Never Eat More Than You Can Lift and Other Food Quotes and Quips: 1,500 Notable Quotables about Edibles and Potablesby Sharon Tyler Herbst
Feast on: a delicious assortment of more than 1,500 quotes on food- and drink-related subjects including dinner parties, health food, holidays, diets, gourmets, gluttons, manners, and cocktails; more than 200 subjects arranged in a user-friendly A-to-Z format; quotations from an eclectic and intriguing array of over 700 personalities - including Woody Allen, Winston… See more details below
Feast on: a delicious assortment of more than 1,500 quotes on food- and drink-related subjects including dinner parties, health food, holidays, diets, gourmets, gluttons, manners, and cocktails; more than 200 subjects arranged in a user-friendly A-to-Z format; quotations from an eclectic and intriguing array of over 700 personalities - including Woody Allen, Winston Churchill, Bette Davis, Steve Martin, Miss Piggy, Julia Child, and more; a potpourri of fifty easy recipes, including Maple-Kissed Blueberries, Red-Eye Gravy, Peppered Caramel Bacon, Bodacious Brownie Thins, and Chocolate Cinnamon Toast; and informative, entertaining tidbits featuring anecdotes, etymologies, history, and cooking tips.
- Broadway Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.48(w) x 7.57(h) x 1.21(d)
Read an Excerpt
Two of the most powerful loves of my life are words and food. The fact that I was born at noon on Thanksgiving Day--America's most celebrated day of feasting--seems to have been a sign that I was destined to have a love affair with food. But I've also been an avid reader and ardent writer from the moment I was able to do both. And so it was a perfectly logical segue for me to make my twelfth tome a veritable feast of more than 1,500 quotes on my favorite subjects--food and drink.
What ensued was every writer's dream--the incredibly self-indulgent and extravagant assignment of reading book after book, gathering delicious quips and quotes on edibles and potables, subjects replete with emotional allusions.
There are quotes that make me grin or giggle, as with Fran Lebowitz's "Large naked raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who lie in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter." Some I ardently agree with, like Irena Chalmer's biting bon mot, "Salt is what makes things taste bad when it isn't in them"; others I don't, as when Alice B. Toklas said, "As if a cookbook had anything to do with writing."
Sometimes there's a line with a lilt and rhythm so lyrical, so euphonious that it's almost poetic, such as M.F.K. Fisher's "If Time, so fleeting, must like humans die, let it be filled with good food and good talk, and then embalmed in the perfumes of conviviality." Once in a while the speaker's plight makes an excerpt achingly poignant, as when Anne Frank said, "It's really disagreeable to eat a lot of sauerkraut for lunch and supper every day, but you do it if you're hungry." And then there are those word bites that ring so true for me I could have said themmyself, such as Julia Child's "Food labels that say 'no fat, no cholesterol' might as well say 'no taste, no fun.' " Others I wish were true, like Beth Barnes's "What you eat standing up doesn't count." And, of course, there are those classic sayings, such as the one by my soul sister and eminent icon of porcine pulchritude, Miss Piggy, who said, "Never eat more than you can lift!"
In the end, this collection became an appetizing feast of food- and drink-related quotes on more than two hundred subjects. I spent two hedonistically delicious years researching and writing the headnotes, anecdotes, etymologies, historical notes, and cooking tips, creating and testing the recipes and collecting the quotes. Truth to tell, were it not for my publisher's deadline, I could happily have worked on this book for at least another two years. You see, I simply can't help myself, for--as may be the fate of one born on Thanksgiving Day--I am unequivocally hooked on literary grazing.
It has long been reputed that the great Venetian traveler Marco Polo brought the concept of noodles back with him when he returned to Italy from China. Archaeological studies have since proved otherwise: Noodles most likely originated in central Asia, possibly dating back to at least 1000 b.c. We now know, in fact, that this food form existed independently in both Asia and Europe well before Polo's expeditions. And, speaking of those expeditions, several distinguished sinologists now question whether the celebrated traveler ever really made it to China; their investigations suggest that his easternmost destination was in fact Persia. There, it is insinuated, he collected the lore of Kublai Khan and his empire from Persian merchants, the tales from which he purportedly wove the fabric of his acclaimed China travels. According to Paul Levy in the London Observer: "The text Marco Polo is supposed to have dictated to Rusticiano of Pisa, when they were both prisoners at Genoa after his capture in 1298, was not in Latin or the Venetian dialect, but in Provenal. The clincher is that the transliterations of Chinese terms used are always Persian." Oh-oh. Well, does it really matter whether Marco Polo actually visited China? The truth is, the account of his "travels" is colorful, immensely intriguing, and of great value to historians. He's certainly still a hero in my eyes!
. . . the only classical and true way to eat pasta is with gusto.
Italians say that only children, the infirm and the ill-mannered use soupspoons as props for their forks when picking up pasta. They stick the fork into the mass of pasta and twirl it around one or two times until they have a neat amount of pasta wrapped around the tines.
Pasta is always the same, yet different. It has a comforting familiarity, with its pale golden color and chewy, wheaten taste. And then there are all those amusing shapes and the thousands of ways to sauce them. . . .
Macaroni, n. An Italian food made in the form of a hollow tube. It consists of two parts--the tubing and the hole, the latter being the part that digests.
Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
There is an inevitable ritual about serving and eating spaghetti . . . eaten as it should be, in varying degrees of longness and a fine uniformity of writhing limpness and buttery richness and accompanying noisy sounds.
Vermicelli: A Paste rolled and broken in the form of worms.
I might as well confess an un-American loathing for pasta salad . . . most of the bastard, slimy, cooked, pseudo-Italian pastas dished up with bits of ends of vegetables and ham or shrimp swimming in oily vinaigrette or mayonnaise are inedible and tasteless. There is such a thing as adapting foods beyond their natural limitations.
Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
No man is alone while eating spaghetti--it requires so much attention.
For a plate of spaghetti, he'd leave home. For another woman? Never!
Marriage . . . is not merely sharing one's fettuccine but sharing the burden of finding the fettuccine restaurant in the first place.
When I cook for myself and I'm not feeling so well, I make spaghetti. Not designer pasta. Spaghetti.
Ah, yes, cold spaghetti eaten at midnight, eaten with your fingers, your body hanging on the open refrigerator door, your bare feet squishing around in whatever doesn't make it to your mouth.
It's a comfort to always find pasta in the cupboard and garlic and parsley in the garden.
Toasts Around the World
Most of the following toasts roughly translate as "good health."
Belgium--Op uw gezonheid
China--Kan bei; Wen lie
Czechoslovakia--Na Zdravi; Nazdar
France--Santé A votre santé
Hebrew--L'chaim; Mazel tov
Italy--Salute; Cin cin
Poland--Na zdrowie; Vivat
Portugal--A sua saúde; Eviva
Pig power. Truffles, which sell for between $800 and $1,600 a pound, are one of the most expensive foods in the world. They're also one of the rarest, and are located by specially trained pigs (dogs, too, but our focus here is pigs), particularly in France's Périgord region. And we're not talking cute little "Babe-like" piggies, we're talking hogs!
Here's how truffle hunting works. Truffles grow 3 to 12 inches underground near tree roots (usually oak, but also chestnut, hazel, and beech), but never beyond the tree's canopy. The truffle hunter (trufficulteur) walks around with his prized keen-snouted pig who, when she detects a truffle, becomes extremely excited and begins to dig. This is where the trufficulteur takes over, gently scraping back the earth, being careful not to touch the truffle with his hands, which would cause the truffle to rot. If the truffle isn't ripe, he carefully reburies it for future harvesting. It's this painstakingly slow, labor-intensive process that makes truffles so expensive.
But back to poor Miss Pig, who's undoubtedly emotionally distraught by this time because she thought the pig of her dreams had just been found. You see, scientists have proven that truffles and male pigs have a rather important common denominator--they both contain androsterone, a sex hormone. The difference is that truffles contain almost twice as much of this pheromone as a male pig. So, here's Miss Pig, strolling nonchalantly along when she gets a whiff of what can only be a boar of massive proportions--a major stud with colossal sex appeal. Naturally, she becomes excited, and begins snorting and digging like crazy only to be yanked rudely away before she can reach the pig of her dreams. Is it any wonder, then, that Miss Pig considers the trufficulteur a pigheaded swine for selling her a pig in a poke when she thought she was headed for hog heaven?
Excerpted from Never Eat More Than You Can Lift, and Other Food Quotes and Quips by Sharon Tyler Herbst. Copyright © 1997 by Sharon Tyler Herbst. Excerpted by permission of Broadway Books, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Meet the Author
Sharon Tyler Herbst is the award-winning author of twelve bestselling books on food and wine, including Food Lover's Tiptionary, Food Lover's Companion, and Wine Lover's Companion (coauthored with her husband, Ron Herbst).
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >