Martin Farquhar Tupper

(July 17, 1810 - November 1889 / London)

In Praise Of French Cuisine

'Now Muse, you must versify your very best,
To sing how they ransack the East and the West,
To tell how they plunder the North and the South
For food for the stomach and zest for the mouth!
Such savoury stews, and such odorous dishes,
Such soups, and (at Calais) such capital fishes!
With sauces so strange they disguise the lean meat
That you seldom, or never, know what you're to eat;
Such fricandeaux, fricassees epicurean,
Such vins-ordinaires, and such banquets Circean,--
And the nice little nothings which very soon vanish
Before you are able your plate to replenish,--
Such exquisite eatables! and for your drink
Not porter or ale, but--what do you think?
'Tis Burgundy, Bourdeaux, real red rosy wine,
Which you quaff at a draught, neat nectar, divine!
Thus they pamper the taste with everything good
And of an old shoe can make savoury food,
But the worst of it is that when you have done
You are nearly as famish'd as when you begun!'

Submitted: Thursday, September 23, 2010

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