A 40 Course Meal?

Perhaps it is a bit over the top, but a 40 course meal to celebrate a significant event in one’s life isn’t an outrageous affront to my sensibilities. Would I do it? No, I think that after a dozen courses and a few hours the food becomes an afterthought. I don’t think that I have the fortitude — intestinal, emotional or intellectual — to take seriously that much of a meal. I have spent four hours at a dinner table, but the company was the highlight, with the food a delightful addition to a wonderful evening.

7 Replies to “A 40 Course Meal?”

  1. i’ve been lucky enough to have more multi-course marathon meals than i can remember.

    depending on the size of each course, after a few courses, or few hours, i don’t care about the food, and i get uncomfortable sitting in the same chair for so long.

    if i could hang out with my friends on the couch or in the yard or walking around the kitchen and have someone bring little nibbles to us all night long, well that’s a different story. i’d probably enjoy 40 nibbles. but i still wouldn’t care too much about what i was nibbling after the first 12 or 15.

  2. El Bulli in Barcelona has a 35-course tasting menu divided into snacks, followed tapas, then cheese. It’s a 6-hour ordeal (you start at 8 pm and go until 2 am). I had my choice between that or The Fat Duck (London) for my 50th birthday and went with the Duck because, among other reasons, I can’t sit in a chair for 6 frigging hours!

  3. I am deeply suspicious of Molecular Gastronomy, in part because in my experience the simplicity of a dish is closely correlated with its ability to evoke pleasure. Too much fiddling with too many ingredients becomes tiresome for the palate. And six hours in a chair is too much like a plane flight, which I try to avoid.

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