Physiologie du Goût
The roots of gastronomy in America can be traced to 19th
century France. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) was a politician,
judge, and writer. But he is most remembered for what many consider to
be the bible of gastronomy, Physiologie du Goût ou: Méditations
de Gastronomie Transcendante. Brillat-Savarin was the first writer
to provide a systematic analysis of the pleasures of eatinga gastronomic
code from which countless fellow gourmands drew inspiration. Published
shortly before his death, Brillat-Savarins philosophy of food conisseurship
and fine dining was an immediate smash success, making him famous overnight.
The work remains a culinary touchstone to this day, and has appeared
in dozens of editions and translations. Some of Brillat-Savarins
aphorisms have entered into popular culture, such as his "Dis-moi
ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es," or, "Tell me what
you eat, and I will tell you what you are." English speakers regularly
repeat Brillat-Savarins idea with the phrase "you are what
Brillat-Savarin. Physiologie du Goût ou, Méditations
de Gastronomie Transcendante. Paris: A. Sautelet, 1826.
© 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript
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