Food and Beauty Throughout the Centuries

Believe it or not, beauty is something we have always looked for in food. We barely dare to eat something that looks weird, or worse, almost disgusting, even if we’ve heard that it’s tasty and delicious.

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This necessity of a “good looking” meal is not recent news. As far back as the ancient Romans’ era, eating was already related to beauty. When people in the upper class hosted a dinner, the buffet was composed as a work of art with every food item chosen for its color and shape, in order to create something pleasant for the eye. Also, the choice of the food offered to guests reminded them of their host’s wealth and power and so, this generated constant research for the finest ingredients.

For instance, there is a legend which tells the story of a rich Roman businessman who constantly hosted dinners for his friends and the food prepared for his guests was something very rare such as roasted parrot, dormouse and pig’s utero.

After the Romans, the French just before the 18th century revolution were famous for their extravagant and amazing food “shows”. Eating at the King’s palace meant a rich buffet and an all-night-long arrival of new food, until guests fell asleep as the sun was rising with stomachs full of delicious, amazing cuisine.

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Image belongs to FELA re im

Now in the 21st century, our love for beautiful food seems stronger than ever before. Maybe thanks to image-based social media (Instagram, Pinterest and so on), this search for the “most good-looking meal ever”  has become deeply felt and real. This process led us to inventions such as the astonishing Sushi Donuts and the colorful Rainbow Bagels, just to name a few.

Unlike the Romans and the French though, most of the time in our modern age the guests invited to our amazing dinners are only virtual and they comment on the food by just looking at it, without even tasting it. Since that’s the flavour of the day, get your cameras ready — it’s time to cook!


By Marta Ciaraglia