Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Gael Greene, who styles herself as the Insatiable Critic these days, was famous for the purple prose in her New York magazine food reviews. When you read a Gael Greene review, you weren’t sure if you were supposed to be eating the food or making hot monkey love to it.

I’m not exactly sure what put Ms. Greene’s sexually charged Food Imagery into my head, but it may have had something to do with the breakfast we had yesterday at the Waffle House in Temple, Georgia, hard by the Alabama border.

Both Gilad - a Waffle House newbie - and I ordered the All-Star Breakfast. It’s an immense array of Things Breakfasty, including toast, eggs, a waffle (what else?), etc., etc. But Gilad opted for the biscuits and gravy in lieu of a waffle.

Biscuits and Gravy, I will here point out for the non-Southerners among my Esteemed Readers, is a local favorite: fluffy, tender biscuits buried under an oozing mass of cream gravy. Ideally, the gravy will be nice and peppery, with bits of sausage contained therein. Dietwise, it’s a High-Calorie Horrorshow, what with all the flour and grease, but it’s amazingly tasty.

Tasty...but not especially pretty. After we got back on the road, I seem to remember hearing the words “horse” and “spooge” in close proximity, somewhere in the Breakfast Post-Mortem Discussion. I wasn’t sure whether to be amused or horrified at the notion that a southern Breakfast Favorite could elicit such explicitly sexual imagery. Gael Greene would have been proud.

And that got me thinking about other conflations of Sex and Sustenance. It’s a heady (you should excuse the expression) combination of elemental human desires that treads at the edges of Societal Taboo, often crossing the shifting, ill-defined border between Literature and Pornography.

My first exposure to Food ’n’ Fuckin’ Literature had to have been Philip Roth’s novel Portnoy’s Complaint, a story with a hero so Onanism-obsessed that he takes a piece of liver out of the refrigerator in order to violate it sexually. In Alexander Portnoy’s own words, “Around my cock at five o’clock, on my plate at seven.”

Later, during his psychotherapy session, Portnoy confesses: “Now you know the worst thing I have ever done. I fucked my own family's dinner.”

If this isn’t enough to make you rethink that plate of liver and onions you were about to order at the local IHOP, what about modern cinema? I refer, of course, to the infamous adventures of the eponymous apple pie in American Pie.

[The other pies probably call that apple pie a whore behind its back. Especially the cherry pie. She a virgin.]

So here’s the question: Are there any foods that turn your thoughts to the lascivious and libidinous? Share, please, in the comments.

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