The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a new star.–Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), Physiologie du Goût (1826)
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, born April 1, 1755 in Belley, France, died February 2, 1826, in Paris. He was a lawyer, politician and writer of one of the important works on gastronomy ever written, Physiologie du Goût, meaning literally “the physiology of taste”, a handbook of gastronomy that is a must for any serious cookbook collection. As a lawyer and deputy of the third estate at the States-General of 1789, he was forced to flee to Switzerland and the United States during the Terror. He returned to France in 1796 and became a judge of the court of cassation during Napoleon’s consulate. He published several works on law and political economy before his classic work on gastronomy.