Quotations, sayings and aphorisms about food & beverages, eating & drinking and pleasures of the table

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Quotes about Feasts

"In the center of a spacious table rose a pastry as large as a church, flanked on the north by a quarter of cold veal, on the south by an enormous ham, on the east by a monumental pile of butter, and on the west by an enormous dish of artichokes, with a hot sauce."
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
'The Physiology of Taste'


"Edunt et vomant" Latin. ('They have eaten and let them vomit').
Comment by Harriet Van Horne after Craig Claiborne and a friend bid $4,000 in a charity auction for a dinner for two in 1975. They flew to France, and proceded to order a meal of 31 dishes with nine rare wines at one of Paris' best restaurants.


Mecaenas: “Eight wild-boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there; is this true?”
Enobarbus: “This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.”
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 'Antony and Cleopatra'


Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) ‘Poor Richard's Almanac’


"The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-94) U.S. writer, physician


“ intelligently planned feast is like a summing up of the whole world, where each part is represented by its envoys.”
Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
‘The Physiology of Taste’ (1825)


"Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast."
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


“Heaped on the floor were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, bartrels of oysters, re-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.”
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) ‘A Christmas Carol’, 1843


“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a moveable feast.”
Ernest Hemingway (1950)


"There was an Old Man of the East,
Who gave all his children a feast;
But they all ate so much,
     and their conduct was such,
That it killed that Old Man of the East."

Edward Lear, English artist, writer; known for his 'literary nonsense' & limericks  (1812-1888)


“Be not angry or sour at table; whatever may happen put on the cheerful mien, for good humor makes one dish a feast.”
From a Shaker manual, 'Gentle Manners'


“The first thing that met Sancho's eyes was a whole ox spitted on the trunk of an elm and, in the hearth over which it was to roast, there was a fair mountain of wood burning.  Six earthen pots were arranged around this blaze.... Whole sheep disappeared within them as if they were pigeons.  Innumerable skinned hares and fully plucked chickens, hanging on the trees, were soon to be swallowed up in these pots.  Birds and game too, of all kinds. were also hanging from the branches so that they were kept cool in the air.  There were piles of white loaves, like heaps of wheat in barns.  Cheeses, built up like bricks, formed walls and two cauldrons of oil, bigger than dyerÿs vats, were used for frying pastries, which were lifted out with two sturdy shovels and then plunged into another cauldron of honey standing nearby.”
Description of the wedding feast of a farmer named Camacho, from ‘Don Quixote’ by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)


“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”
James Beard (1903-1985)


“Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty (in France, by contrast, there are three such days: Hier, Aujourd'hui and Demain).”
Michael Dresser


“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.”
Samuel Pepys (1633-1703)


    “Who riseth from a feast          
    With that keen appetite that he sits down?”

    William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 'Merchant of Venice'



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