Messed Up at Midday

Time Magazine’s “Summer Journey” issue (a little long in the tooth now, as it came out back in June, but hey) features a vivid snapshot of food in the world today. It has articles on kaiseki, chile peppers, and and local flavors; contributors like Pico Iyer, Carlo Petrini, and Salt guru Mark Kurlansky. But what caught my eye was a short essay by journalist and former Talk of the Town editor Alexander Chancellor. In “Second-Glass Citizens,” Chancellor bemoans the decline of the “liquid lunch,” a practice once endemic in certain professions—journalism, for one.

Although the piece is brief (but not as brief as this, a neat summary of the article) and focused mainly on London, Chancellor’s theories about health consciousness and the pressure to produce at work ringing the death knell for lunchtime drinking seem relevant on this side of the pond as well:

[T]he idea took root that lunches were an unnecessary luxury that damaged more livers than yielded scoops. And with the development of the Internet and e-mail, it was generally felt that there were cheaper and more efficient ways of obtaining information than getting people drunk at lunch.

But the custom of having a cocktail or a pint with your lunchtime sammy has survived in a few tucked-away pockets of the world. Modern Drunkard is of course invested in bringing back the custom to its full-blown glory. And there are those who blog after drinking.

Not decadent enough for you? How about having a liquid lunch … for breakfast!

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