“Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.”
Fran Lebowitz

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“The kitchen, reasonably enough, was the scene of my first gastronomic adventure. I was on all fours. I crawled into the vegetable bin, settled on a giant onion and ate it, skin and all. It must have marked me for life, for I have never ceased to love the hearty flavor of raw onions.”
James Beard (1903-1985)

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“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”
Doug Larson

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“This root [the potato], no matter how much you prepare it, is tasteless and floury. It cannot pass for an agreeable food, but it supplies a food sufficiently abundant and sufficiently healthy for men who ask only to sustain themselves. The potato is criticized with reason for being windy, but what matters windiness for the vigorous organisms of peasants and laborers?”
Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
‘L’Encyclopedie’ (1751-1772)

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“Aïoli (garlic mayonnaise) epitomizes the heat, the power, and the joy of the Provençal sun, but it has another virtue – it drives away flies.”
Frédéric Mistral (1891)

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“I have read in one of the Marseille newspapers that if certain people find aioli indigestible, it is simply because too little garlic has been included in its confection, a minimum of four cloves per person being necessary.”
Richard Olney, Simple French Food (1974)

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“The air in Provence is impregnated with the aroma of garlic, which makes it very healthful to breathe.”
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) ‘Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine’

~~~

“When I was alone, I lived on eggplant, the stove top cook’s strongest ally…. “
Laurie Colwin
‘Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant’

~~~

“The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. ‘I am not alone and unacknowledged.’ They nod to me and I to them.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

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“Shucked and boiled in water, sweet corn is edible and nutritious; roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia. No chef’s ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish.”
Nero Wolfe in ‘Murder is Corny’ by Rex Stout

~~~

“The artichoke above all is the vegetable expression of civilised living, of the long view, of increasing delight by anticipation and crescendo. No wonder it was once regarded as an aphrodisiac. It had no place in the troll’s world of instant gratification. It makes no appeal to the meat-and-two-veg mentality.”
Jane Grigson (1928-1990) ‘Vegetable Book’ (1978)

~~~

“I appreciate the potato only as a protection against famine, except for that, I know of nothing more eminently tasteless.”
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
‘The Physiology of Taste’ (1825)

~~~

“Caesar’s armies marched on vegetarian foods.”
Will Durant, American writer, historian. (1885-1981)

~~~

“I am more afraid of an army of a hundred sheep led by a lion than an army of a hundred lions led by a sheep.”
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (1754-1838)

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“An army marches on its stomach.”
Napoleon (1769-1821)

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“when General Lee took possession of Chambersburg on his way to Gettysburg, we happened to be a member of the Committee representing the town. Among the first things he demanded for his army was twenty-five barrels of Saur-Kraut.”
Editor, ‘The Guardian’ (1869)

~~~

“The army from Asia introduced a foreign luxury to Rome; it was then the meals began to require more dishes and more expenditure . . . the cook, who had up to that time been employed as a slave of low price, become dear: what had been nothing but a métier was elevated to an art.”
Livy (Titus Livius), Roman historian (59-17 B.C.)
‘The Annals of the Roman People’

~~~

“The same intelligence is required to marshal an army in battle and to order a good dinner. The first must be as formidable as possible, the second as pleasant as possible, to the participants.”
Plutarch (46-120) (Greek biographer and philosopher)
Quoting Aemilius Paulus, conqueror of Persia

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“Life is like eating artichokes; you have got to go through so much to get so little.”
Thomas Aloysius (Tad) Dorgan, Cartoonist

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“Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke.”
Bette Davis as Margo Channing in ‘All About Eve’ (1950)

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“These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.”
Miss Piggy

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Pliny called the artichoke “one of the earth’s monstrosities.”

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“In the centre of a spacious table rose a pastry as large as a church, flanked on the north by a quarter of cold veal, on the south by an enormous ham, on the east by a monumental pile of butter, and on the west by an enormous dish of artichokes, with a hot sauce.”
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, (1755-1826)
‘The Physiology of Taste’

~~~

“One word, in this place, respecting asparagus. The young shoots of this plant, boiled, are the most unexceptionable form of greens with which I am acquainted.”
‘The Young House-keeper’ by William Andrus Alcott (1846)

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“Playwrights are like men who have been dining for a month in an Indian restaurant. After eating curry night after night, they deny the existence of asparagus.”
Peter Ustinov
‘Christian Science Monitor’, 11/14/62

~~~

“Pray how does your asparagus perform?”
John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail

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“You needn’t tell me that a man who doesn’t love oysters and asparagus and good wines has got a soul, or a stomach either. He’s simply got the instinct for being unhappy.”
‘Saki’, pen name of Scottish writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916)

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“Since garlic then hath powers to save from death, Bear with it though it makes unsavory breath.”
Salerno Regimen of Health (12th century)

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“I do not believe that you have to spend a lot of money to eat well: it is hard to beat a plain old baked potato.”
Laurie Colwin

~~~

“For me, a plain baked potato is the most delicious one….It is soothing and enough.”
M.F.K. Fisher (1908-1992)

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“Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread — there may be.”
David Grayson, ‘Adventures in Contentment’ (1907)

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“Banish (the onion) from the kitchen and the pleasure flies with it. Its presence lends color and enchantment to the most modest dish; its absence reduces the rarest delicacy to hopeless insipidity, and dinner to despair.”
Elizabeth Robbins Pennell, American columnist

~~~

“The cabbage surpasses all other vegetables. If, at a banquet, you wish to dine a lot and enjoy your dinner, then eat as much cabbage as you wish, seasoned with vinegar, before dinner, and likewise after dinner eat some half-dozen leaves. It will make you feel as if you had not eaten, and you can drink as much as you like.”
Cato (234-149 B.C.)

~~~

“A man taking basil from a woman will love her always.”
Sir Thomas Moore

~~~

“Pounding fragrant things — particularly garlic, basil, parsley — is a tremendous antidote to depression. But it applies also to juniper berries, coriander seeds and the grilled fruits of the chilli pepper. Pounding these things produces an alteration in one’s being — from sighing with fatigue to inhaling with pleasure. The cheering effects of herbs and alliums cannot be too often reiterated. Virgil’s appetite was probably improved equally by pounding garlic as by eating it.”
Patience Gray, cookery author

~~~

“There ought t’be some way t’eat celery so it wouldn’t sound like you wuz steppin’ on a basket.”
Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard (1868-1930)

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“The Bay leaves are of as necessary use as any other in the garden or orchard, for they serve both for pleasure and profit, both for ornament and for use, both for honest civil uses and for physic, yea, both for the sick and the sound, both for the living and the dead; . . . so that from the cradle to the grave we still have use of it, we still have need of it.”
Parkinson, ‘Garden of Flowers’ (1629)

~~~

“The most usual, common, and cheap sort of Food all China abounds in, and which all in that Empire eat, from the Emperor to the meanest Chinese; the Emperor and great Men as a Dainty, the common sort as necessary sustenance. It is called Teu Fu, that is Paste of Kidney Beans. I did not see how they made it. They drew the Milk out of the Kidney Beans, and turning it, make great Cakes of it like Cheeses, as big as a large Sive, and five or six fingers thick. All the Mass is as white as the very Snow, to look to nothing can be finer….Alone, it is insipid, but very good dress’d as I say and excellent fry’d in Butter.”
Friar Domingo Navarrete, 17th century

~~~

“And this is good old Boston, The home of the bean and the cod…”
John Collins Bossidy in Charles Wysocki
‘Americana Cookbook’

~~~

“Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they posses over all vegetables the great advantage of being just as good, if not better, when kept waiting, an advantage in the case of people whose disposition or occupation makes it difficult for them to be punctual at mealtime.”
Andre Simon (1877-1970)
‘The Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy’ (1952)

~~~

“There was an old man of Orleans, Who was given to eating of beans; Till once out of sport, he swallowed a quart, That dyspeptic old man of Orleans.”
Edward Lear, English artist, writer; known for his ‘literary nonsense’ & limericks (1812-1888)

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“Inhabitants of underdeveloped nations and victims of natural disasters are the only people who have ever been happy to see soybeans.”
Fran Lebowitz, journalist

~~~

“Red beans and ricely yours.”
Louis Armstrong loved red beans and rice so much he signed his personal letters thus.

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“Some people are fat, some people are lean. But I want you to show me the person who doesn’t like butterbeans Yay!”
B-52′s Song, ‘Butterbean’ 1983

~~~

“He that sups upon salad, goes not to bed fasting.”
Thomas Fuller, English clergyman(1608-1661)

~~~

“Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun, and with him rise weeping.”
William Shakespeare, ‘Winter’s Tale’ (1564-1616)

~~~

“My own remedy is always to eat, just before I step into bed, a hot roasted onion, if I have a cold.”
attributed to George Washington

~~~

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.”
Tom Robbins

~~~

“The meal was pretentious — a kind of beetroot soup with greasy croutons; pork underdone with loud vulgar cabbage, potato croquettes, tinned peas in tiny jam-tart cases, watery gooseberry sauce; trifle made with a resinous wine, so jammy that all my teeth lit up at once.”
Anthony Burgess, English novelist (1917-1993)

~~~

“Beet ever so onion there snow peas legume.”
Margaret Thornley
‘A Kick in the Seat of the Pants’, Roger von Oech

~~~

“Everything I do, I do on the principle of Russian borscht. You can throw everything into it beets, carrots, cabbage, onions, everything you want. What’s important is the result, the taste of the borscht.”
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet

~~~

“Only in dreams are carrots as big as bears.”
Yiddish Saying

~~~

“I understand the big food companies are developing a tearless onion. I think they can do it — after all, they’ve already given us tasteless bread.”
Robert Orben (1927–) American humorist.

~~~

“The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palm, the gold beads, the bearded heroes, the wine, the ideas, the ships, the moonlight, the winged gorgons, the bronze men, the philosophers – all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent taste of these black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”
Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990)
‘Prospero’s Cell’ (1945)

~~~

“My final, considered judgment is that the hardy bulb [garlic] blesses and ennobles everything it touches – with the possible exception of ice cream and pie.”
Angelo Pellegrini, ‘The Unprejudiced Palate’ (1948)

~~~

“Boiled cabbage a l’Anglaise is something compared with which steamed coarse newsprint bought from bankrupt Finnish salvage dealers and heated over smoky oil stoves is an exquisite delicacy.”
William Connor (aka ‘Cassandra’) British columnist

~~~

“Cabbage as a food has problems. It is easy to grow, a useful source of greenery for much of the year. Yet as a vegetable it has original sin, and needs improvement. It can smell foul in the pot, linger through the house with pertinacity, and ruin a meal with its wet flab. Cabbage also has a nasty history of being good for you.”
Jane Grigson (1928-1990) ‘Vegetable Book’ (1978)

~~~

“Botany, n. The science of vegetables — those that are not good to eat, as well as those that are. It deals largely with their flowers, which are commonly badly designed, inartistic in color, and ill-smelling.”
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
‘The Devil’s Dictionary’ (1911)

~~~

“My boy, the ‘quenelles de sole’ were splendid, but the peas were poor. You should shake the pan gently, all the time, like this.”
Marie-Antoine Carême
Supposedly his last words, spoken to a favorite pupil, January 12, 1833

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“They [potatoes] are good for boys’ cold fingers at suppertime on winter nights.”
Marion Harland
‘Common Sense in the Household’ (1873)

~~~

“Fatherhood is telling your daughter that Michael Jackson loves all his fans, but has special feelings for the ones who eat broccoli.”
Bill Cosby, ‘Fatherhood’ (1986)

~~~

“Mother: It’s broccoli, dear. —
Child: I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”
E.B. White, from a cartoon in the ‘New Yorker’

~~~

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”
George Bush, U.S. President (1990)

~~~

“We kids feared many things in those days – werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School – but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts.”
Dave Barry, Miami Herald Columnist
‘Dave Barry’s Bad Habits’ (1987)