Friday, March 11


Once caught, a human male is studied by the huntress as thoroughly as if he were a diamond. She looks at his ear lobes and his fingernails after he has eaten of rare beef, and if the former are plump and ruddy, and the latter rosy pink, she knows his glands to be both satisfied and active. She analyzes his motor reflexes after he has downed a fair portion of jugged venison, and if instead of showing a pleasurable skittishness he yawns and puffs and blinks, she nevermore serves that gamy dish. She notes coldly, calculatingly, his reactions to wine and ale and heady spirits, as well as to fruits, eggs, cucumbers, and such; she learns his dietetic tolerance, in short, and his rate of metabolism, and his tendencies toward gastric as well as emotional indigestion. And all this happens whether she be a designing farm girl in Arkansas or a slim worldly beauty on the Cap d'Antibes.

-- M.F.K. Fisher An Alphabet for Gourmets