Monday, March 29, 2010

Revenge is a Dish best served cold

Once again, my friend Zep has taken control of this blog.  He checked with his Probation Officer and he can count this as community service.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” I recently heard the 1840’s literary French proverb by a newsperson on TV. I have read it in articles, seen the phrase used in crime shows and again in editorials. Despite my best efforts I have no idea what it means.  
The people who use this phrase appear wise and intelligent. It is always the last statement in discourse as if we have to ponder the fate of those who choose to live by it. The proverb sounds like something coming from the Old Testament or an ancient Greek philosopher.
 So I set off on a journey to find out the meaning of this profound message. First, I asked all the intelligent people I knew. They gave me long winded explanations that did not satisfy my understanding. Some just looked at me and explained, “If you do not understand the meaning then I’m not going to waste any time explaining it to you.” Translation: “Hell if I know what it means but I’m not going to let you know that I am as dumb as you.”
Then I looked at the phrase itself. Heck, I’m not that slow, am I? It obviously speaks about revenge but is the proverb a warning to the vengeful person to be careful or a suggestion on the best way to accomplish the act of vengeance.  And what about the cold part? Some dishes are good cold and some are good hot. The phrase seems to say, “Hey, you can give out hot vengeance but it’s much better given out cold.  Good luck.”
Not getting far, I decided to turn to the internet. I learned that the original proverb in French translated to “Revenge is a dish best eaten cold”. The explanations of the proverb did not help me understand its meaning, but I was now getting the picture. Create a phrase that is so ridiculous that others will think it is profound.  So here are some of my new profound proverbs.
Envy is a bush best left untrimmed.
Love is a hole best left filled.
Anger is a worm best used as bait.
Joy is a sock best worn inside-out.
Futility is a phrase best left untyped.
So if these don’t make any sense but sound interesting, welcome to the club. In 150 years, everyone is going to be saying these profound and wise proverbs. 


  1. Perhaps instead of revenge, the literal translation was Gazpacho is best served cold. Here is a recipe. Enjoy and serve to all the people who you are seeking revenge on!
    3 tomatoes, chopped
    2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
    1/2 red onion, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    1 Tbsp. lemon juice
    4 cups vegetable cocktail juice
    garlic croutons and cold cooked shrimp for garnish
    In a large glass bowl, combine all ingredients except croutons and shrimp and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to blend flavors. Serve chilled, topped with croutons or cold cooked shrimp. Serves 6

  2. Holy Moley, Anonymous! Who wants vengeance when you can have killer gazpacho? Many thanks!

  3. Just in time for the summer season. I've been looking for a good gazpacho recipe. This one looks delicious Anonymous (Fran?) Thanks!