Ms. Child would have laughed, and might well have repeated her assertion that there never lived a “healthy, normal nutritionist who loves to eat.” Over the years, the author of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” lamented that, with the national obsession for healthy eating, “The dinner table is becoming a trap rather than a pleasure.” And it is indeed a sad thing to witness. Take the poor pastry chef at the White House: Interviewed in this week’s New Yorker, Bill Yosses starts out with a robust defense of sweets. “Dessert is aspirational,” he says. “It’s the purest part of the meal: the art part.” But then he seems to realize he’s strayed from company policy and deftly turns apologetic: “But it’s also the greediest part, the eat-it-in-a-closet part. We don’t have to have it, and we do.”
Dessert is the “greediest part, the eat-it-in-a-closet part”? Oh the odd
repression of perversion of pleasure in America.
Ms. Child worried that fear of food would be the death of gastronomy. But the gastronomy Ms. Child championed may yet prove to be the death of fearful eating. And that’s a resolution worth making. With a glass of cheer raised, I say à votre santé!