Do you eat to live or live to eat? The expressions “eat to live” and “live to eat” have the same three words but using the words in a different order makes a big difference to the meaning. If you “eat to live”, it means you eat to stay alive. If you “live to eat”, it means your main purpose of living is to eat and enjoy good food. Historians are divided over the origin of this quote. Some believe it was the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates who said it but others say it was Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
The Founding Fathers were a group of leaders who led the war of independence against Britain in the 1700s and created the US Constitution. Both Socrates and Franklin made clear people should eat to live, not live to eat. But they both lived a long time ago when the world was not as prosperous （rich） as it is today, and health care was not as advanced. I eat to live because I have a digestive problem and must avoid fried or spicy foods. But many people nowadays live to eat. Last week I ignored my digestive problem and lived to eat！
Asia Miles, which is part of Cathay Pacific, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Last week, Asia Miles invited me to a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant in Central called Spiga. I love Italian food and wine and decided to live to eat. We started with Prosciutto （Parma ham） with burrata （type of Italian cheese）, and eggplant Parmigiana （eggplant with cheese and tomato sauce）. We paired this with an Italian Pala wine from Sardinia. Then we had insalata （Italian salad） and fried calamari （squid）. I then ate risotto （Italian rice dish） with black truffle sauce, followed by an oven-baked Italian fish dish called Orata al Forno. I paired this with Castell’in Villa, an Italian red wine, although fish is better with white wines. I was stuffed （full up） but enjoyed living to eat.
你是eat to live抑或live to eat？習語eat to live和live to eat，雖然都是同樣那三個字，但不同的排序就令意思完全不一樣。若你eat to live，即是說你進食是為了生存；若你live to eat，意即你生存的主要目的就是去吃和享受食物。歷史學者對此一名言的出處眾說紛紜，一些人認為是古希臘哲學家蘇格拉底說的，另一些人則認為是出自美國其中一位開國元勛（Founding Fathers）班傑明·富蘭克林。
The Founding Fathers就是在一七○○年代領導獨立戰爭反抗英國，以及創立《美國憲法》的一群領袖。蘇格拉底和富蘭克林都說得很清楚，人應該為生存而吃（eat to live），而非為吃而生存（live to eat）。他們二人都活在很久以前的世界，那個年代並不如現在般富庶（prosperous），衞生設備亦不那麼先進。我為了生存而吃（eat to live），因為我有腸胃消化問題，必須忌吃煎炸或辛辣食物。但今時今日，人們都是為了吃而生存（live to eat）。上星期我無視我的腸胃消化問題，實行為吃而生存（lived to eat）！
國泰旗下的亞洲萬里通正慶祝二十周年紀念，上星期亞洲萬里通邀請我去中環一間意大利餐廳名Spiga，吃一頓美味的晚餐。我喜愛意大利菜和美酒，就決定了要為吃而生存（live to eat）。我們以帕爾瑪風乾火腿Prosciutto配布拉塔（burrata）水牛芝士，以及有芝士和茄醬的焗烤千層茄子（Parmigiana）開始，並配以意大利撒丁島的帕拉酒。然後我們有意大利沙律（insalata）和炸魷魚（calamari），我接著吃了黑松露汁意大利飯（risotto），之後就是名為Orata al Forno的薯仔焗意大利魚。我以一款意大利卡斯特林酒莊的紅酒配這道菜，雖然魚跟白酒比較匹配。我真是吃得飽飽了（stuffed），但也很享受為了吃而生存（living to eat）。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧