Before I get accused of encouraging a wave of gluttony across the many nations of the world, I should point out that eating can make you fat. To illustrate the point, let us have a look at what Patrick Leigh Fermor saw when he went to the Hofbrauhaus in Munich in the winter of 1933/34 (from the book A Time of Gifts):
"The trunks of these feasting burghers were as wide as casks. The spread of their buttocks over the oak benches was not far short of a yard.and they branched at the loins into thighs as big as the torsos of ten-year-olds and arms on the same scale strained like bolsters at the confining serge. Chin and chest formed a single column, and each close-packed nape was creased with its three deceptive smiles. Every bristle had been cropped and shaven from their knobbly scalps. Except when five o'clock veiled them with shadow, surfaces as polished as ostriches' eggs reflected the lamplight. The frizzy hair of their wives was wrenched up from scarlet necks and pinned under slides and then hatted with green Bavarian trilbys and round one pair of elaphantine shoulders a little fox stole was clasped. The youngest of this group, resembling a matinee idol under some cruel spell, was the bulkiest. Under tumbling blonde curls his china blue eyes protruded from cheeks that might have been blown up with a bicycle pump, and cherry lips laid bare the sort of teeth that make children squeal. There was nothing bleary or stunned about their eyes. The setting may have reduced their size, but it keyed their glances to a sharper focus. Hands like bundles of sausages flew nimbly, packing in fork load on fork load of ham, salami, Frankfurt, krenwurst and blutwurst and stone tankards were lifted for long swallows of liquid which sprang out again instantaneously on cheek and brow. They might have been competing with stop watches, and their voices, only partly gagged by the cheekfuls of good things they were grinding down, grew louder while their unmodulated laughter jarred the air in frequent claps. Pumpernickel and aniseed roles and bretzels breached all the slack moments but supplies always came through before a true lull threatened. Huge oval dishes, laden with schweinebraten, potatoes, sauerkraut, red cabbage and dumplings were laid in front of each diner. They were followed by colossal joints of meat – unclassifiable helpings which, when they were picked clean, shone on the scoured chargers like calves' pelvises or the bones of elephants. Waitresses with the build of weight lifters and all-in wrestlers whirled this provender along and features dripped and glittered like faces at an ogre's banquet but all too soon the table was an empty boneyard once more, sound faltered, a look of bereavement clouded those small eyes and there was a brief hint of sorrow in the air."
Happy 325th …
36 minutes ago