An Advice to cooks from the Past

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Joined Jul 24, 2001
April 7, today, is the International Day of Health.

I chose the following text, as a reminder of the Day.
It’s about two things that all of us here love very much : Music and Food.

The text, is attributed to Hippocrates. It’s the introduction on a collection of recipes or a Diet someone must follow in order to stay healthy!

So the author of the book starts by giving some advices to the cooks that are going to cook his recipes.

It’s dated circa the 5th ce BC

“From the same notes you have different tunes. Other notes are sharp, other are flat. But all of them are notes, all the same, each one of them with a different tune!
When you compose using as much divert tunes as possible, you get better results.
When you compose using the less possible different tunes, your results are very bad.
If someone composes (music) using one single note, then the result is the worse possible.
The secret of success is in the diversity of the tones.

Following the same rule, cooks prepare our food and beverage creating dishes similar and different.
Some times [the dishes] are similar regarding the ingredients that are used.
Other times, they use the same ingredients with different cooking techniques.

If a cook prepares the same dishes everyday, there is no pleasure!
If a cook accumulates everything in the same dish, is not right!

The musical notes are either sharp or soft

The tongue tastes food as if it’s music, distinguishing the sweet from the sour, the harmony from the disharmony.

When the tongue is tuned with the “harmony” of the tones that the ingredients of a food produce, then, we have the ultimate pleasure!

If a dish tastes as bad as badly tuned music does, then, we have pain!”


Hippocrates, On Diet I,18

I couldn't find the Englsih tranlsation on line, so the translation is mine from the Ancient Greek.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Hard to believe it was written so long ago when it can be so easily apply to this era.


Thanks Athenaeus, it's a beautiful text.
 
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