Discover these 12 fantastic food sayings

Discover these 12 fantastic food sayings

by Andrea Byaruhanga

Updated August 12, 2022

There’s nothing that connects us quite like food.

Sure, among different cultures, food takes many different forms—the foods each of us grew up eating might look nothing alike. Le petit-déjeuner in France may be completely foreign to someone looking for a full English breakfast.  

But despite those cultural differences, there’s one common thread: Food is a huge part of life everywhere in the world. It feeds our bodies and our souls; it helps us mourn and celebrate.   

Since food is something everyone can understand, it’s a great topic to help you learn a language. So, we’ve gathered some of our favorite food sayings for you to add to your English practice. Some are inspiring quotes about food, some are funny food sayings—and all of them are sure to give you something to think about.  

  1. “A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller
  2. “Cucumber should be well sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar and then thrown out as good for nothing.” – Samuel Johnson
  3. “Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” – Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt
  4. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
  6. “An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.” – Will Rogers
  7. “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti
  8. “A party without cake is just a meeting.”  – Julia Child
  9. “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis
  10. “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini
  11. “Real food doesn’t have ingredients. Real food is ingredients.” – Jamie Oliver 
  12. “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington 

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1. “A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller

Award-winning American chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller is the only American chef to have been given three Michelin stars at two different restaurants. He’s also the author of The French Laundry Cookbook

2. “Cucumber should be well sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar and then thrown out as good for nothing.” – Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson was an 18th-century British writer, poet, essayist, journalist and literary critic who is well known for his quotable sayings, or aphorisms. Johnson also wrote A Dictionary of the English Language in 1755.

3. “Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” – Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt

In addition to his work as a grief counselor, death educator and best-selling author, Dr. Alan Wolfelt is also the founder and director of the Center for Loss and Life transition. 

4. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien was a 20th-century British author, poet and English language scholar. He’s most famous for having written the fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

5. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf

British author Virginia Woolf was one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. On top of writing novels such as To the Lighthouse and A Room of One’s Own, she was also an essayist, biographer and short-story writer.

6. “An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.” – Will Rogers

American comedian, author, actor and social commentator Will Rogers got his start performing in vaudeville shows. He was loved for his common sense and witty comments, and authored several books including The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition and Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like.

7. “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti

Italian musician Luciano Pavarotti was one of the most famous opera singers ever. He was part of the operatic group The Three Tenors, along with Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo, and famously collaborated with other musicians such as U2’s Bono and The Spice Girls.

8. “A party without cake is just a meeting.”  – Julia Child

Credited with making French cooking accessible to Americans, Julia Child is the author of the 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (along with numerous other cookbooks). She was also a TV chef who was featured in shows like “The French Chef” and “Baking with Julia.”

9. “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis

Jim Davis is best known as the American cartoonist who created Garfield. He’s also a writer and producer for film and television. 

10. “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini

Italian screenwriter and film director Federico Fellini is thought to have been one of the most important filmmakers of the 20th century. His films include 8 ½, La dolce vita and La strada. 

11. “Real food doesn’t have ingredients. Real food is ingredients.” – Jamie Oliver 

British chef Jamie Oliver rose to fame with his television show “The Naked Chef” in 1999; he’s since starred in numerous other cooking shows. He’s also a cookbook author, restaurateur and an advocate for healthy lunches for school children. 

12. “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington 

A well-loved British journalist and humor columnist, Miles Kington is most famous for his comical series of columns about Franglais, a combination of English and French. His columns were later compiled into books like Let’s Parler Franglais. 


Add some flavor to your English practice with food sayings

Food quotes can be inspiring, entertaining and thought-provoking. To keep your English-learning sessions interesting, try incorporating sayings related to food. You can read and interpret them on your own, or share them with others and practice your English conversation skills—after all, everyone has something to say about food!

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Andrea is a Canadian freelance writer and editor specializing in English, e-learning, EdTech, and SaaS. She has a background as an ESL teacher in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. In her free time, Andrea loves hanging out with her husband and children, creating recipes in the kitchen, and reading fiction. She also loves camping and jumping into lakes whenever possible. Learn more about Andrea on LinkedIn or check out her website.

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