Thursday, August 12, 2010
Americans in Paris: A.J. Liebling
If, as I was saying before I digressed, the first requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite, the second is to put in your apprenticeship as a feeder when you have enough money to pay for the check but not enough to produce indifference to the size of the total...The clear headed voracious man learns because he tries to compose his meals to obtain an appreciable quantity of pleasure from each. It is from this weighing of delights against their cost that the student eater (particularly if he is a student at the University of Paris) erects the scale of values that will serve him until he dies or has to reside in the Middle West for a long period. The scale is different for each eater, as it is for each writer.
From Between Meals, in Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology, Adam Gopnik, editor (New York: The Library of America, 2004), p. 540.