Quotations, sayings and aphorisms about food and beverages, eating and drinking, food appreciation, chefs, restaurants, cooks, food critics, etc.

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Meals: Food Quotes

"Meals, in the sense in which we understand this word, began with the second age of the human species."
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

"Unquiet meals make ill digestions."
William Shakespeare

“One can say everything best over a meal.”
George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) (1819-1880)

“Nearly everyone wants as least one outstanding meal a day.”
Duncan Hines, American food critic and writer of food and lodging guidebooks. (1880-1959)

“The American does not drink at meals as a sensible man should. Indeed, he has no meals. He stuffs for ten minutes thrice a day.”
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

“Soup is to the meal, what the hostesses smile of welcome is to the party.  A prelude to the goodness to come.”
Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)

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’)

Wine is the intellectual part of a meal while meat is the material.”
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

“The meal was pretentious -- a kind of beetroot soup with greasy croutons; pork underdone with loud vulgar cabbage, potato croquettes, tinned peas in tiny jam-tart cases, watery gooseberry sauce; trifle made with a resinous wine, so jammy that all my teeth lit up at once.”
Anthony Burgess, English novelist (1917-1993)

“I want order and taste.  A well displayed meal is enhanced one hundred per cent in my eyes.”
Antonin Careme (1783-1833)

“To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”
Calvin Trillin

“Everybody's a pacifist between wars. It's like being a vegetarian between meals.”
Colman McCarthy, Columnist, ‘The Washington Post’

“It may be safely averred that good cookery is the best and truest economy, turning to full account every wholesome article of food, and converting into palatable meals what the ignorant either render uneatable or throw away in disdain.”
Eliza Acton, ‘Modern Cookery for Private Families’ (1845)

“A good meal must be as harmonious as a symphony and as well-constructed as a Norman cathedral.”
Fernand Point, ‘Ma gastronomie’ (1897-1955)

“Wine makes a symphony of a good meal.”
Fernande Garvin, ‘The Art of French Cooking’

“A good meal soothes the soul as it regenerates the body. From the abundance of it flows a benign benevolence. A good and copius dinner begets a mellowing influence; it permeates the bosom with a bland philanthropy of sentiment, embracive of all classes, sects and races of man.”
Frederick W. Hackwood, ‘Good Cheer’ (1911)

He described the pig as "an encyclopedic animal, a meal on legs."
Grimod de la Reynière (1758-1838)

“A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.”
Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin

“Place a substantial meal before a tired man and he will eat with effort and be little better for it at first.  Give him a glass of wine or brandy, and immediately he feels better: you see him come to life again before you.”
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

“An honest laborious Country-man, with good Bread, Salt and a little Parsley, will make a contented Meal with a roasted Onion”
John Evelyn (1620-1706)

“Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one.”
L. M. Boyd

“The army from Asia introduced a foreign luxury to Rome; it was then the meals began to require more dishes and more expenditure . . . the cook, who had up to that time been employed as a slave of low price, become dear: what had been nothing but a métier was elevated to an art.”
Livy (Titus Livius), Roman historian (59-17 B.C.)
‘The Annals of the Roman People’


“Man is a carnivorous production,
And must have meals, at least one meal a day;
He cannot live, like woodcocks, upon suction,
But, like the shark and tiger, must have prey;
Although his anatomical construction
Bears vegetables, in a grumbling way,
Your laboring people think beyond all question,
Beef, veal, and mutton better for digestion.”

Lord Byron (1788-1824) ‘Don Juan’

“I pray that death may strike me
In the middle of a large meal.
I wish to be buried under the tablecloth
Between four large dishes.
And I desire that this short inscription
Should be engraved on my tombstone.
Here lies the first poet
Ever to die of indigestion.”

Marc Antoine Désaugiers (1772-1827)

“I'll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal.”
Martha Harrison


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