Friday, February 18, 2011

Gluttony Goeth Before the Fall

"The Roman historian Livy famously regarded the glorification of chefs as the sign of a culture in decline," notes B. R. Myers, who argues that "[g]luttony dressed up as foodie-ism is still gluttony" — The Moral Crusade Against Foodies.

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Blogger Francis Xavier said...

that would explain the British empire

1:25 AM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


Oh, the decadence of it!

And then we have someone like Rachel Ray, who claims not to be a chef and uses the tagline "Real food for real people," and is (subsequently?) both a huge popular success and the red-headed stepchild of the Foodie industry.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Part of the problem is that we have lost the idea of real celebration -- wh ich includes feasting. But it isn't continual feasting, but feasting at times of true celebration, feasting after fasting, feasting to recognize great moments in the Church's year, etc.

Sunday is a wonderful day for feasting. Friday is a wonderful day for fasting. We've lost that balance.

In my wife's Chammoro-Filipino family, this balance is much better preserved (although still diminished by their exposure to the dominant American culture).

I am not a "foodie" but I like feasting, I like good food simply prepared. I think that feasting is a wonderful part of human life -- a part of life that is understood so well by the Latin and Philipino cultures, with fiestas and meriendas and an appreciation of bounty when it is available. But those times of bounty also co-exist with times of restraint, of want, of renunciation. It's what makes the feasting all the more succulent and celebratory.

Like with almost everything in our culture, we've lost the balance -- we have the feast without the fast. And in so doing, we've also lost the beauty of simple food well prepared. Instead of the greatest breakfast known to man -- grits and eggs -- we run around with all sorts of foolery -- quail eggs and truffle oil and berkshire bacon. Piffle.

4:49 PM  

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