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Let the Meatballs RestAnd Other Stories About Food and Culture$
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Massimo Montanari

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157339

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157339.001.0001

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The Beautiful and the Good

The Beautiful and the Good

Chapter:
(p.112) Seven The Beautiful and the Good
Source:
Let the Meatballs Rest
Author(s):

Massimo Montanari

, Beth Archer Brombert
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231157339.003.0007

This chapter discusses the merits of food prepared with aesthetic considerations. The Chinese tradition maintains that for a food to be perfect, it has to stimulate all of the five senses, although this chapter will take particular focus on the sense of sight. Today color serves primarily to enhance the naturalness and freshness of the product, but a few centuries ago color was regarded as an artifice, an addition, a painterly touch that modified the natural appearance of the food. This attention to culinary artistry is not without its benefits, of course—as cultivating beauty even in the mere presentation of the dish improves the experience of it. As well, beauty itself is a natural desire inherent in all human beings—there will always be a need for it, not just within grand, celebratory banquets, but also in ordinary, everyday fare.

Keywords:   culinary tradition, five senses, food color, food aesthetics, food, food presentation

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