"Tea! Thou soft, thou sober, sage, and venerable liquid, thou innocent pretence for bringing the wicked of both sexes together in a morning; thou female tongue-running, smile-smoothing, heart-opening, wink-tipping cordial, to whose glorious insipidity I owe the happiest moment of my life, let me fall prostrate thus, and...adore thee."
--the character Lord George, in The Lady's Last Stake, written by British playwright Colley Cibber (1671-1757)
"Two bad days followed. We had only sixty centimes left, and we spent it on half a pound of bread, with a piece of garlic to rub it with. The point of rubbing garlic on bread is that the taste lingers and gives one the illusion of having fed recently.
"We sat most of that day in the Jardin des Plantes. Boris had shots with stones at the the tame pigeons, but always missed them, and after that we wrote dinner menus on the back of envelopes. We were too hungry even to try and think of anything except food.
"I remember the dinner Boris finally selected for himself. It was: a dozen oysters, bortch soup (the red, sweet, beetroot soup with cream on top), crayfishes, a young chicken en casserole, beef with stewed plums, new potatoes, a salad, suet pudding and Roquefort cheese with a litre of Bugundy and some old brandy. Boris had international tastes in food. Later on, when we were prosperous, I occasionally saw him eat meals almost as large without difficulty."
--George Orwell, born Eric Blair in 1903 in India, died 1950. From his book Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)
"Then a sentimental passion of a vegetable fashion must excite your languid spleen, An attachment a la Plato for a bashful young potato, or a not-too-French French bean!" --Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836–1911), British parodist, librettist.
"Surely, of all creatures we eat, we are most brutal to snails. Helix optera is dug out of the earth where he has been peacefully enjoying his summer sleep, cracked like an egg, and eaten raw, presumably alive. Or boiled in oil. Or roasted in the hot ashes of a wood fire.... If God is a snail, Bosch’s depictions of Hell are going to look like a vicarage tea-party."
--Angela Carter (1940–1992), British postmodern novelist
But could a dream send up through onion fumes Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall, Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms Even if we were willing to let it in
--Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet and Illinois poet-laureate, from 'A Street in Bronzeville'
"The best quality tea must have creases like the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like a fine earth newly swept by rain." Lu Yu (d. 804), Chinese sage, hermit: from Cha'Ching: The Book of Tea
"In lecturing on cookery, as on housebuilding, I divide the subject into, not four, but five grand elements: first, Bread; second, Butter; third, Meat; fourth, Vegetables; and fifth, Tea—by which I mean, generically, all sorts of warm, comfortable drinks served out in teacups, whether they be called tea, coffee, chocolate, broma, or what not. I affirm that, if these five departments are all perfect, the great ends of domestic cookery are answered, so far as the comfort and well-being of life are concerned." --Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896), American Author: Household Papers and Stories (1864).
"So in our pride we ordered for breakfast an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda." --John Steinbeck, American writer 1902-1968, on traveling in the USSR
"The principal item of our diet was a mixture that looked like a dark brown brick, which consisted of beef-protein, lard, oatmeal, sugar and salt. This was cooked over the Primus to a thick mixture resembling pea-soup. Every four hours in the daytime we had a meal of this which we took scaldingly hot. Sometimes after this "hoosh" as Shackleton called it, we would have a half-pound block of Streimer's Nut Food, a food of the nougat type, extremely sweet, which however never cloyed our appetites down there. In between meals, if Shackleton thought that we needed gingering up in any way, he would suddenly issue a block of this or a half a dozen lumps of sugar and a biscuit of an especially nourishing kind that he had had prepared for his sledging trips."
--from the book "Endurance" by F. A. Worsley, ship's captain, about Shackleton's doomed voyage to the Antarctic and subsequent rescue