A History of Senses

If we are interested in the history of eating habits, we will find that the relationship between eating habits and food seems to keep pace with the evolution of education, etiquette and language. According to Maria Luisa Millare, history can be rewritten according to the relationship between people and food.

Some famous dinners are well known, such as the wedding banquet in Ghana ( water turned into wine ), and the last supper of Jesus, which expresses the symbolic meaning of good and evil.

Cléopâtre held a banquet to seduce Antoine, but Antoine only tasted a few mouthfuls of delicious food in case the queen poisoned him. Plutarque spoke about the subsequent development of the plot.

What this story tells us is that admiration for the queen will put her in danger. One day, at a banquet, Cleopatra wore a wreath on her head. The petals were poisoned. Then she dipped the petals into a glass and invited her lover to drink.

At the last moment, she stopped Anthony and handed the cup to a slave who fell dead after drinking it. Anthony is therefore convinced ( or almost convinced ) that the queen is a trustworthy person.

In order to recover, Casanova likes to have a sumptuous dinner after having sex, including sturgeon, game, truffles and saxophone red wine. Marquis Sade prefers meat rolls made of pigeon meat.

Luther’s abstinence pledge was followed by a sumptuous banquet, as can be seen from the reformer’s figure. Jean – Jacques Jean-Jacques Rousseau did not violate his principle that he also chose to be a vegetarian at the table.

Napoleon never eats for more than ten minutes, which makes him the ancestor of fast food lovers. Marcel Proust is a shy, melancholy and sentimental man who suffered from loss of appetite all his life.

Who can forget his mother’s round sweet cakes in Combray? They arbitrarily occupied his mind, soothed his shyness and cowardice, and reminded him of his aunt Léonie, who ate cakes dipped in linden scented tea after Mass every weekend.

History is also interesting. Claude Levi – Strauss compared food to grammar, and a series of thoughts and emotions they aroused formed a syntactic structure. Some foods were closely related to yin and yang, while others were linked to countries, such as pasta in Italy, red wine in France, pork sausage in Germany and tea in Britain.

Similarly, we once saw young people drinking coke and eating sandwiches in bars in Milan and knew they were rightists. Today’s America links yuppies with sushi, while rock ‘n’ roll pie prefers pizza.

Tell me how you eat, and I will know how you think. This is what history has explained to us. It tells the story of the conflicts between different cultures in Europe for thousands of years. The decadent and extravagant Roman imperial life has found its real prototype in Hollywood.

In Ben Hur, we saw legislators lying on gilded beds, eating flamingo tongues or foie gras covered with exotic spices.

Just as the ancient Roman nobles gobbled up their food, Christian idealists in other parts of the empire condemned excessive sex and preached hard work and plain living. These venerable people were the forerunners of later Catholic priests, who claimed that people who ate sweets were guilty.

At the same time, a third food culture from the edge of the empire is entering ancient Rome, that is nomads, whose diet is mainly barbecue skewers. These people despised the rich Romans for their over-emphasis on dishes. Maria Louisa Millare concluded: ” The collision of these three cultures has created western civilization. It has invented ideas, art, technology and, of course, food in the course of several centuries.”

Here we would like to emphasize different interpretations of the relationship between food and sex by different cultures: Roman hedonism, barbarian masculinity, and Christian original sin.

Christians agree that the enjoyment of taste buds corresponds to the enjoyment of sex: in Catholic tradition, the attractive apple is the source of Adam and eve’s original sin, so it is no accident that Paris uses apple to distinguish the three graces and consecrate Venus. The worship of Christian icons transforms the attractive and evil apple into a symbol of love, fertility and purity. In many pictures of the birth of Jesus, an apple is placed between the Virgin and Jesus.

The philosophy of asceticism is to encourage fasting, while diet is the original sin of the senses. Hermits all follow Saint Jérôme’s instruction to follow a diet based on dried food, such as bread, salt, water, and a few small grasshoppers.

Priests believe that abstinence is the key to resist extravagance and extravagance. However, barbarians think that eating meat is a symbol of social status. What we are interested in here is not only the history of diet, but also its relationship with sexual history. In the carnival of myth, these two histories are combined into one.

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