Looking at the two pictures in sequence at the top, grandfather is carving first as he is host. Son/son-in-law is then recognised as equal in his own domain so it's his turn to carve. [He's even changed his shirt and hair-style!] 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 is another matter.
If none of this interests you, please go to Macdonalds. We'll come and visit you much later.
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 pictuure 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.
That is the banner at the foot of every page on this site.
This site is under construction. The site was created in December 2009 and contains material from my other website at www.gastronomy-on-line.com/which no longer functions. There are new pages on this site.
If there is anything you want to suggest or ask, just make contact via the link.
Alan F Harrison
Herefordshire UK West Midlands
Try the two-minute synopsis next - top-left panel.