Saturday, April 11, 2009

Acquired Tastes

Acquired Tastes
by Peter Mayle

The ultimate finer things guide for the wealthy gentleman. This book is a collection of short essays on experiencing some truly extravagant luxuries. In a nutshell (not adjusted for inflation since the late 80s/early 90s):

1. $1,300 hand-cut, hand-stitched, hand-built shoes -- your feet are reported to become elegant, lose weight, and turn from frogs into princes. I can't even imagine, since I wear pointy-toed masochist shoes every day.

2. Mistresses -- my take-away from this essay was that I need to become one. Graciously receive finer things presents without any obligation to wash the man's socks.

3. Servants -- my servants would love me. They'd have huge pictures of me up on the walls and in their homes, like Lenin.

3. Caviar (and we're not talking about any random fish eggs in a can or jar, but specifically the eggs of the sturgeon) -- according to Mayle, it should be eaten straight up, with a spoon. I grew up on caviar. I didn't have blue jeans, but I had caviar. We always ate it on buttered bread.

4. The malt -- Mayer recommends Glenfiddich (excellent for beginners, best-selling single malt in the world), Glenmorangie (aged for ten years in old bourbon barrels), and Laphroaig (the most richly flavored of all Scottish whiskies). Malt tasting party anyone?

4. $1,000 folding Panama hat -- it's made of straw.

3 out of 5

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