Monday, January 20, 2014

"Women are gourmandes"

Why yes, I did get a Kindle in 2010. Still using it.

In which we do a number of things, to wit:

  • learn to operate our new Kindle
  • find a classic old cookery book at Project Gutenberg -- perhaps the classic cookery book
  • skim it,
  • find something interesting, and
  • attempt not to embarrass ourselves in our recollections of high school French.

The theme of the passage: women are (or should be?) natural lovers of good food. From the Physiologie du gout, by Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin (first published, 1825).

He says:

Les Femmes sont gourmandes. Women are gourmandes.

Le penchant du beau sexe pour la gourmandise à quelque chose qui tient
de l'instinct, car la gourmandise est favorable à la beauté.

The fair sex's penchant for la gourmandise is something instinctive, since la gourmandise goes hand in hand with (is favorable to?) beauty.

Une suite d'observations exactes et rigoureuses a démontré qu'un régime
succulent, délicat et soigné ...

The following observations, exact and rigorous, demonstrate that a succulent, delicate, and careful regime [i.e., a good diet]

repousse longtemps et bien loin les apparences extérieures de la vieillesse.

pushes far away, and for good, the exterior appearances of old age.

Il donne aux yeux plus de brillant ...

It gives to the eyes more brilliance,

... à la peau plus de fraîcheur

to the skin, freshness,

... et aux muscles plus de soutien;

and to the muscles, support;

... et comme il est certain, en physiologie,

and it is certain, in physiology,

que c'est la dépression des muscles qui cause les rides,

that it is the depression of the muscles which causes wrinkles,

... ces redoutables ennemis de la beauté...

those redoubtable enemies of beauty;

... il est également vrai de dire que, toutes choses égales,

it is equally true to say that, all things being equal,

... ceux qui savent manger,

those who know how to eat

sont comparativement de dix ans plus jeunes

seem ten years younger in comparison

que ceux à qui cette science est étrangère.

to those to whom this science is a stranger.

When he says "those who know how to eat," I feel sure he means "those who know how to eat and drink" too.

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