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                                                                                                                                                                Sunday Telegraph Seven , UK,  pp 12/13.
All the ingredients of gastronomy are being enjoyed.  Special food, special drink and special people at a special occasion.  As long as enjoyment   results, the word special  is not 100% in demand. 
Here is a more every-day situation.      


We're all enjoying the meal, thanks!

Looking at the picture, we can imagine a sequence.  Father is carving first as he is host.  Grandfather is recognised as equal so it's his turn to carve second time round.  Whoever they are, they're having a good time.   

Times have moved on from when carving was a regular Sunday lunch activity and when the boy would have been told to remove his elbows from the table.  Whether standards have moved on to the better is another matter.

If none of this interests you, please go to Macdonalds.  [That doesn't mean there is a link.]   We'll come and visit you much later.


What is gastronomy?

The simplest way to describe gastronomy is:

                                              The enjoyment of fine food and drink in good company.

Gastronomy looks at what is on the table and who is there.  The table has many forms, not least of which is the floor.


One is solo, two's company, three's an event.

The picture on the left may suggest someone alone enjoying bread, cheese and wine.  The middle picture intends to highlight the notion of two people enjoying food and wine together even if the food is absent from the free picture.   At what event are the  users of the three glasses drinking?   There's no agreement about what to drink, is there?  

Already, the social situation is seen as being relevant.  For some people,  the pictures should show beer and pizza and that is all part of gastronomy.  We can look at many other factors such as historical and green considerations.  The  choice of glass can be considered as a separate dimension of gastronomy much later. The definition, then, needs another word.......

The study of enjoyment of fine food and drink in good company.

... and a rider at the end .....

The study of enjoyment of fine food and drink in good company with the aim of improving enjoyment.

Let's look at the word study.  Here, it means being interested in.  Adding that to our definition makes it more unwieldy but let's look at it.

Being interested in the enjoyment of fine food and drink in good company with the aim of improving the enjoyment.

The good company dimension of our definition might benefit from attention.  Earlier, it was in the sentence The study of tra-la-la in good company which might imply that you need to study good company as well. 

Our circle of family, for most, is given.  We are born and it is there.  Our circle of friends is a matter of choice and we don't associate the word study with making that choice.  If you like, it's a variation upon the theme of natural selection

This circumnavigation around gastronomy intends to reassure people who may be put off at the mention of studying anything so natural as enjoying food and drink.  We don't sit up all night wondering why we like strawberries and not rhubarb. 

We are all students of life and that expression is taken for granted.  Most pages here are devoted to those who are not students in the formal sense of the word.

Focus on gastronomy enables you to learn how to improve your enjoyment of food and drink.  We'll finish for the moment on that theme.

We all have a personal gastronomy.  There is a household/family gastronomy.  The group shown above has a wider family gastronomy.  The family is part of a regional, then national gastronomy.

We know that the gastronomy of France, America, wherever, is different from that of Germany.  We go abroad to experience different gastronomies.   Gastronomy is everywhere.  Gastronomy is life.

Gastronomy focuses on the enjoyment of fine food and drink in good company.

It's a good sentence as it leaves scope for others beginning with "Gastronomy also focuses on ... ".  This site gives plenty of "also focuses on".


The site was transferred from its forerunner in December 2009 and at first it was stable.  Now, it is cumbersome and extremely time-consuming to edit and a new website has been created (late 2012) with another host.  There are more than 450 pages here and it will take a long time to transfer them. 

Another reason for the overhaul is to bring the site in line with most others re text size and mainly in one colour plus other criteria.   There was a top-of-the page link in the footer to every page.   An update in Dec 2010 said that regular viewers will have noticed this facility has vanished.  The website provider had been notified.


In March 2013, this site went through two weeks of inertia and nothing could be done.  The present host did as much as possible to solve the problems.  

If there is anything you want to suggest or ask, just make
contact via the link. 

Professor Alan F Harrison
UK West Midlands       Updates at top of vertical nav panel

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