Pleasures of the Table”.

The Preface reads as follows…

“Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) was a French lawyer and politician, whose book The Physiology of Taste, published in 1825, is still inspiring chefs and food enthusiasts alike, particularly through his essay ‘On Gourmandism’.Β  It contains some of the most famous dinner-table witticisms and aphorisms in history, including ‘Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.’


The first chapter covers “The Foundations of Pleasure”:-

  1. “The world is nothing without life, and all that lives takes nourishment.
  2. Animals feed: man eats: only the man of intellect knows how to eat.
  3. The fate of nations depends on the way they eat.
  4. Tell me what you eat: I will tell you what you are.
  5. The Creator, who made man such that he must eat to live, incites him to eat by mean s of appetite, and rewards him with pleasure.
  6. Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we give preference to things which are agreeable to our taste over those which are not.
  7. The pleasures of the table belong to all times and all ages, to every country and every day; they go hand in hand with all our other pleasures, outlast them, and remain to sonsole us for their loss.
  8. The rable is the only place where the first hour is never dull.
  9. The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.
  10. Drunkards and victims of indigestion do not know how to eat or drink.
  11. The right order of eating is from the most substantial dishes to the lightest.
  12. The right order of drinking is from the mildest wines to the headiest and most perfumed.
  13. To maintain that one wine may not be drunk after another is heresy; a man’s palate can be saturated, and after the third glass the best of wines produces only a dull impression.
  14. Dessert without cheese is like a pretty woman with only one eye.
  15. A man can become a cook, but he has to be born a rΓ΄tisseur.
  16. The most indispensable quality in a cook is punctuality; it is also that of a guest.
  17. To wait too long for an unpunctual guest is an act of discourtesy towards those who have arrived in time.
  18. The man who invites his friends to his table, and fails to give his personal attention to the meal they are going to eat, is unworthy to have any friends.
  19. The mistress of the house must always see to it that the coffee is excellent, and the master that the liqueurs are of the first quality.
  20. To entertain a guest is to make yourself responsible for his happiness so long as he is beneath your roof.”

I will share excerpts from the 8 other chapters soon; On Appetite, Elementary Principles, The Theory of Frying, On Drink, On Gourmandism, On the Pleasures of the Table, On Restaurateurs and on Pheasant.

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50 thoughts on “The Pleasures of the Table 1

    • I couldn’t wait to start sharing from it – I probably should have waited until I was finished with the Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, then thought, why not whet everybody’s appetites. πŸ™‚

  1. I loved your quotes from the Home Companion Cook Book but, I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed reading these quotes. Can’t wait to see what other gems this book has to offer. πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for sharing all of these quotes, they’re fantastic. Considering I host a ton of dinner parties, I definitely agree with this statement! “To wait too long for an unpunctual guest is an act of discourtesy towards those who have arrived in time.” Look forward to seeing what’s in the upcoming chapters.

  3. “To entertain a guest is to make yourself responsible for his happiness so long as he is beneath your roof,” is so true, but my fave, of course, is “Dessert without cheese is like a pretty woman with only one eye.” I don’t agree, but I appreciate the wit! Fun post, can’t wait to see more excerpts.

  4. Wow! That’s quite a list of instructions. I love some of these, especially the one about the coffee and the liquors and being responsible for the guest’s happiness as long as they are under your roof – let’s hope they don’t stay too long!

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