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Lunching with Gaudí
- Is this a bad time, Mr. Gaudí? - I ask him with admiration and surprise when I see that he is having lunch.
-No, dear friend. Sit down with me and let's have a good conversation.
On a pristine white tablecloth was a plate of lettuce and endive, to which Don Antonio added, after crushing them, a few drops of a shiny olive oil. His face changed in appearance and his eyes widened with eagerness to taste his strange concoction.
"Don't look at me like that, this is what the reputable Dr. Kneipp has recommended. He has also prescribed me some thermal baths, which I will take when I finish the work on the Episcopal Palace of this city of Astorga."
This could be one of many meals to which the architect was accustomed.
Did you know, dear reader, that Gaudí was a vegetarian? However, in his youth he was a great gourmet, but his poor health and rheumatism forced him to change his eating habits. He became a lover of raw vegetables, dried fruits and accompanying milk with a tangerine.
His religiosity and his nascent asceticism had turned him into a foodie whose frugality was his main teaching, perhaps because of the tradition of leaving his stomach half empty to fill it completely with God himself.
He made this phrase his life premise. "One must eat to live, not live to eat".
Gaudí liked to end his meals with a piece of bread crumb, which he himself called "the sponge of the teeth", to clean his teeth and then finish by rinsing them with a glass of water. But the modernist genius hid a small sin. He had a sweet tooth. If he didn't have a baked apple for dessert, he used to savor a slice of bread with a drizzle of honey.
It is very likely that he would succumb to a reineta apple from Bierzo or some delicious leeks from Sahagún. But all in a measured and logical manner. He already said it clearly referring to art: "Art is made by man for man and, therefore, it must be rational". Thus, food has been made by man for man, and must be consumed rationally.