CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
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I'll Have What She's Having

I'll Have What She's Having

Jewish Delis Are Noisy, Crude Eating Places That Turned the Idea of the Restaurant on Its Head

My maternal grandparents, Jean and Lou Kaplan, did not keep kosher. That was their ancestors’ way, the path of slavish adherence to the stringencies of Jewish law. But old habits die hard, and they never ate the foods they had not consumed as children. They would sooner have taken off all their clothes and danced naked in front of their neighbors in Flushing, Queens, than down ham, clams, or even a cheeseburger.

So when we went out to eat with my grandparents, we invariably gravitated to a Jewish deli. It was the deli, of all places, where they seemed most at home, where my grandmother could wrap her mouth around a tongue sandwich, and my grandfather slurp up his mushroom barley soup, before proceeding, with renewed gusto, to …

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Henry VIII Wasn't a Glutton—He Was Just an Injured King

Henry VIII Wasn't a Glutton—He Was Just an Injured King

Then Why Is the English Monarch Portrayed as a Fatso Who Tossed Chicken Bones?

Henry VIII is the most famous king in English history. Like all fame, Henry’s is a mix of fact and myth. He is most famous for having six wives, which he did. He is also famous for composing “Greensleeves,” which he did not. He is famous for breaking from Rome and becoming the head of the Church in England, which he was. He is thought by some to be famous for being a glutton, which he was not.

Henry was certainly a big man. When he became king just before his 18th birthday, he stood 6-foot-2 in his socks. He inherited the height and the strength of his Yorkist grandfather Edward IV through his mother, Queen Elizabeth. Like Edward, he was considered handsome by his countrymen and foreign observers. Henry had a good opinion of his own appearance and was …

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I Feast, Therefore I Am

I Feast, Therefore I Am

What's on Our Plates—Foie Gras or Grilled Cheese—Says a Lot About What's in Our Wallets

We shouldn’t let today’s cultural obsessions with health and moderation diminish the pleasure of partaking in feasts that connect us to friends and family, panelists agreed during an “Open Art” event on gluttony co-presented by the Getty at the Redondo Beach Historic Library.

Those panelists—a historian, an author of a book on gluttony, and a well-known chef—argued that feasting helps define us as human. When the moderator, Zócalo Public Square publisher Gregory Rodriguez, posed the question that gave the event its title, “Can Gluttony Be a Virtue?,” the chef, Eric Greenspan, replied: “If it’s gluttony to sit around with a lot of friends and have good food and get drunk, then you’ve got your answer.” …

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Can Gluttony Set You Free?

Can Gluttony Set You Free?

Indulging in Purposeful Passion or Good Food Can Help You Grow and Even Be Healthier

On the question of excess—of too much food, drink, or anything else—poet William Blake wrote, “You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.”

This bit of wisdom from Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790) gets at how tricky it can be to measure how much is too much—to know when the glass is full and set to overflow.

In modern America, one need not look hard for signs of excess. Everything is big here, from our cars to the portions of our meals. Indeed, one-third of American adults are obese. On the other hand, we’re obsessed with healthiness and moderation, as evidenced by “carbophobia” and our fixation on the latest diet fad.

When we move toward asceticism, what do we miss? In advance of the Zócalo/Getty event “Can Gluttony Be a Virtue?’ we asked a handful …

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