“Fruits each in its season, are the cheapest, most elegant and wholesome dessert you can offer your family or friends, at luncheon or tea. Pastry and plum-pudding should be prohibited by law, from the beginning of June until the end of September.”
‘Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea’
Marion Harland [Mary Virginia Terhune] (1875)
“The dessert, properly prepared, contributes equally to health and comfort; but 'got up' as confectionary too often is, it is not only distasteful to a correct palate, but is deleterious and often actually poisonous.”
‘The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-Cook, and Baker’
by Parkinson, Practical Confectioner (1864)
“Dessert should close the meal gently and not in a pyrotechnic blaze of glory. No cultivated feeder, already well fed, thanks his host for confronting him with a dessert so elaborate that not to eat it is simply rude - like refusing to watch one's host blow up Bloomingdale's.”
Alan Koehler (‘Madison Avenue Cook Book’)
"I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts."
Graham Kerr (the Galloping Gourmet) 1960s
"I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."
Brillat-Savarin's great aunt Pierette
"There is no good formal dinner without a dessert of pâtisserie and preserves. The idea of a dinner finishing with the cheese course would be, for me, so incongruous that it would never even cross my mind!"
Denis (Lahana Denis) (1909-1981)
"The dessert crowns the dinner. To create a fine dessert, one has to combine the skills of a confectioner, a decorator, a painter, an architect, an ice-cream manufacturer, a sculptor, and a florist. The splendour of such creations appeals above all to the eye - the real gourmand admires them without touching them! The magnificence of the dessert should not allow one to forget the cheese. Cheese complements a good dinner and supplements a bad one."
"The wisest choice of dessert is one that is confined to ripe cheese, preserves, and wines that are dry, old, and warm, like sherry. La Chapelle, major-domo of Louis XIII, was of the opinion that any man who sets store by a dessert after a good dinner is a madman who allows his judgment to be affected by his stomach! . . . . The best desserts consist of well-flavored good foods that do not cake long to eat. What could be more suitable than cheese? . . . Take care not to introduce a new course with gâteaux and sweetmeats, which would be bad for digestion, only out of sheer gluttony! However, we are not dogmatic, and we offer the ladies (after the ices) petits fours, morello cherries, and other delicacies."
Maurice des Ombiaux, 'Traite de la table'
“it is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption.”
Edward Bunyard, 'The Anatomy of Dessert'
“A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. 'Much obliged', said he, pushing the plate aside; 'I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills.'"
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