Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22




This article shared 1513 times since Wed May 21, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Many things betray one's nationality, if for no other reason than that the common stereotypes hit bulls' eyes (which is why they are stereotypes). Frankly, though, I think that you can always tell where a fellow comes from by listening to him at the end of his dinner.

When an American pushes away from the table, he'll invariably say 'I'm full' (preceded, by polite Yanks, with 'No, thanks'). Variations on this commonplace, quite often heard on Thanksgiving Day, are 'God, I'm stuffed' or 'If I eat another bite, I'll explode.'

For an American, feeling sated is about quantity and space, particularly about how much food I can—or can no longer—fit into my stomach.

Quantity and space are the great American rubrics—bigger cars, the Homestead Act, keeping up with the Joneses, having a lawn to mow, home entertainment centers, men on the moon or, in that trite but telling Americanism, 'the whole nine yards.'

Few other cultures are as somatic about dinner's effect. And even when they are, they still tell all about their culture.

A Thai man might say Im lao kap—'I'm full'—but what is more crucial is that he first will have laid his fork and spoon crosswise, in a very specific design, in the middle of the plate. In the end, he needn't have said anything.

In India, Hindi speakers express, very elaborately, Mera pét bhar gaya hai, gha nya bad—'That is enough, my stomach is full, thank you very much.' Look at the words: a quick reference to the corporeal, book ended by both declarative and decorous expressions by one person to another. One stomach; two worlds.

Some peoples eschew any table talk about the body. It would never—jamais, jamais, jamais—occur to a Frenchman to say 'I am full' at the end of a meal.

Instead, Ca suffit or C'est suffisant are dainty French circumlocutions that tell the hostess 'That suffices' or, in an imperious phrase that would make both DeGaulle and Louis XIV proud, 'It is sufficient.'

The French are loathe to speak about their bodies. They consider themselves more refined than that, more cerebral, less somatic. It is true that their food and wine are celestial—but so are they.

A German, when he reaches that moment when he simply cannot eat any more, says Ich bin satt und zufrieden, 'I am satisfied and at peace.'

How deliciously cerebral; but it is more than that.

In German, der Friede means 'peace, tranquility,' but very much in the sense that it lends to the noun der Friedhof, cemetery, a place for the final deposit of all one's energy. And to zufrieden, at the end of a meal, 'I am at peace.'

Freud—that quintessential figurer of the Teutonic mind—held that the innate tension of organic life seeks release, relaxation. Sex was Freud's paradigm for that dynamic—he chose well—but all else living also embodies that move.

To Freud, all instincts—among them, for food—led to a death instinct, the final relaxation of all instincts, an end peace.

A German sitting in her chair at the end of a good dinner is walking her way toward the graveyard, in more ways than one, and she knows it and says it.

Perhaps the heartiest eaters in the world are Russians. Despite the image of the threadbare Russian cupboard, tables there groan with food and drink and a meal is as much about toasts, songs, laughs and more toasts as it is about eats.

So, after round after round of vodka and borscht, a Russian ends his meal with Ya naelsya, ''I've eaten and eaten until I just can't anymore.' Push him at that point for 'one more small bite' and he might retort Ya obelsya which means 'I'm so full that if you ask me again bad things will happen.'

The best things in Italy are like the perfect shoe: simple and exquisitely beautiful.

Because it is impolite to say 'I'm full' at the end of an Italian meal, a simple Basta, grazie ('Enough, thank you') will do, even No, grazie ('No, thank you').

But to shut down a meal, I have heard, too, the verbal applause, nearly sung out, of Ottimo! ('Excellent!') or Perfetto! ('Perfect!'). The Italian flag should have an exclamation point printed on its middle field.

So as not to remotely insult their hosts, Japanese say nothing when sated.

'In Japan, it is up to the host to know when not to serve any more food,' says Nobuko Katsumura, owner with her husband, Yoshi, of Yoshi's restaurant on Halsted Street.

Of course it is.


This article shared 1513 times since Wed May 21, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SAVOR Peruvian spot Tanta; fundraiser for The Evolved Network 2023-03-09
- One of the best things about Chicago cuisine is that you can travel the world without ever leaving the Windy City. The River North spot Tanta (118 W. Grand Ave.; embodies one such example. Tanta ...

Gay News

Let's Talk presents "Let's Talk & Celebrate" foodie bash March 2 2023-02-03
--From a press release - (CHICAGO) — Kick off Women's History Month with a "Let's Talk & Celebrate" Gold Glamour Gourmet bash by 35+ Chicagoland Let's Talk Womxn restaurateurs on Thursday, March 2, at Moe's Cantina in River North fr ...

Gay News

SAVOR Le Petit Chef: A singular, (literally) animated experience 2023-01-29
- There are experiences and then there are EXPERIENCES. If you're familiar with those recent Immersive Van Gogh and Kahlo events, imagine that transferred to a table setting and you have an idea of what's involved with ...

Gay News

FDA to relax rules of blood donations for gay, bisexual men 2023-01-27
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly slated to lift restrictions on blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men. However, there's at least one stipulation, The Advocate reported: A gay or bisexual ...

Gay News

SAVOR Bacon Lover's Brunch at Frontier; Chicago Restaurant Week 2023-01-22
- "Bacon's the best. Even the frying of bacon sounds like applause."—Jim Gaffigan Judging from that quote, revered comic Jim Gaffigan would certainly have had a lot of fun at the Bacon Lover's Brunch at Frontier (1072 ...

Gay News

SAVOR Uproar; Feb. 2 benefit dinner 2023-01-19
- According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an uproar can be "a loud and impassioned noise or disturbance" or "a public expression of protest and outrage." Scott Horwitch—the owner of Old Town spot Uproar (1252 N. Wells ...

Gay News

SAVOR The Hen of Lincoln Park 2022-11-20
- There are several reasons that The Hen of Lincoln Park (2423 N. Clark St.; is a popular brunch spot. Nested in the heart of—surprise!—Lincoln Park, this casual spot is in a location that draws a ...

Gay News

SAVOR Celebrity Chef Ball; 'Chefsgiving'; Ralph's Coffee 2022-11-18
- More than 50 top Chicago chefs—including many Michelin, James Beard, and Bib Gourmand awardees—worked together to create a truly unique experience for supporters of Meals on Wheels Chicago (MoWC). Because of their hard work and the ...

Gay News

SAVOR Tabu 2022-11-06
- The West Loop has no shortage of tantalizing brunches to try each weekend. Add Tabu's (401 N. Morgan St.; to the mix. This pan-Latin spot ...

Gay News

SAVOR Matcha Cita 2022-10-31
- Just steps from the Morgan stop on the Pink and Green lines is a heavenly place. And if you don't believe this writer about Matcha Cita (1017 W. Lake St., with an additional spot at Studio ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more 2022-10-24
- —COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...

Gay News

BOOKS Lesbian co-author discusses 'No More Police: A Case for Abolition' 2022-10-18
- "We don't need all the answers to start down the road toward where we want to go: a world where everyone has safety, food, clean water, shelter, education, health, art, beauty, and rest."—No More Police: A ...

Gay News

SAVOR Plant-based spot Planta Queen 2022-10-07
- I will admit it: I was skeptical about dining at the River North spot Planta Queen (413 N. Clark St.; Although I do love my meat, I have occasionally ...

Gay News

SAVOR Hundreds attend Chicago Gourmet 2022-09-30
- Hundreds of people attended this year's Chicago Gourmet, one of the nation's most distinguished culinary festivals. Founding partner Illinois Restaurant Association, along with presenting sponsor Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits ...

Gay News

SAVOR Latin Restaurant Weeks running Sept. 16-30 2022-09-14
- Latin Restaurant Weeks (LRW) will take place Sept. 16-30 in various cities, including Chicago. Illinois has the nation's fifth-largest Hispanic population; Chicago has more than 29% of people who identify as Hispanic. LRW partners with Hispani ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.