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Explain. Extra credit: compare to Hannibal Lecter's famous line "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

[Update — Jim Roberts writes:

Pursuant to your post regarding "nice" meaning "friendly," that's pretty much how I interpreted the adjective when my mom used it in relation to food. Invariably, "nice" was used to modify the most innocuous and boring of foods – you had "nice boiled peas", but never "nice steak."
As I got older, I started to realize that my mother was actually using the word to mean, "orderly" or "of a purpose" as a sort of defense for the food. The peas might be boiled, which produces the least palatable peas possible, but they were what she intended and the rounded out the potato and meat portion of the plate to produce a complete meal. Nice and neat.
Both uses of the word seem appropriate, at least by my reading of the rather surprisingly large number of definitions for the word. Given Lecter's proclivities, it's hard to interpret his use of the word as meaning anything other than "pleasing and agreeable" in the truly gourmandy sense of the word.
Honestly, the use of language in Cathy usually bugs me, but I actually understood that one, although it further buttresses my opinion that the author will never stop infantalizing the main character.
And Dyveke Sanne reminds us that "nice salad" might actually be "salade niçoise". But it wasn't in this case.]

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