Oscar Wilde lived in the 17th century and mainly in England. But I don’t need to tell you who he exactly is. If I needed to describe him in two words ‘witty’ and ‘dandy’ would be my best shots.
He was born in Ireland, lived most of his life in England and died in Paris. In one of his most famous plays he wrote the saying above.
It’s a nice saying. Vintage witty Wilde.
But what does it mean excactly? I had no clue… And in that case, Google is my best friend:
These words greatly apply to The Importance of Being Earnest, and the character of Algernon attests to that much. This is because Algy not only uses food as a substitute for his obvious hunger for life, money, and adventure, but also as his conduit for enforcing his power over others. Although Wilde does not directly employ food as a theme of dominance, it is in its subtle use that the reader can discover its clever treatment.
So the quote refers to the power of food and not really to a city. However, also food in all its aspects shapes the city. About this topic there is an interesting expo at the moment in Antwerp (Belgium):
If you are interested to learn more about the relationship between food and the city, it’s in MAS you need to be.