CALLING M.F.K. Fisher, who has just been elected to the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, a food writer is a lot like calling Mozart a tunesmith. At the same time that she is celebrating, say, oysters (which lead, she says, "a dreadful but exciting life") or the scent of orange segments drying on a radiator, she is also celebrating life and loneliness, sense and sensibility.
Sometimes, she says in "The Gastronomical Me," people have questioned her choice of subjects. Why, they want to know, aren't you writing about the big stuff -- like 'the struggle for power and security'?
"The easiest answer is to say that, like most other humans, I am hungry. But there is more than that. It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.