Two Hundred Years of Taste: How Savarin, the Father of Gastronomy, Still Remains A Master of Food
Have you heard of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin? (French and brillant and lived during the French Revolution). He was, at the time, a modern day gourmet foodie, one of the leading founders of what we know as gastronomy. Savarin, (as he is called) was also a French politician, lawyer, gastronome and epicure. He was the author of one of the most famous books on gastronomy and taste called Physiologie du Goût (The Physiology of Taste), published in December 1825.
This gourmet foodie taste and just ‘must have’ book has never been out of print and it is still a baseline for what we could call the real backbone of gastronomy. Savarin’s messages on taste, odor, flavor, cooking, dining and appreciating still ring clear, nearly 200 years after his death.
The simplest meal pleased Brillat-Savarin, if this meal was presented with elegance and artistry. He believed in the powers of food, to “repaire the losses the human body suffers by living.” And a true nutritionist at heart, Savarin saw a liasion on what you ate to what you were (we nutritionists love to say this)! He recognized that the soil and the sun nourish and feed the roots of plants and vegetables, which in turn nourish us.
Savarin, as a passionate gastronome, found happiness in the pleasure of a new dish, ridiculed those who didn’t appreciate food or abused the drink. For him, the most simple act of sharing a table with others: dining together, enjoying a meal, breaking bread, opening a bottle of wine to complement the food, eating a piece of cheese for dessert, these were pieces of art. And if you overdid life a bit? A piece of real chocolate cures that too.
Savarin’s Gastronomy: Enjoying and appreciating taste, odor, flavor.
And how to appreciate and find pleasure in taste, flavor and a meal? For Savarin, learning how to cook was one of the most essential life skills and one that must come to action when we invite friends over to share a meal.
In 2015, I hope to share with you on the blog those insights, from Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and other gastronomy experts, learned on my HEG/Le Cordon Bleu course. When I think about Savarin, his messages still hold and are even more precious now than nearly two hundred years ago when Savarin was clinking his glasses to toast to life.
Please tune in on the blog for more ways that you can move to ‘happiness’ with the simple pleasures of a meal, prepared with flavor, taste and presentation at the forefront. Simple dishes, simple ideas, simple tricks to bring taste, flavor and appreciation. All with good health in miIf you prefer to receive new articles directly in your inbox, you can subscribe to the blog. Your email will remain private and you won’t miss an article or the monthly newsletters. Subscribe by clicking here: Subscribe to BrightonYourHealth
And now let me tickle your brain with Jean Brillat-Savarin quotes. He was a master of enjoying enjoyment.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Quotes on Food, Happiness, Senses and Sharing
“Cooking is one of the oldest arts and one that has rendered us the most important service in civic life.”
Love cooking. What about you?
“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.
This was a dish that brought flavor to the palate with an infused foam, fresh scallops, and garden-ripened tomatoes. A mix of tastes that almost made me faint on the floor with happiness! Better than discovering a star.
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
“Those who have been too long at their labor, who have drunk too long at the cup of voluptuousness, who feel they have become temporarily inhumane, who are tormented by their families, who find life sad and love ephemeral……they should all eat chocolate and they will be comforted.”
“Food is all those substances which, submitted to the action of the stomach, can be assimilated or changed into life by digestion, and can thus repair the losses which the human body suffers through the act of living.”
“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.”
To invite people to dine is one of the more intimate and simple pleasures. We do need to take care of their experience at our homes, this act of sharing a table is sacred and in our busy lives, is becoming less common.
“Whoever receives friends and does not participate in the preparation of their meal does not deserve to have friends.”
Even those with less cooking skills can add to the fun of having guests over. What do you think?
“The number of flavors is infinite, for every soluble body has a peculiar flavor, like none other.”
Cucumber, fish eggs, sour cream. Different flavors put together. Close your eyes and take a bite. How does it taste?
“Vegetables, which are the lowest in the scale of living things, are fed by roots, which, implanted in the native soil, select by the action of a peculiar mechanism, different subjects, which serve to increase and to nourish them.”
Aren’t plants the basic link to our health?
“The fate of a nation depends on the way that they eat.”
Voila in France:
Baguettes, bread, and more baguettes. No, I am kidding you. The French don’t just eat bread.
They eat cheese too.
“A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.”
I leave you with this last quote. It is a sacred act to eat and appreciate food together. Let’s hope that this simple act can be on the menu of more of us, that we take time to enjoy life, to stop and savor a meal, and taste the senses that it brings.
“The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure.”