The French Gigots

Next come some remarks on the appetite, and the danger of disobeying its calls. To illustrate this, there is a most awful story, which I cannot detail in cold blood. That any man, however high a public functionary he might be, should leave his company four hours and a half in the agonies of hunger and expectation while he was at a public council, seems a pitch of depravity incredible even in a Frenchman; and that the company should have waited out the infliction without pillaging his house, or setting fire to it, or even adopting the extremely lenient course of walking off and dining elsewhere, seems an equally praeter-Gallic observance of these convenances which form the French moral code. Afterward we have some anecdotes of great appetites, derived from the author’s personal observation; among others one of a curé, who used to consume in his mid-day meal a capon and a leg of mutton, not to mention the trifling accessories of soup, salad and cheese. It must be remembered, however, that the French gigots are decidedly diminutive, and not to be named in comparison with the legs which English clowns eat for wagers.

Table Aesthetics, 1848

September 9, 2014