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“Sayings, Wise and Otherwise,” (also in the “The Sayings of Dr. Bushwhacker and Other Wise Men”) by Frederic S. Cozzens; American Book Exchange, New York; 1880; pp. 140-142.



A French Breakfast.*

M. LE Prince de Talleyrand gave a déjeûner à la fourchette at which the illustrious Brillat Savarin was a guest. This great philosopher gives us the bill of fare, interspersed with his own reflections and directions, which I have translated for the edification of all gourmets.


P. D.

1st. Guinea hens’ eggs fried in quail’s fat, spread with a coulis (gravy) of écrevisse (a species of crawfish), very warm, each egg being a single morsel, and taken at a mouthful, after having been well turned in the coulis.

Eat pianissimo.

After each egg drink two fingers of old Madeira. This wine to be drunk with reflection. (Recueillement.)

2d. Lake Trout with Montpelier butter, iced (butter made with aromatic herbs). Roll each morsel nicely and perfectly in this high-flavored seasoning.

Drink two glasses of fine Sauterne or Latour Blanche. To be drunk contemplatively.


3d. Fillets of the breast of Grouse, with white truffles of Piemant — raw, in slices.

Place each fillet between two layers of truffles, and let them soak well in gravy à la périgueux, made of black truffles served apart.

Eat forte, on account of the white truffles being raw.

Drink two glasses of Château Margaux; the beautiful flavor of this wine will be most apparent after drinking.

4th. Roasted Rail on a Crust, à la Sardanapale; the legs and side-bones to be eaten only; the leg not to be cut in two; take it between the thumb and fingers; salt it lightly; put the thigh part between the teeth and chew it all, meat and bone.

Eat largo and fortissimo, at the same time take a cut of the hot crust, prepared with a condiment of liver and brain of woodcock, goose liver of Strasbourg, marrow of red deer, and pounded anchovies, highly spiced.

Drink two glasses of Clos Vougeot; pour out this wine with emotion, and drink with a religious sentiment.

5th. Morilles (a species of large and exquisite mushrooms), with fine herbs and essence of ham; let these divine cryptogamas melt in the mouth.

Eat pianissimo.

Drink a glass of Côte Rôtie, or a glass of very old Johannesberger. No recommendation as to the way of drinking this wine (the Côte Rôtie); it is commanding and self-imposing; as to the Johannesberger, treat it like a venerable patriarch.


6th. Bouchées à la Duchesse, with pine-apple jelly.

Eat amoroso.

Drink two or three glasses of Champagne, Sillery Sec, Verzeney, non Mousseux (still) iced to snow.

7th. Brie Cheese, or Estanville (near Meaux).

Drink one glass of port.

Then, if you please, an excellent cigar (demi regalia de Cabañas), after which one small glass of Curaçao, and a siesta, during which you will dream of the beauties of the dinner to come.

Each course of such a breakfast must be served only at the time the cook is ready; the guest must wait, not the cook, so that the dishes may be presented in perfect order.


*  See Preface.

Elf.Ed — Although this footnote is in the text of Sayings, Wise and Otherwise, it has no preface and was clearly copied from The Sayings of Dr. Bushwhacker and Other Learned Men. In that Preface, Cozzens states, on p. 6, ‘Mr. Paul Dinet, of Ay, Champagne, wrote “A French Breakfast,” a composition of his own, but which, with an author’s license, he attributed to Brillat Savarin.’ It was first published in his magazine The Wine Press.


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