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GOURMAND-GOURMET?

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The unfortunate gastronomical situation is not peculiar to Harvard alone if one agrees with Thurston Macauley, writing in the current Forum. In an article mournfully titled "The Decline of Eating in America," Mr. Macauley says "Eating on this side of the Atlantic has become one of the lost arts." The problem Harvard faces also seems to be a national one--the result of America's special ogre, standardization. Cursing cafeterias and similar quick lunch places whose proud boast is a meal a minute, the epicure goes on to comment regretfully on the days when dinners were both edifying and edible. Like Christopher Morley he is a strong advocate of the Three Hours for Luncheon Club.

One meal and one meal only it is pointed out is treasured by the average American business man: namely, the weekly Kiwanian or Rotarian luncheon which, though not always marked by excellent fare, is at any rate a leisurely and companiable occasion. But is is not the fortune of everyone to be either a Kiwanian or a Rotarian and therefore the non-fraternal portion of America is left with a cup of coffee, a sandwich, and a tin plated armchair. The Forum author endeavors to solve the enigma. "To me our main difficulty seems to be a failure to make a distinction between the two words gourmand and gourmet. When we cease to regard eating as something to be done purely out of habit, finding in it instead untold aesthetic delights, our only regret will be that we did not comprehend earlier." So, after all, Harvard's problem may be merely linguistic.

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