Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Blog talk #4 – Food in the World of Books

I have just - almost - finished two days or hard work in cleaning our garage. It is a real Hercules work. The wonderful thing with cleaning from the very basic is:

- you tend to find things you have been looking for, for a while
- you tend to find things you forgot you have

either is a positive thing, although you would think we all know what we have. Alas, this is not always the case.

I have made a part of garage for some of my 'creative' things. Yes, after so many years in the corridors of bureaucracy, it has given me an urge to be creative! Not being a natural creative person I have to fight a little bit. Sometimes it comes out nice, sometimes I have to through it away. Well, that is life.

I have two shelves with my cook books. Cleaning them and putting them nicely on the shelves I found and old book called "Böckernas mat" (Food of the Books). The writer, Pernilla Tunberger, has looked at different writers and how they incorporate food in their books, or they are just interested in food in general. It goes without saying that some of the most gourmet writers are French.

Let's start with someone that got a cheese named after him; Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was born April 1, 1755 and died on February 2, 1826. He was a French lawyer, politician and author of a celebrated work on gastronomy, Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste). During the terror in France he went to Switzerland and then to the United States. He returned in 1796, became a judge. He published several works on law and political economy and his work on gastronomy came in 1825. The book is not so much a book on cuisine or culinary arts but more a witty tale of anecdotes and observations of every kind that might have something to do with the pleasures of the table. There are not many recipes even if you find one or the other.

The Brillat-Savarin cheese is a soft, white-crusted cow's milk cheese. It was created in the 1930s by cheese-maker Henri Androuët. It is produced all year round in Burgundy and Normandy.

Brillat-Savain envisaged the art of eating as a philosophy. One of the famous recipes in his books is a Tuna omelette that was not only his favourite but also Alexander Dumas' père.

Brillat-Savarin is also the author of a large number of aphorisms, here some of the most famous.

A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.

The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star.

Those persons who suffer from indigestion, or who become drunk, are utterly ignorant of the true principles of eating and drinking.

More to follow on food in books.

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