"We affirm this truth: men think dream and act according to what they eat and drink"

from Simon Schama's The Embarassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, talking here of the hutsepot, the meat and vegetable stew national dish:

"More than a mere comestible, it was a food that was meant, simultaneously, to reflect the qualities of those who ate it and to reinforce those qualities with its sustenance. If the beefed-up John Bull was supposed to be as virile, ungarnished and bloody (minded) as his chosen good, the Dutch might well have thought of themselves as a hotchpotch commonwealth: rich in variety, harmoniously assorted, hearty, wholesome, sturdy, unpretentious and enduring. Roast beef was the man of action's heroic dish, commingling muscle and blood, energy and power. The great stews of the Netherlands were more to the taste of ruminative humanism: patiently assembled, eclectic in content, moderately spiced, slowly cooked and even more deliberately eaten."

And for gastronomic relief: Marinetti's "Anti-pasta" manifesto:

"Pastasciutta, 40 % less nutritious than meat, fish or pulses, ties today's Italians with its tangled threads to Penelope's slow looms and to somnolent old sailingships in search of wind. Why let its massive heaviness interfere with the immense network of short long waves which Italian genius has thrown across oceans and continents? Why let it block the path of those landscapes of colour form sound which circumnavigate the world thanks to radio and television? The defenders of pasta are shackled by its ball and chain like convicted lifers or carry its ruins in their stomachs like archaeologists."

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