“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is an often-quoted proverb, cited since at least the 1820s but not attributed to any particular author. The Wikipedia cites Fanny Fern (1811-1872) as the coiner of the phrase, but her use of it was far from the first.
The phrase sometimes begins “the way to an Englishman’s heart is through his stomach,” possibly indicating an English origin. The phrase is often used by restaurants and food writers for Valentine’s Day.
“Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography” was written by Robert Byrne in 1988.
the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach
Cooking for a man is a good way to win his affections.
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
Pg. 622 (Proverbs):
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
Dinah Mulock, John Halifax, Gentleman (1857). Mulock’s wording is “the way to an Englishman’s heart is through his stomach.’ The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs quotes John Adams, Letter, 15 Apr. 1814: “The shortest road to men’s hearts is down their throats.”
Wikipedia: Fanny Fern
Fanny Fern (July 9, 1811 - October 10, 1872) was the pseudonym of Sara Willis Parton. She was a popular American columnist, humorist, novelist, and author of children’s stories in the 1850s-1870s. Her immense popularity has been attributed to her conversational style and the immediacy of her topics to her mostly middle-class female audience. In 1852, she became the first female writer with her own regular column; by 1855, she commanded $100 per week for her New York Ledger column and was the highest-paid newspaper writer in the United States.
. Fanny Fern is credited with coining the phrase, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.
A Critical Examination of Dr. MacCulloch’s Work on the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland
By James Browne
Edinburgh: Daniel Lizars
He was necessitated to use the eyes of others, because he was blind himself; and as the road to his heart happened to lie through his stomach, which it was not always practicable, in the Highlands especially, to appease, nobody was unreasonable enough to expect that he would discover any vestiges of high and chivalrous (Pg. 9—ed.) feeling lingering among a people who were nearly utter strangers to roast-beef and plum-pudding.
19 August 1834, New-Hampshire Gazette (NH), pg. 4:
The old adage that the only way of reaching a man’s heart was through his stomach, seems to have been the governing rule of those dinner party politicians.
23 November 1838, Richmond (VA) Enquirer, pg. 1:
Our national characteristic—that the way to an Englishman’s heart is through his stomach—you must not, however, imagine is becoming extinct; it only sleepeth.
By Alfred Henry Forrester
London: Richard Bentley
On the other hand, we cure villany by increased rations of beef, bread, beer, and potatoes, in accordance with the maxim, that the nearest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
Constitution of the State of Wisconsin.
Adopted in convention at Madison, December 16th, A. D. 1846
Pg. 135 (December 31, 1847):
It had been said by some writer of celebrity, that “the surest way to reach a man’s heart was through his stomach.”
By Lydia Howard Sigourney
New York, NY: Robert Carter
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” said a caustic writer.