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A Potpourri of Food Quotes

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Quotations, adages, sayings and proverbs embellish our speech. They help us to express our thoughts effectively, subtly, beautifully and sometimes lace our talk with humour. Here is a small compilation of quotations pertaining to food and topics related to it. This compilation is the outcome of my dad’s collection during his 3-month stay in Singapore.

  • A hen’s egg is quite simply a work of art, a masterpiece of design and construction with, it has to be said, brilliant packaging – Della Smith, English Cook
  • A menu is a list of dishes that a restaurant has just run out of – Erma Bourbeck
  • Now, good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both – Shakespeare
  • Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker – Ogden Nash, American Humourist
  • Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education – Mark Twain
  • Christmas is the alcoholidays – Sigmund Freud
  • He was a legend in his own lunch time – Chirstopher Wordsworth
  • Human beings do not eat nutrients, they eat food – Mary Catherine Batson
  • I ‘m only a beer teetotaler, not a champagne teetotaler – George Bernard Shaw
  • I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me – Winston Churchill
  • I miss my wife’s cooking, as often as I can – Henry Youngman
  • Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon – Doug Larson
  • No man can be wise on an empty stomach – George Eliot
  • One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well – Virginia Woolf, English Novelist
  • Romanian-Yiddish cooking has killed more Jews than Hitler – Zero Mostel
  • The French cook; the English open tins – John Gilsworthy
  • The two biggest sellers in any bookshop are the cook books and the diet books. The cook books tell you how to prepare the food and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it – Andy Rooney
  • There is no love sincerer than the love of food – George Bernard Shaw
  • When I was a nurse my favourite assignment was the anorexic ward. I sometimes ate as many as seventeen dinners – Jo Brand
  • When the waitress puts the dinner on the table, the old men look at the dinner, the young men look at the waitress – Gelett Burgess
  • When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So let us all get drunk and go to heaven –Brian O’ Rourke
  • Whisky making is the art of making poison pleasant – Samuel Johnson
  • Willpower is being able to eat just one salted peanut –Pat Elphinstone
  • Wine is bottled poetry – R.L. Stevenson

Cheesy Quotes

  • A meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman who lacks an eye – Jean Anthelme Brillat – Savarin
  • Cheese – Milk’s leap towards immortality – Cliff Fadiman
  • How can one conceive of a one-party system in a country that has over two hundred varieties of cheese? – Charles Degaulle

Contradictory Proverb

  • Too many cooks spoil the broth, Many hands make light work – Anon

Diets and Dieting

  • Can it be a coincidence that “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backwards? – Anon
  • Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet – Anon
  • I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond – May West, American Actress
  • No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain you might look good, but all you could do is run for office – Covert Bailey


  • If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even puff – Dean Martin
  • One reason I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time – Nancy Astor


  •  Fasting is better than prayer – Saint Clement
  • Feast today makes fast tomorrow – Titus Maccius Plautus
  • He who fasteth and doeth no good saveth his bread but loseth his soul – Henry George Bohm
  • The best of all medicines are resting and fasting – Benjamin Franklin

Food and Drink

  • A gourmet is just a glutton with brains – Philip W. Haberman Jr.
  • When I was small, I would refuse to drink when I ate fish because I thought the fish would reconstitute itself in my stomach – Peter Ustinov

Food Stuffs

  •  When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat – Mark Twain

For the Love of Wine 

  • Milk is a drink of babies, tea the drink of women, water the drink of beasts, and wine is the drink of the Gods – John Stuart Blackie
  • When the wine is in, the wit is out – Thomas Becon, English Clergyman


  • A hungry man is an angry one – Buchi Emecheta
  • A hungry man is not a free man – Adlai E. Stevenson
  • An empty stomach is not a good political advisor – Albert Einstein
  • Happiness rarely keeps company with an empty stomach – Helen Keller
  • If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one – Mother Teresa
  • The full man does not understand the wants of the hungry – Karl Marx
  • The God which cannot give me food in this world, cannot give me Heaven in the other world- Swami Vivekananda
  • To a man with an empty stomach, food is God – Swami Vivekananda
  • Your problems pale in comparison with those of the millions of people in the world who do not have enough to eat – Michael Johnson


  • To eat is human, to digest, divine – Mark Twain

Proverbs from Different Countries 

  • A fast is better than a bad meal – Ireland
  • A piece of bread in one’s pocket is better than a feather in one’s hat –Sweden
  • Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide – Hebrew Proverb
  • England’s favourite fry-Stephen Fry (Popular Comedian)
  • Fine words do not produce food – Nigeria
  • Food tastes best when you eat it with your own spoon – Denmark
  • Give a man a fish, you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime – China
  • God never sent hunger without sending something to satisfy it – Ireland
  • He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors – China
  • If you are looking for a fly in your food, it means that you are full – S Africa
  • It is easier to halve the potato when there’s love – Ireland
  • The best food is whatever fills the belly – Arabian Proverb
  • When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them – China
  • Who fasts but does no other good saves his bread but goes to hell – Italy
  • Whose bread I eat, his song I sing – Germany

Sign at a Belgian Monastery

  •  The good Lord has changed water into wine, so how can drinking beer be a sin?

Sober Thoughts on the Drunken State

  • Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy – Frank Sinatra
  • I don’t have a drinking problem, except when I can’t find a drink – Tom Waits
  • I was so drunk last night, I fell down and missed the floor – Dean Martin


  • I am moving towards being vegan. When I crack an egg now, I look and think could that have become a baby – Heather Mills
  • Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet – Albert Einstein
  • Why we ourselves are the living graves of the murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth? – George Bernard Shaw


  •  The waist is a terrible thing to mind, the mind is a terrible thing to waste – Anon


  •  Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may whet my mind and say something clever – Aristophanes


  • Des Mac Hale Cork, Wit Wit Wit.
  • Ned Sherrin, Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations.
  • John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, Advanced Banter – The QI Book of Quotations
  • Rajesh Kavassery, Arunaa’s Book of Quotations (Inspiring Quotes)
  • Rose Marie Jarski, Dim Wit – The Funniest, Stupidest Things Ever Said.
  • Rose Marie Jarski, Words from the Wise.
  • The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Humorous Quotations
  • Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader – Quintessential Collection of Notable Quotables.
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