Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Possibly the greatest Food writer in history!





The Physiology of Taste: or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825)
 
            This is one of those classic books that I have heard mentioned, quoted, and praised for years and years.  If you ever watched the original Iron Chef series from Japan you will have seen many quotes from Mr. Brillat-Savarin.  The main one used in the intro is the old chestnut, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”  That Television show quotes Mr. Brillat-Savarin in seriousness but this book is so funny!  He never takes himself or anything other than food and drink, seriously, which was a surprise!  There are so many jokes throughout.  So funny!

He could tell you the best way to enjoy a cupcake in a post-apocalyptic scenario.


            A lot of the best stuff in this book is his descriptions of food, both ingredients and finished dishes, and where, when and how to make them in the very best way. It is awesome stuff.  He values companionship because eating alone is pathetic.  He gives lessons on how to be a proper host, how to prepare food, how to enjoy food, and how to be a proper guest.  It is all super enlightening and still highly relevant to our current food culture.
            The best part of all of this is that his love for eating and food is so earnest that it is infectious.  What I would give to have attended one of his amazing dinners and share in conversation with him and his guests.  I had to purchase this book for my personal library after having checked it out from the Library I work at.  It will serve as a reference for my whole life!

(This book can be read for free from the good folks over at Project Gutenberg, here: http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5434/pg5434.html )

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