table matters


Excellent new food and drink magazine. (full disclosure: it was started by my editor at the Smart Set, Jason Wilson and features the writing of my brilliant and lovely and desperately-tragically-wrong-about-way-the-books-should-be-arranged-in-the-apartment wife Stefany Anne Golberg).

The syphilitic dipsomaniac poet Paul Verlaine wrote a most wonderful description of decadence:

I love this word decadence, all shimmering in purple and gold. It suggests the subtle thoughts of ultimate civilization, a high literary culture, a soul capable of intense pleasures. It throws off bursts of fire and the sparkle of precious stones. It is redolent of the rouge of courtesans, the games of the circus, the panting of the gladiators, the spring of wild beasts, the consuming in flames of races exhausted by their capacity for sensation, as the tramp of an invading army sounds.

Don’t we all want our food to be like bursts of fire and panting gladiators? Proponents of meat-eating often hold decadence up as their banner. They imply that no one who really loved food, who loved life, would decline meat. This puts vegetarians on the defensive. Their bulwark is the claim that meat-eaters are selfish, or that vegetarian food needn’t be (maybe even shouldn’t be) decadent because it is morally superior. But just on the horizon is a vegetarianism all shimmering in purple and gold.

more from Shuffy’s Veg-O-Matic column here.

more from Table Matters here.