No recipe in this post, just some musings about the trend toward gourmet food and superstar cooking from one side ofthe globe to the other. I’ve always loved cooking and I suppose everyone loves to eat but when did we feel a compelling need to outdo one another by using ever more exotic ingredients? I have to admit that every time I leave the house I look on the side of the road for something that I could add to a recipe just to be different.
I remember cooking a chicken once where I packed it in straw and then put a salt crust around it. I spent hours keeping that dough from popping holes everywhere. I finally did get it in the oven and it really was wonderful on my fork but… what was the person doing when he or she said “Wow, I wonder what a chicken would taste like if I cooked it in a pile of hay?” I must admit that my mind doesn’t work that way.
Over time our tastes do change and our palates become more sophisticated, or that’s what we’re told. I look back at old cookery books from 15th century England at a recipe for Pumpes or pork meatballs with spices which were poached in an almond milk sauce and decorated with flowers. So maybe times haven’t changed all that much after all. Maybe there are just more of us and we’re looking for new ways to excite ourselves.
When I look at the number of celebrity chefs on TV, in famous restaurants, in newspapers and in top blogs I instantly think of Nigella Lawson and her dual assets (assiettes?) and Anthony Bourdain who seems to look sexier every new show. It makes me wonder if all this attention and passion about food is a replacement for our not so passionate sex lives. Everywhere you look there’s food porn.
You’ll never hear me objecting about men who are passionate about sports or cars or maybe even early episodes of The Simpsons but when it comes to things my man shoves in his mouth, my body parts are the things I want to hear him exclaim, “My God that’s good!”
It used to be that people like us were called gluttons but now we’re labeled “foodies”. People who prepared food went from cooks to chefs to celebrities and everywhere you see middle-aged or older women decorating girlie cupcakes as if it will delay our menopause. (it doesn’t)
We’ll probably never know how eating went from uhh.. well… eating to a full scale sexual experience on our plates every night. Don’t misunderstand me — I think it’s wonderful that we’re paying attention to what we eat, where food is sourced and how we prepare our meals. I just want to make sure that in our house at least, there is orgasmic pleasure both in the dining room and the bedroom.
LOL I agree with you! Anthony Bourdain is really hot 😉 I think food and sex go together, they complement each other to perfection!
Oh man, those early episodes of The Simpsons are priceless. I sometimes wonder why certain chefs are famous and I think you hit the nail on the head about one. Oh gosh, I hope people who see my gravatar take me seriously, kidding! (Maybe I should change it to Homer or Bart.)
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Foodness Gracious says
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Russell at Chasing Delicious says
You had me at Sex on a Spoon. I love this post. I’ve been asking these questions lately too, if only to myself and not on my own blog. I must admit I’m glad we’re labeled foodies and not gluttons anymore. It has a slightly more pleasant, appealing ring to it.
I sure hope no one is substituting food for sex though!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hehe I agree there is definitely a relationship between two. After all oral pleasure is oral pleasure! 😛
Martyna (Wholesome Cook) says
Hi Maureen, I really do agree with many of the points you made. Especially on those “fancy” ingredients – for me creating something from a handful of simple ingredients is much more satisfying.
We dined at the Press Club last weekend and having been to the restaurant when it was known for good food, and BEFORE it became famous for its celebrity chef, I can say that the food was better back then. Now, it’s over the top, you taste so much of everything that nothing really shines through anymore. That’s a shame.
I so agree with your comment. There’s nothing wrong with fresh, simple ingredients well cooked and served hot. 🙂 Give me Neil Perry every day.
Parsley Sage says
Pretty interesting entry. I don’t sometimes wonder if our obsession with food isn’t a sign that something is really wrong. But then my stomach says ‘make me some mac n’cheese’ and I stop thinking about it. Healthy? Probably not. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and for swinging by Deep Dish.
Hester Casey - Alchemy says
Really thought-provoking post Maureen. Here’s to pleasure in the dining room and the bedroom in equal measure!
I agree one-hundred percent that we should enjoy and derive pleasure from our food. In addition we should be grateful for it too.
Having said that I do think there is an, and I struggle to find the correct word, here…there is an aspect of food today that is …and I struggle for a word here too………….
I have been thinking about this a lot and your post really spoke to me.
Foodies cook, write, and take pictures for each other. The picture is the prize. Adding the next layer of taste is the prize. It is an end in and of itself.
Food has become the latest form of entertainment.
And all this is fine. But we too often forget that food is also nourishment for the body. And there are millions who don’t even have clean drinking water, let alone decent food to eat, while we amuse ourselves with adding bacon to a ham and chicken sandwich and take a picture of it that we Ooo and Ahhhh over.
I have learned a while ago that exotic to me is a commonplace to someone else:) And vice versa. I grew up with with crepes, and I make them at least once a week. It makes me chuckle when people say “WOW!”
And, I prefer the word “gourmand” to “glutton”:) Just saying:)
In the end I have to agree – there is a way to keep both bedroom and the dining room table exciting and spicy – I would not like it any other way:)