Charles Fourier, the nineteenth century French Utopian Socialist, saw gastronomy as a key to political philosophy. Sex and food should be the dual bases of the new socialist order, which he referred to as “Gastrosophy.” Continual stimulation of the senses would bring about a true harmony of interests, as enforced by elitist culinary judges and juries [TC: who enforces the sex part?]. But sadly culinary science had been corrupted by capitalism and its imposition of artificial scarcity. Fourier considered the Aristotelian virtue of moderation to be an abomination. He saw the socialist future as bringing five meals a day plus two snacks. Men will be seven feet tall, digestion will be easy, and life expectancy will reach 144 years. Fourier, of course, in addition predicted that socialism would bring ships pulled by dolphins and oceans full of lemonade. But hey, not everyone is perfect. They also laughed when he proclaimed that the steam locomotive would revolutionize European travel.
That is by me, of course. I thank Priscilla Ferguson’s intriguing Accounting for Taste: The Triumph of French Cuisine for some of the details.