November 18, 2010

Quotable

The good Archestratus, traveler and gourmet, wrote the final quiet damnation of all ornate trickeries of the kitchen when he said:
Many are the ways, and many the recipes
For dressing a har, but this is best of all:
To place before a set of hungry guests
A slice of roasted meat fresh from the spit,
Hot, seasoned only with plain simple salt,
Not too much done.  And do you not be vexed,
At seeing blood fresh trickling from the meat,
But eat it eagerly.  All other ways
Are quite superfluous, such as when cooks pour
A lot of sticky clammy sauce upon it.
The restrained fury of that last sentence betrays Archestratus as the universal martyr, ageless and omnipresent, to centuries of over-seasoned sauces and ridiculous conceits of flavor.  His is a mutual bond with us all.

--M. F. K. Fisher on the cooking of the ancient Greeks, in Serve it Forth

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