Books: Non Disputandum

THE PHYSIOLOGY OF TASTE by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Translated by M.F.K. Fisher. 443 pages. Knopf. $10.

Brillat-Savarin is best known for the aphorism poached by generations of cookbook compilers: "Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are." It is merely one of dozens to be found in this exhilarating collection of essays, anecdotes and opinions that has become a gastronomic classic.

The author was a wealthy, conservative lawyer who was born in the old province of Burgundy in 1755. He sat out the French Revolution in America, then went home to re-establish himself in the elegant world...

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