After two entries from our founding fathers, let's return to culinary things with some words from the history of food: today, the noted French jurist and gourmand, M. Brillat-Savarin.
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was "a lawyer chose for the [French] National Assembly in 1789, Brillat-Savarin fled the Reign of Terror, traveling to Switzerland, Holland, and then the US, where he taught French and music. He returned to France in 1796 and became an appellate judge, often writing this influential culinary work while behind the bench. He died of pneumonia two weeks after attending the thirty-third anniversary of Louis XVI's beheading."
I: The universe is nothing without the things that live in it, and everything that lives, eats.
II: Animals feed themselves; men eat--but only wise men know the art of eating.
III: The destiny of nations depends on how they nourish themselves.
IV: Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are.
V: The Creator, while forcing men to eat in order to live, tempts him to do so with appetite and then rewards him with pleasure.
VI: Good living is an act of intelligence, by which we choose things which have an agreeable taste rather than those which do not.
VII: The pleasures of the table are for every man of every land, and no matter of what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest to console him when he has outlived the rest.
VIII: The table is the only place where a man is never bored for the first hour.
IX: The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a star.
X: Men who stuff themselves and grow tipsy know neither how to eat nor how to drink.
XI: The proper progression of courses in a dinner is from the most substantial to the lightest.
XII: The proper progression of wines or spirits is from the mildest to the headiest and most aromatic.
XIII: It is heresy to insist that we must not mix wines: a man's palate can grow numb and react dully to even the best bottle after the third glass from it.
XIV: A dinner which ends without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.
XV: We can learn to be cooks, but we must be born knowing how to roast.
XVI: The most indispensable quality of a cook is promptness, and it should be that of the diner as well.
XVII: A host who makes all his guests wait for one latercomer is careless of their well-being.
XVIII: He who plays host without giving his personal care to the repast is unworthy of having friends to invite to it.
XIX: The mistress of the house should always make sure that the coffee is good, and the master that the wines are of the best.
XX: To invite people to dine with us is to make ourselves responsible for their well-being for as long as they are under our roofs.
from Lapham's Quarterly, Volume IV, Number 3 Summer 2011, FOOD.