Biography of Famous Gourmets Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Part 1

About the famous French gourmet Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, his history and biography, information about his love of food and other cuisines.


Animals feed: man eats; only a man of wit knows how to dine.

The destiny of nations depends on the manner wherein they take their food.

A dessert course without cheese is like a beautiful woman with one eye.

The discovery of a new dish is more beneficial to humanity than the discovery of a new star.

To invite anyone implies that we charge ourselves with his happiness all the time that he is under our roof.

Probably the greatest gastronome in history, aside from the Roman Apicius (whose true identity hasn't really been established), Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, author of the above and many other well-known aphorisms on la cuisine, never enjoyed his great fame in his own lifetime. But he enjoyed living so much that fame was hardly necessary. A kindhearted host, an amiable guest, and a witty companion, he regarded good food and wine as the most important things in life. Once asked whether he preferred Burgundies or clarets, he replied: "Ah! Madame, that is a question I take so much pleasure in investigating that I postpone from week to week the pronouncement of a verdict."

Fame came to Brillat-Savarin with the publication of his Le Physiologie du Gout (Physiology of Taste) in 1825, a work which defies classification but belongs among the relative handful of books that never go out of fashion. He was to die the following year at the age of 71, but not before he had given the world the most trenchant discussion of food and its effects on trenchermen ever written, a masterpiece that was 30 years in the making. Appropriately enough, the greatest of French bon vivants had been born in the town of Belley--"Belley is its name and Belley is its nature," wrote Michael Stein over a century later. Becoming the town's mayor after the French Revolution, Brillat-Savarin had to flee to America during the Reign of Terror, living in Connecticut for a few years and later writing some of his most charming pages about his stay there.

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