|hendrick's gin, fresh blueberries, fizzy water|
just his quasi-scientific method alone is worth the read...listing and categorizing and hierarchizing what is essentially an exploration of the pleasures of eating and drinking. and oddly, much of it still rings true today.
he opens with a self-congratulatory mini biography, extolling his own virtues as a truly excellent man of taste and cultivation. i somehow picture him as a cross between ben franklin and george washington in appearance, which is odd, since he's french, but there you have it. he says that he was satisfied with the simplest meal one could set before him, if it was just prepared artistically (emphasis mine). that's actually quite pretentious, but i like it. and i subscribe to the notion that care should be taken with the food we eat on a daily basis (tho' it may not always resemble art (see recent attempt to make homemade pita bread)). and frankly, often the simplest food is the most artistic (think japanese). tho' i imagine that he would think the simplest meal should contain truffles (he waxes lyrical about them for nearly 7 pages). and really, truffles are delicious.
but my favorite bit is the section about thirst. because inevitably, he gets around to talking about alcohol. and as you know, i am practically a daily inventor of new cocktails (what? you didn't know? you should really come around more often.). so, without reading the whole thing, i hereby declare my favorite passage to be:
alcohol is the monarch of liquids, and takes possession of the extreme tastes of the palate. its various preparations offer us countless new flavors, and to certain medicinal remedies, it gives an energy they could not do well without.alcohol as royalty with medicinal properties? let's drink to that.
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