The pleasures of the table do not presuppose ravishment nor ecstasy nor bliss, but they gain in duration what they lose in intensity, and are above all distinguished by their own merit of making all the others more intense for us or at least of consoling us for their loss. The truth is that at the end of a well-savored meal both soul and body enjoy an especial well-being. Physically, at the same time that a diner's brain awakens, his face grows animated, his color heightens, his eyes shine, and a gentle warmth creeps over his whole body. Morally, his spirit grows more perceptive, his imagination flowers, and clever phrases fly to his lips: if La Fare and Saint-Aulaire go down to posterity as witty writers, it will be because they were first and foremost delightful dinner companions. Best of all, every modification which complete sociability has introduced among us can be found assembled around the same table: love, friendship, business, speculation, power, importunity, patronage, ambition, intrigue; and this is why conviviality is a part of every thing alive, and why it bears fruits of every flavor.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, from The Physiology of Taste
Couple Dining Out
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