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"Significantly, the charge (if it is a charge) has been levelled at the gastronomic essay and the 'learned' cookery book that they have an affinity with pornography. Certainly, both gastronomy and pornography dwell on pleasures of the flesh, and in gastronomic literature as in pornography there is vicarious enjoyment to be had." 

Stephen Mennell

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Sunday
Aug102014

Professor Stephen Mennell on food porn

"Significantly, the charge (if it is a charge) has been levelled at the gastronomic essay and the 'learned' cookery book that they have an affinity with pornography. Certainly, both gastronomy and pornography dwell on pleasures of the flesh, and in gastronomic literature as in pornography there is vicarious enjoyment to be had. In gastronomy, however, vicarious enjoyment is more definitely intended to be a prelude to, not a substitute for, direct and actual enjoyment." 

Stephen Mennell

Mennell, S. 1996. All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to Present. 2nd ed. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 271-272.

Thursday
May222014

Symons on the importance of gastronomy

I came across this quote while doing research for my dissertation on Australian and British cuisines. I am lucky enough to be in email contact with Michael who said that he thought (when he saw my email address) that I meant One Dish Closer to Death! I thought this quote was quite funny in light of that. Indeed, that is certainly a valid way of looking at it, so make sure you enjoy it.

"I have done a quick calculation and decided that: You can reasonably expect 76,650 meals during your life, but to die only once. We can look on these everyday events as nourishment, sensual gratification, conviviality, cultural expression and, in accumulation, a commentary upon society and life. Surely that's enough for any intellectual."

Michael Symons

Symons, M. 1984. A Potted History of Australian Gastronomy. In Santich, B. ed. The Upstart Cuisine: Proceedings of the First Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, Carclew, Adelaide, March 12 and 13, 1984. Adelaide: No publisher given.

Monday
Mar102014

The bad teeth of British royalty

English royalty had a reputation for having bad teeth in the 16th century. Sidney Mintz quotes a German traveller of the 16th century who met Queen Elizabeth at court:

"The Queen, in the 65th year of her age (as we were told), very majestic; her face oblong, fair but wrinkled; her eyes small, yet black and pleasant; her nose a little hooked, her lips narrow, and her teeth black (a defect the English seem subject to, from their too great use of sugar)." 

Mintz, S. (1986 [1985]) Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, London: Penguin. (p.134)

 

Sunday
Mar092014

Pigsy Papas on pigs' bums

My cousin Kirsty knows a lot about pigs and eating them. She has a blog all about this. We were just chatting on Facebook about an impending trip to a Chinese restaurant which serves lots of offal...

Vicky: Yum yum, pigs bum! (literally)

Kirsty: Apparently they bleach pigs ring holes and pass them off as squid rings in China!!

Tuesday
Feb252014

von Bismarck on sausages

"Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made."

Otto von Bismarck