The Physiology of Taste

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Penguin Books Limited, 1994 - Cooking - 384 pages
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Published in 1825 after some three decades of consuming research, The Physiology of Taste is the most famous book ever written about food. It remains among the most comprehensive, stimulating, and just plain enjoyable works ever published on the subject of the senses and their pleasures. In a work spiced with style and wisdom, Brillat-Savarin declares that "Animals feed themselves; men eat; but only wise men know the art of eating."

M.F.K. Fisher's translation of Brillat-Savarin's masterpiece, originally published in 1825, is a true marriage of minds and sensibilities, a classic against which all subsequent gastronomical writing must be measured. Published in 1825 after some three decades of consuming research, The Physiology of Taste is the most famous book ever written about food. Witty and elegant, it is a classic in the grandest sense. Brillat-Savarin set out to write about food and cookery, but his interests and enthusiasms ranged so widely over matters of the human spirit that they could hardly be contained, and his work-here in its greatest translation-sits on the shelf of masterpieces of world literature. Its treasures include: observations on feasting and fasting and on the advantages of gourmandism, including its influence on marital happiness discourses on obesity and its cure and on the calamity of thinness, particularly in women, with prescriptions for fattening them up Brillat-Savarin's twenty famous aphorisms, including, "Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are."

A work spiced with style and wisdom, The Physiology of Taste remains among the most comprehensive, stimulating, and enjoyable works ever published on the subject of the senses and their pleasures. Epicureans by vocation and avocation will want this beautiful hardcover edition for their reference shelves. This elegant and witty book is a classic in the grandest sense. Brillat-Savarin set out to write about food and cookery, but his interests and enthusiasms ranged so widely over matters of the human spirit that they could hardly be contained, and his work-here in its greatest translation-sits on the shelf of masterpieces of world literature. As translator, M.F.K. Fisher proved to be Brillat-Savarin's twentieth-century spiritual companion. Her lively footnotes and commentaries constitute nearly a quarter of the text, a seductive dialogue of romance between two great lovers of life and style. Its treasures include: observations on feasting and fasting and on the advantages of gourmandism, including its influence on marital happiness analysis and definition of the senses, with a gastronomical test to measure the degree of one's gift for taste discourses on obesity and its cure and on the calamity of thinness, particularly in women, with prescriptions for fattening them up talk of truffles and their possible erotic effect, of coffee and its stimulative powers, of chocolate, and omelets, and eels Brillat-Savarin's twenty famous aphorisms, including, "Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are." a philosophic survey of the history of cooking anecdotes of unforgettable meals and the stratagems by which they were obtained, elaborate practical jokes, and culinary challenges met and surmounted.

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References to this book

The Consuming Body
Pasi Falk
Limited preview - 1994
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About the author (1994)

Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was born in 1755 in Belley France, an area renowned for its food and wine. After graduating in law, Briallat-Savarin became magistrate of Belley and was later elected Mayor. During the French Revolution his life was endangered and he fled to other parts of Europe and then America, earning his living as a violinist in a theatre orchestra. He returned to France in 1796 and became a judge of the Supreme Courts of Appeal. He began compiling a book of meditations on gastronomy and in 1825, a few months before his death, published this brilliant treatise on the pleasures of eating: the culmination of a life-long love affair with food.

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