Lifestyle

Are you enjoying your food?

Article published on Jan. 11, 2006
From the magazine
Article published on Jan. 11, 2006

Have you ever wondered why, whilst the French wish fellow eaters bon appétit, the Germans a hearty guten Appetit and the Italians an impassioned buon appetito, English speakers say nothing, or perhaps just mumble a clumsy “enjoy your food” before tucking in? It’s not that they don’t relish their food or hope that others won’t either (well, perhaps Mr Chirac wouldn’t!). It is simply because Puritanism considered food as merely something to keep one alive so as to then serve God. To take pleasure in food and eating was to detract from one’s, and food’s, quite simple purpose. And so, by accident of history and quirk of religion, the English language does not have its own saying. Perhaps that’s not so important in today’s world of international cuisine - we’ll just use someone else’s!