Can one learn to enjoy? Nutritionist Eva Derndorfer thinks yes. She specializes in pleasures when eating and wrote a book about it: “Genuss – über Epikur, Erdmandeln und Experimente beim Essen“ (Pleasure – Epicure, Tiger Nuts and Experiments when eating).
The hedonist Epikur already knew in ancient Greece that the premise for enjoyment is knowledge and attention. This thought forms the premise of the whole book, through which Derndorfer informs and sensitizes perception through knowledge, to ultimately increase enjoyment. She does so over the course of four large chapters. The first is thoughtful, addressing the power of pleasure, and the fine line between pleasure and decadence. The second part deals with the decadence of food. Which physiological effects do tea, coffee, and chocolate have on us? What makes them so irresistible? The book continues with an exploration of the combinations of food. Different pairings are discovered (e.g. salmon with coffee and spices) and explained: what fits so well together and why? In the end we are exposed to a tutorial in enjoyment and Derndorfer demonstrates once again the importance of the interaction between the senses. She provides instructions for experiments which can help train the olfactory senses or sensitize the perception of the interaction of color and taste. With this, the book is full of interesting information and suggestions, making it worthwhile reading for epicures and those wanting to learn.