Speaking of food, novelists and philosophers occasionally do just that.

Cousin Bette
by Honore de Balzac (1846).

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The dinner set before the husband, wife, and child...would have revealed the financial crisis that this family was going through, for the table is the most reliable thermometer of the fortunes of Parisian households. A soup made of vegetables and bean stock, a piece of veal with potatoes, saturated in brownish water, instead of gravy, a dish of beans, and some cherries of inferior quality..."

When a household is reduced to serving cherries of inferior quality things are bad indeed.

Cousin Bette
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