Food and Flavor: A Gastronomic Guide to Health and Good Living- Chapter II  by@henryfinck

Food and Flavor: A Gastronomic Guide to Health and Good Living- Chapter II

STARTLING as are the facts in the foregoing chapter, they do not tell the whole story. We have seen that the non-condimental chemical preservatives used by the food poisoners are highly objectionable on two grounds: (1) because they are usually injurious and often deadly; and (2) because they enable unscrupulous persons to use the filthiest, rottenest material and so doctor it as to deceive the consumer into believing it to be wholesome food, whereas it may, and often does, result in ptomaine poisoning.
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Henry T. Finck

Food and Flavor: A Gastronomic Guide to Health and Good Living

Food and Flavor: A Gastronomic Guide to Health and Good Living, by Henry Theophilus Finck is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. Chapter II : VITAL IMPORTANCE OF FLAVOR.

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II. VITAL IMPORTANCE OF FLAVOR

STARTLING as are the facts in the foregoing chapter, they do not tell the whole story. We have seen that the non-condimental chemical preservatives used by the food poisoners are highly objectionable on two grounds: (1) because they are usually injurious and often deadly; and (2) because they enable unscrupulous persons to use the filthiest, rottenest material and so doctor it as to deceive the consumer into believing it to be wholesome food, whereas it may, and often does, result in ptomaine poisoning.

But there is a third indictment against the food sophisticators. The chemicals they use, not only make the food they manipulate dangerous to eat, but they also diminish and often completely destroy its Flavor.

This destruction of the food Flavors may seem to those who have given no special attention to this matter a thing to be regretted, indeed, but not an actual crime. That it is a real crime, because it helps to undermine the consumers' health, I shall demonstrate in this chapter. It is necessary to know the facts now to be set forth in order to realize the full significance of the deplorable state of affairs to be revealed in the next chapter, entitled Our Denatured Foods. That chapter will continue the subject of Ungastronomic America, wherefore Chapter II may be regarded as an Intermezzo—but a most important one, for it contains truths that are of vital importance to everybody. Indeed, it is chiefly for the sake of impressing these truths on as many intelligent persons as possible that I am writing this book.

SENSUAL INDULGENCE AS A DUTY.

Too long we have been allowing covetous manufacturers and dealers and incompetent or indolent cooks to spoil our naturally good food. We have done this because we have not as a nation understood that there is nothing in the world on which our health and hourly comfort, our happiness and our capacity for hard work, depend so much as on the Flavor of food—those savory qualities which make it appetizing and enjoyable and therefore digestible and helpful.

It is not too much to say that the most important problem now before the American public is to learn to enjoy the pleasures of the table and to insist on having savory food at every meal.

There was a time when it would have been considered rank heresy to express such an opinion, and even to-day there are millions of honest folk who hold that the enjoyment of a good meal is merely a form of sybaritic indulgence.

When Ruskin wrote his "Modern Painters" he referred to the indulgence of taste as an "ignoble source of pleasure." He lived to realize the foolishness of this sneer; in one of those amusing footnotes which he contributed to the final edition of that great work, and in which he often assails his own former opinions with merciless severity, he denounces the "cruelty and absurdity" of his failing to learn to appreciate the dainties provided by his father. But his earlier opinion reflected the general attitude of the time toward the pleasures of the table.

Fortunately, in our efforts to fight the great American plague—dyspepsia—we are no longer seriously hampered by that Puritan severity which caused the father of Walter Scott, when young Walter one day expressed his enjoyment of the soup, to promptly mix with it a pint of water to take the devil out of it.

America's leading educator, Ex-President Eliot of Harvard, has expressed the more rational view of our time in these words: "Sensuous pleasures, like eating and drinking, are sometimes described as animal, and therefore unworthy, but men are animals and have a right to enjoy without reproach those pleasures of animal existence which maintain health, strength, and life itself."

We may go farther than that, asserting that not only have we a right to enjoy the pleasures of the table, but it is our moral duty to do so. The highest laws of health demand of us that we get as much pleasure out of our meals as possible. To prove this statement is the main object of the present volume, nearly every page of which bears witness to its truth, directly or indirectly.

GLADSTONE AND FLETCHER.

There is an old German proverb to the effect that if food is properly chewed it is half digested: Gut gekaut ist halb verdaut.

This is literally true, but in England and America, although physicians and others have long known it to be so, it was not impressed on the general public's attention until the newspapers began to comment—some seriously, others facetiously—on the statement that Gladstone, in 1848, adopted certain rules for chewing food to which he ever after adhered and to which some observers attributed his remarkable physical vigor. "Previous to that," said the "Pall Mall Gazette," "he had always paid great attention to the requirements of nature, but at that date he laid down as a rule for his children that thirty-two bites should be given to each mouthful of meat and a somewhat lesser number to bread, fish, etc."

Now Gladstone was wrong in suggesting that meat needed more munching than bread. The stomach takes care of meat if it is not swallowed in too large chunks; whereas bread, as well as potatoes, together with oatmeal and other cereals, no matter how soft, should be kept in the mouth some time to enable the saliva to partly digest them and prepare them for the lower viscera.

This error, however, did not detract seriously from the value of Gladstone's directions. The main thing was that his "home rule" called the attention of two nations to the unwisdom of bolting food and the advantage to health resulting from keeping it for some time in the mouth. In its far-reaching effect on millions in two worlds it was perhaps of greater and more lasting value than any of his acts as a statesman.

This assertion gains strength from the fact that it was Gladstone's example that started Horace Fletcher on his road as a reformer of the foolish eating habits of Americans, and others, but Americans in particular.

He has himself related (in the "Ladies' Home Journal" for September, 1909) how it was that his thoughts were first directed into this channel through an epicurean friend who had a snipe estate among the marshlands of Louisiana and a truffle preserve in France, and who faithfully followed Gladstone's rules in regard to the thorough chewing of food. In 1898 Mr. Fletcher began to work out the problem for himself, to the great advantage of his health.

At the age of forty he was an old man, on the way to a rapid decline. His hair was white, he weighed 217 pounds, he was harrowed by indigestion, and had "that tired feeling." At the age of sixty, after eleven years of experiment, he had reduced his weight to 170 pounds, felt strong and well, and had forgotten what it was to have the tired feeling.

His experience thus was similar to that of the Italian nobleman, Luigi Cornaro (1467-1566), who was a dissipated wreck at the age of forty, but who by reforming his way of eating, regained his health and lived to be nearly a hundred. After his eighty-third year he wrote four treatises on diet and longevity; his autobiography has passed through more than forty English editions. His wisdom might be summed up in these words: "As you grow older eat less."

Horace Fletcher is the Cornaro of the nineteenth century. Everybody who ever "knows he has a stomach" should read one or both the books he has written on this subject: "The A B-Z of Our Own Nutrition," and "The New Glutton or Epicure." The first named owes its value largely to the fact that it includes reprints of valuable papers by eminent men of science and physicians, the investigations of most of whom were in part prompted, or inspired, by Mr. Fletcher's writings. The most important of these are Dr. Harvey Campbell's Observations on Mastication, and Prof. Pawlow's articles on Psychic Influence in Digestion.

Most persons labor—or act as if they labored—under the delusion that the mouth was made chiefly for the ingestion of food and that the sole use of saliva is to lubricate it so that it can be easily and quickly swallowed. Mr. Fletcher did not discover the fact that the mouth is also a most important organ of digestion, with the aid of saliva; but he emphasized this important fact in his writings as no other writer had ever done, proclaiming it from the housetops till thousands began to listen and heed and learn and benefit by his preaching; and therein lies the importance of his name in the history of dietetic reform.

The gist of his doctrine may be given in a few words: keep all food (soft as well as hard, liquid as well as solid, moist as well as dry) in the mouth and chew it till it has become thoroughly mingled with the saliva, has lost all its flavor, and is ready to disappear down the throat without an effort at swallowing. Gladstone's directions in regard to thirty-two masticatory movements are all right for some foods, but others require no more than twenty, while for some (onions) seven hundred hardly suffice to remove the odor and make them digestible. Unless the mouth thus does its work, the lower digestive tract has to do it at ten times the expenditure of vital force, and the result is dyspepsia.

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HORACE FLETCHER

Never, surely, was preaching more needed than these sermons of Horace Fletcher to the victims of America's national scourge of chronic indigestion.

It cannot be denied that there is a considerable amount of questionable faddism and exaggeration in his doctrines. He, himself, frankly apologizes for such details in them as "may suggest the scrappiness and extravagance of an intemperate screed," on the ground that "so-called screeds sometimes attract attention where sober statement fails to be heard"; which is unfortunately true.

Many of Fletcher's followers accept his exaggerations along with the sound parts of his doctrines. They endorse the statements that he, "in inaugurating the chewing reform has done more to help suffering humanity than any other man of the present generation"; or, as another writer, a physician, put it in a letter to him: "What you have done to unfold physiologic mastication means more for human weal than all the mere medical prescribes have given the world from Adam to the present day."

It cannot be denied that medical and other scientific writers were culpable in not enlightening the public on these important matters, and it serves them right, therefore, if Fletcher has got the credit and the fame for doing this. It is estimated that there are already more than 200,000 "Fletcherites" in the United States. In the hope of increasing their number, in the rational sense of the word, let me dwell on a few of the things in which, in my opinion, Mr. Fletcher is right, and some of those beside which readers of his books will do well to place question marks. In particular, I wish to call further attention to his valuable remarks on the necessity of doing more "mouth work" than most of us do, and on the importance of agreeable Flavor in food as an aid to digestion.

Many thousands of otherwise healthy persons bewail the fact that they have to avoid some of their favorite dishes because they find them indigestible. To these individuals Fletcherism, as endorsed by Dr. Campbell, brings the cheering message that they can eat anything they please provided they give it the proper mouth treatment.

Inasmuch as individuals differ in regard to the supply of saliva, no general rules can be laid down as to how many bites any particular mouthful requires. One person may dispose of a morsel of bread in thirty mastications while another may need fifty before it has disappeared down the throat without an effort at swallowing. Mr. Fletcher once had a tussle with a challot, or young onion, which "required 722 mastications before disappearing through involuntary swallowing." But when it was down it left no odor upon the breath and created no disturbance whatever.

Could anything more triumphantly proclaim the wonders of Fletcherism?

Here is another miracle: "Abundant experiment has been made by those to whom 'Boston brown bread' was formerly little less than a poison, to prove the assertion that, sufficiently mixed with saliva, it is perfectly digestible and that the delicious taste of the bread after forty or fifty bites—about one-half minute—gets sweeter and sweeter, and attains its greatest sweetness and most delicate taste at the very last, when it has dissolved into liquid form and most of it has escaped into the stomach."

THE HARM DONE BY SOFT FOODS.

Dr. Campbell, whose admirable articles on The Importance of Mastication cannot be too urgently brought to the reader's attention, has pointed out a very important reason why at present, more than at any other time in the history of man, there is need of mouth digestion.

The art of cooking has had a beautifying effect on the human face. The jaws and teeth have become smaller because they are no longer called upon to bite off and chew raw, tough, and fibrous foods, as they were in primitive days. One of the results of agricultural progress has been to diminish the fibrous, cellulosic food and make it more easy to masticate. The food of to-day is for the most part soft and pappy, of a kind which does not compel thorough mastication; so much so that Dr. Campbell thinks we may speak of this as "the age of pap."

Beginning with the babes, we pour into their stomachs all kinds of artificial saccharine foods in liquid or semi-liquid form, following this up, later on, with such viands as mashed potatoes and gravy, rusks soaked in milk, milk puddings, bread dipped in bacon fat, pounded mutton, thin bread and butter, and the like. Food of this kind does not invite mastication (nor have mothers been taught to teach their children to keep it in the mouth, the doctor might have added). "Hence the instinct to masticate has little opportunity of exercise and not being properly exercised, tends to die out. Small wonder that the child nourished on such pappy food acquires the habit of bolting it, and learns to reject hard, coarse foods in favor of the softer kinds; everything, nowadays, must be tender, pultaceous, or 'short.'"

The evils resulting from the bolting of this soft food by children and adults alike are of the gravest and most alarming kind. Overeating and habitual indigestion are two of them. Morbid craving for food not needed is another. It is not improbable that the habitual bolting of food, by the prolonged irritation to which it gives rise, may predispose to cancer of the stomach. Napoleon was a notoriously fast eater and it is well known that he died from this disease.

Dr. Campbell also agrees with Sir Frederick Treves that the neglect of the mastication of food is a potent cause of appendicitis. Solid lumps, especially in the case of such articles as pineapple, preserved ginger, nuts, tough meat and lobster, are apt to pass beyond the pylorus and, escaping intestinal digestion, to lodge in the cœcum and precipitate an attack of that dreaded disease, the most common predisposing cause of which is a loaded cœcum, often preceded by constipation.

Summing up his extremely valuable paper on the Evils of Insufficient Mastication, Dr. Campbell comes to the conclusion that "an appalling amount of misery and suffering may be saved by the simple expedient of inculcating the habit of efficient mastication."

It is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. I have noticed again and again how hard it is to teach adults to "Fletcherize." They begin it, find it irksome at first, and drop it. For thorough reform we must begin with infants; but adults cannot be urged too strongly to persevere till the habit—like that of breathing—becomes automatic. The rewards in increased health and enjoyment of life and work are glorious.

EPICUREAN DELIGHTS FROM PLAIN FOOD.

To return to Fletcher's own contributions to this subject. Next to his dwelling on the importance of "mouth-work" he deserves most praise for his remarks on the epicurean delights resulting from slow and rational eating. Herein again, it must be premised, he was far from being the original discoverer; but he probably did more to call the general public's attention to the matter than any one else had done, thanks largely to his habit of introducing vivid illustrations and details of personal experiences.

"My, but I never realized that potato is so good," exclaimed the young lady; and "Gracious! isn't this corn bully!" echoed the father.

These exclamations express the outcome of one of Mr. Fletcher's experiments in teaching others how to get delicious pleasure from the simplest and commonest foods if munched according to his directions.

If you bolt your food, he says, you get "none of the exquisite taste that Nature's way offers as an allurement for obeying her beneficent demands. The way of Nature is the epicurean way; the other way is nothing but piggish gluttony." It is the way of animals; and Fletcher named his book "The New Glutton or Epicure" to call attention to the two ways of taking food.

"An epicurean cannot be a glutton. There may be gluttons who are less gluttonous than other gluttons, but epicurism is like politeness and cleanliness, and is the certain mark of gentility." A remark worthy of the French epigrammatists!

Thackeray called attention to the exquisite enjoyment an epicure can derive from a slice of buttered brown bread. In the same spirit Fletcher writes: "For illustration, try a ship's biscuit—commonly called hardtack—and keep it in the mouth, tasting it as you would a piece of sugar, till it has disappeared entirely, and note what a treasure of delight there is in it."

Again: "The most nutritious food does not require sauces. It may seem dry and tasteless to the first impression, but, as the juices of the mouth get possession of it, warm it up, solve its life-giving qualities out of it and coax it into usefulness, the delight of a newfound delicacy will greet the discoverer."

HOW FLAVOR HELPS THE STOMACH.

In all cases, be the food simple or the outcome of a French chef's culinary alchemy, it is its Flavor that makes it agreeable and by so doing stimulates the flow of the juices necessary for proper digestion.

In the case of the mouth and its salivary glands this is obvious to all. Everybody knows that the fragrance of good food "makes the mouth water."

In the case of the stomach, the connection is much less obvious. Until a few years ago even the medical men were in the dark on this extremely important aspect of the question, although French and German physiologists had made important discoveries.

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A French chef's culinary alchemy

It remained for Professor Pawlow of St. Petersburg to throw the bright light of scientific experiment on this subject.

He demonstrated in his St. Petersburg laboratory that the mere presence of food in a dog's stomach—which is like a man's in that respect—does not suffice to cause a flow of gastric juice, but that the psychic factor we call appetite—a keen desire for food—causes an abundant flow of that fluid, without which the digestion cannot proceed.

Now it might be said that there was really no need of laboratory experiments to tell us that food eaten without enjoyment lies like lead in the stomach and does more harm than good.

It is nevertheless a great advantage to have a scientific demonstration of the fact and an explanation of it, because it encourages us in the right way of eating.

Instinct showed that way long ago; it did its best to intimate that food should be eaten with interest and enjoyment.

Too often, unfortunately, no attention has been paid to this instinct. Among the Russians (who do not, in this respect, differ from other peoples) "an absolutely unphysiological indifference towards eating often exists," Professor Pawlow says. "In wider circles of the community a due conception of the importance of eating should be disseminated. How often do the people who have charge of the commissariat pay attention solely to the nutritive value of the food, or place a higher value on everything else than taste!"

Yet it is the "taste" (Flavor) of food that arouses the appetite. As the French say, "the appetite comes while we are eating." Medical men of various countries in former times paid special attention to the restoration of a patient's appetite. In more recent text books less attention is paid to appetite as a symptom; but Prof. Pawlow's experiments have again, and for all time, demonstrated its importance.

Those young ladies who think it is "nice" and "feminine" to pretend to have no appetite should read the Pawlow papers, and have all that nonsense knocked out of their heads. A poor appetite is a danger signal—a thing to arouse pity and to be cured, just like a headache or a fever.

"Appetite juice" is one of the suggestive names Professor Pawlow gives to the fluid which digests food in the stomach. There is little or none of it for the man who eats without noticing his food, unable to distract his thoughts from his work, as so often happens to those who live in the midst of the incessant turmoil of large cities. This inattention to the act of eating (to the Flavor of the food) prepares the way for digestive disturbances with all the various diseases following them. No medical treatment can help such a patient—unless he reforms and eats rationally.

Thus, the studies of Dr. Pawlow fully bear out my contention as to the Vital Importance of Flavor in Food.

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An American quick-lunch

There is one more of his observations to which superlative importance attaches. One of his experiments on dogs showed that if food was given gradually in small quantities, it led to the secretion of much stronger gastric juice than when the animal was allowed to eat the whole ration at once.

This was a laboratory demonstration of the wisdom of the best medical treatment of a weak stomach; "and such a regulation of diet," continues the professor, "is all the more necessary, since, in the commonest disorders of the stomach, only the surface layers of the mucous membrane are affected. It may, consequently, happen that the sensory surface of the stomach, which should take up the stimulus of the chemical excitant, is not able to fulfil its duty, and the period of chemical secretion, which ordinarily lasts for a long time, is for the most part disturbed, or even wholly absent. A strong psychic excitation, a keen feeling of appetite, may evoke the secretory impulse in the central nervous system and send it unhindered to the glands which lie in the deeper as yet unaffected layers of mucous membrane."

Doubtless the very interesting physiological detail here pointed out by the eminent Russian professor, explains the dietetic as well as gastronomic wisdom of the old fashioned table d'hôte of the European hotels. Half a dozen or more courses follow one another leisurely in course of an hour or more during which the pleasant Flavor of one dish after another keeps the appetite on edge and gives plenty of time for the deeper as well as the surface layers of the glands to secrete their beneficent and comforting digestive juices.

From such a leisurely dinner, with courses skilfully made up of contrasting flavors to prevent the appetite from flagging, we rise cheerful and at peace with all the world, whereas an American quick-lunch, or a rail road dinner gulped down in ten minutes makes us feel like swearing off eating for all time.

AN AMAZING BLUNDER.

How far we have traveled away from that foolish, nay, criminal Puritan notion that enjoyment of the pleasures of the table is a reprehensible form of sensual indulgence—the notion which made Walter Scott's father pour hot water into the soup because the boy liked it!

That attitude was a blunder, a huge blunder, as the preceding pages prove.

A still bigger blunder, and one equally deplorable and mischievous, now claims our attention—a blunder so amazing, so incomprehensible that it seems almost incredible: the universal belief, among men of science as well as the laity, that the pleasures of the table come to us through the sense of taste.

How I happened to discover that this notion is a blunder, I now beg the reader's permission to relate briefly.

In 1878 Harvard University rewarded me for my hard work in the philosophical department (under Professors Bowen and Palmer) by giving me the Harris Fellowship, which enabled me to continue my study of physiological and comparative psychology for three years at the universities of Germany.

I recall vividly my boyish delight in the pleasures of the senses of sight, hearing, and smell. During my college course and afterwards I diligently studied the phenomena of these senses in man and animals in all the books and scientific papers I could find; and thus it came about that my first magazine articles were on the Æsthetic Value of Odors, and The Development of the Color Sense. The first of these was accepted by W. D. Howells, for the "Atlantic Monthly" (December, 1880); the second, by Alfred Russell Wallace, for "Macmillan's Magazine" (London, December, 1879). I mention these things to show that the senses of man and animals have been a subject of special interest with me for more than four decades, and that when I went to Germany, I took up the study of them not as an amateur but as one prepared (as well as eager) to make original researches.

My most ardent desire was to work in the laboratories of the University of Berlin under Professor Helmholtz, whose monumental books on the sensations of tone and on the phenomena of sight had revealed so many secrets to the world of science. Unfortunately he was not lecturing on those subjects at that time. Moreover, reperusal of his books made me feel as if he had covered all the most interesting ground. I therefore looked about for a region in which I could do some exploring on my own account, and soon found it in the functions of the senses of smell and taste.

Concerning these two senses, the most absurdly in correct notions were current at that time even among leaders in science. Grant Allen, known as "the St. Paul of Darwinism," voiced the current biological opinion when he wrote that with man "smell survives with difficulty as an almost functionless relic"; and Darwin himself wrote that this sense is "of extremely slight service" to man.

The king of German philosophers, Kant, who was an epicure, maintained that smell is the least important of our senses, and that it is not worth while to cultivate it. Nay, the king of epicures, Brillat-Savarin, wrote a famous book the very title of which, "Physiology of Taste," is a scientific blunder. Like everybody else, he believed in the existence of an infinite variety of tastes, and never suspected that, with the exception of sweet, sour, salt and bitter, all our countless gastronomic delights come to us through the sense of smell.

A NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF EATING.

The French physiologist Longet and the German anatomist Henle were, so far as I could find, the only experts who had an inkling of the gastronomic importance of the sense of smell; but they did not go so far as to formulate the theory I have just expressed in italics. My experiments showed me that not only is it impossible, with the nose clasped (or closed by a cold), to tell the difference between various kinds of meats, or cheeses, or cakes, or vegetables, but also—which no one had ever pointed out—that even in the case of sweet and sour substances which do gratify the palate, the sense of smell is much more important than the sense of taste.

Vinegar, for example, is absolutely uninteresting unless it has a "bouquet"—the aroma of the cider, wine, or malt of which it is made. And why is it that we are willing to pay from five to twenty times as much for candy as for plain sugar? Because the sugar appeals only to the taste, whereas the candy is usually perfumed with the aroma of sarsparilla, wintergreen, vanilla, chocolate, and a hundred other flavoring ingredients the fragrance of which we enjoy by exhaling through the nose while eating it.

The emphasis lies on the word exhaling. It is considered a breach of etiquette to smell of things at the table in the ordinary way, because it implies a doubt as to the freshness of the food. But there is a second way of smelling of which most persons are unconscious, although they practise it daily. Anatomy shows that only a small portion of the mucous membrane which lines the nostrils is the seat of the endings of the nerves of smell. In ordinary expiration the air does not touch this olfactory region. But when we eat in the right way we unconsciously guide the air impregnated with the Flavors of the food we are munching, into that region, and that is the way we enjoy our food. We do this unconsciously, I say; but now tryand do it consciously, guiding the expired air very slowly through the nose, and your enjoyment of a meal will be quintupled.

Obviously Kant made the mistake of his life when he said the sense of smell was not worth cultivating. It not only provides us with additional table pleasures, the hygienic and tonic value of which has been sufficiently dwelt upon, but it is a fact of unspeakable importance that the more we educate the nose, the more discriminating we make it, and the more stubbornly therefore we insist on having wholesome food only.

This new psychology of eating I set forth for the first time in the "Contemporary Review" (London, November, 1888), under the title of "The Gastronomic Value of Odors." It was commented on as a psychological curiosity, but otherwise attracted little attention. At that time there was not the same general interest that there is now in the food question. Even Gladstone's directions regarding eating were more frequently smiled at than followed.

Since his day many things have happened to give the food question an aspect of superlative importance, particularly the wholesale adulterations described in the preceding pages. That among those who have helped to awaken the public to a realizing sense of the importance of this subject no one deserves more credit than Mr. Fletcher—who has been immortalized in the dictionaries by the inclusion of the verb "to Fletcherize"—has been stated before. So beneficent, on the whole, has been his influence that I hesitate to point out any of his mistakes; but as some of them obscure the truth, I will do so.

He first made public his views, in a crude form, eleven years after the appearance of my article on the gastronomic value of odors. That article anticipates some important details of his doctrines, but he evidently never saw it, because in his books he makes only one brief reference to the sense of smell and perpetuates all the old errors regarding that insolent pretender, the sense of taste. This is to be regretted, for it left his followers groping in the dark as to the best way of getting the most pleasure and benefit out of their food, at home and at their "munching parties."

There is one detail of Fletcherism which every epicure will fight with his last drop of ink. If we all followed his example, living on griddle cakes, butter, and syrup (at a cost of eleven cents a day), or some other equally simple menu, as he advises, what would become of that delectable variety which is the spice of gastronomy, and what of the farmers, and the hundreds of industries which supply this variety?

True gastronomic progress, I maintain, lies in the direction of multiplying the pleasures of the table—an important phase of our subject which will be discussed in a later chapter.

We must now turn the limelight once more on Ungastronomic America.

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Finck, Henry Theophilus. 2021. Food and Flavor: A Gastronomic Guide to Health and Good Living). Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/61719/61719-h/61719-h.htm#II

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