Here is another offering in our continuing series on the relationship between food and literature.
‘ . . . the best poems, like the best meals, are made from scratch. Both rely on the seasons, but also human history; both also consist of tradition, on knowledge passed down either from books or from generation to generation, hand to mouth. In poetry, there are few shortcuts, but there are secrets. Food and poetry each insist that we put our own twists and ingredients in the mix: we make each dish, like a good poem, our own. With any luck, the result is both surprising and satisfying, exactly what we wanted, perhaps without even knowing it.’
– Kevin Young, The Hungry Ear
As a relaxation from the highly intense and emotional piano music of Ives and Schumann, consider making a refreshing cucumber and cream cheese sandwich paired with a glass of Prosecco or iced tea. While you are enjoying the moment, consider Oscar Wilde’s musings concerning food.
Oscar Wilde loved the Victorian cucumber sandwich. Here are some memorable quotes on one of his favorite subjects – food:
“When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink”.
Algernon Moncrieff, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Act 2 (1895)
“A man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.”
Lord Illingworth, Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, Act 3 (1893)
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.”
Lady Caroline, Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, act 2 (1893)
“I can’t stand people who do not take food seriously.”
“Now I know that all men are monsters […] The only thing to do is to feed the wretches well. A good cook does wonders.”
Duchess of Berwick, Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan (1893)