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Food Is What Sex Used To Be


zoramargolis
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Took my husband to the Silver Spring Trader Joe's on Saturday. I've been a TJ customer since my California days, but he'd never been to one before. Poor guy. He's not exactly a foodie, and the place alarmed him.

I've been telling my daughter that when she is thinking about making a lifetime commitment to someone, to consider that person's palate as well as their intellect and character. Because as the years go by, compatibility in the dining room begins to trump compatibility in the bedroom. People laugh when I say it, but long-time couples know it's true: after thirty years together, food is what sex used to be. In other words, waning libido may be a normal part of aging, but other appetites become a regular and reliable source of mutual pleasure and comfort.

That's not to say that people like perrik's husband can't change and grow. Mine is a "mixed marriage" in a number of ways. When I met my husband, we were both very young. I had been exposed to a wide variety of ethnic cuisines from early childhood in an adventurous, restaurant-going family. His family was very conservative in the food realm--they rarely ate away from home, and his parents were averse to things they considered unfamiliar or any strong flavors. Nothing spicy, no garlic, pepper, vinegar, mustard or fresh herbs other than parsley. When we met, his concept of deliciousness was pretty much limited to foods that were creamy, sweet, or fried. But he was open to new experiences and quickly grew to appreciate artichokes vinaigrette, chiles rellenos, snails in black bean sauce, lamb vindaloo, and linguine al pesto. He still won't go as far as I will--he wouldn't go with me to the "offal extravaganza" at Full Kee, where a dozen Chowhounds ordered all the dishes on the special menu with duck blood, pig intestine, duck feet, duck tongue, etc. But I do think that a shared love of food has been a significant part of the glue that has kept us together for so long.

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Which quote is from the man, and which from the woman? :lol:

  Wrong. So wrong.

-- 25 years and counting.

Right, so right!

30 years this month.

I wouldn't go so far as "food is what sex used to to be", but compatibility in the kitchen is at least as important as compatibility in the bedroom. I broke off a promising relationship years ago because the man didn't eat vegetables, and divorced my first husband in part because he was a picky eater.

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I wouldn't go so far as "food is what sex used to to be"

I wouldn't have gone so far either, when I was in my twenties and thirties, when as far as I was concerned, sex was the ne plus ultra of existence. Even through most of my forties. That's my point. And it's an academic one to people who are still in the full flower of their estrogens and androgens. But some body-level wisdom caused you to keep searching for a life partner whose relationship with food fit well with yours. And when you are both in your mid-to-late fifties, my guess is that you will be making love less frequently than you do now, or certainly when you first met, but that there will not necessarily be less pleasure in your life together.

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sometimes you have to compromise. it bother me that i can't try out the tripe at an ethiopian restaurant without possibly ruining the meal, but i have learned to live with it. an aversion to eggs, on the other hand, isn't so easy. we are still working that one out, after more than 30 years.

one of our nieces, 18 years old, recently got under our skin when she informed me at a restaurant that there were only three vegetables she could eat. one of them was carrots. i don't remember the other two. they weren't lettuce and potatoes, which she apparently doesn't consider vegetables, because i have seen her eat those. absolutely no tomatoes, however. anyway, i told her rather sternly that she would find it impossible to get through her adult life without expanding her tastes, and i would agree that she is ruining her chances for a good marriage if she doesn't start approaching her meals with a more open mind.

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My husband has spurred a topic here! He would be so proud...

Compromise and adaptation are essential (in my opinion), and there are ways for foodies and non-foodies to mate happily. I like to try new restaurants and new cuisines. My husband doesn't like to leave his comfort zone. Consequently, I don't take him to restaurants that don't offer a few "safe" options, and he experiments enough to find his comfort zone. I love steamed crabs and water views; he avoids crabs but likes the water views and long drives. So we go to crabhouses on the water that also serve decent fried shrimp. I chose Vancouver for our honeymoon - Chinese food for me, maritime history for him. I'll go to Chili's with him, he'll go to TemptAsian with me. It all works out in the end.

(4.5 years so far)

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Check with hub:  eet may not bee zee libido.  :)

I have a friend named Dennis, who is a big fan of my Mexican food. He insists that if I were to find myself single again, I would have any number of male suitors who would court me just so they could eat my guacamole on a regular basis. :o

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When I first met Kay, she ordered a well done burger. Telling my best friend that, she advised me to drop Kay foever, asking me if I wanted to go thru life with someone who ate their burgers well done? I saw her point but for some reason I stuck with her and she proved willing to try some more adventurous foods but drew the line at sushi. When we moved in together, I flatly told her I was not going to give up sushi for her. Her choice: grin and bear it or stay home when I went out for sushi. Flash forward 24 or so years and now Kay is a big sushi fan and one of the more adventurous eaters I know. The sex is still great too!

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The Stilton Cheese Makers Association plans to introduce Eau de Stilton sometime this year or early next year.

The scent has the "earthy and fruity" aroma of the blue-veined cheese but is unlike the smell of "old socks" that some people associate with Stilton, the maufacturer claims.

This sounds like it might work as an air freshener in the men's locker room at Wembley Stadium, but they'd need to add some undertones of crisp bacon and horseradish before I'd ever consider wearing the stuff.
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Two things my husband has said over the last few months remind me how far he has come from the boy who ate a turkey sandwich every day for lunch for a year that I met 10 years ago. At Easter, my daughter was naming the stuffed animals on the table: a lamb, a bunny, and a duckling. My husband looks over at me and says, "mmmm, delicious baby animals..." The rest of his family was grossed out, their loss.

More recently, he ducked into a Weis to grab a chocolate milk as a recovery drink after a bike race, gets back into the car with it and proudly tells me, "Look, I picked this one because it didn't have High Fructose Corn Syrup and had the fewest number of ingredients." Those who have met him know that he is definitely not a foodie, so these kinds of statements just make me melt.

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well, it's fun to have a non-foodie (as long as you can coerce them into eating certain things. there has to be a level of openmindedness about them) so that you can really expose them to new things.

the man i've been seeing for the past year had an incredibly limited bachelor-styled palate (most dinners were those taquito rolls from 7-11, though he occasionally ate a mediocre piece of seared ahi at the bar when we went out) but it was exciting for me to fix him fresh, locally grown vegetables, introduce him to thai food (!!!), find the best southern style green beans, make him deep fried pierogis (which hed never had before). he also never opposes to trying a restaurant with me and really enjoys fine dining and going out to eat. he's a little bit more wary of the hound-ish dives/gems that i like to frequent, though. he actually will make a point when he sees a new restaurant or goes to a restaurant he likes (for work or with his parents) to inform me and take me there. also, ive gotten him drinking organic milk. thank god.

despite his obviously infantile taste buds, we also are able to engage in discussion of the mistreatment and over fishing of the chesapeake and the unfairness and disrespect with which farmers are treated (hes a good southern boy who grew up in white stone, va and his father worked for the small town fishery that was originally over that way)

i think watching someone grow epicuriously is rad and playing a part of that - even more so. openness can sometimes make up for the fact that your palate isnt as sharpened or adventurous as your partners.

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well, it's fun to have a non-foodie so that you can really expose them to new things.

It's fun to have a non-foodie so you can finesse an order for two interesting dishes, and then pilfer their dinner when they don't like it.

"Gee sweatheart, I was going to get the cuttlefish pie, but I've heard these things called sweetbreads are supposed to be really good - why don't you try them?"

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"Gee sweatheart, I was going to get the cuttlefish pie, but I've heard these things called sweetbreads are supposed to be really good - why don't you try them?"

Reminds me of travel through Loire Valley in February with a friend when we were both studying in Paris, age nineteen.

Went to a mediocre little restaurant, dead off season. Ordered from the cheap tourist menu. Asked what calmar was. This was back in the day when Danny Meyer was still eating fried ravioli and frozen vegetables back in St. Louis.

"Un type de poisson," was the reply.

Oh, we thought. We like fish. We DID not like the rubbery, white bands of blahdom.

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Foie Gras?....Sex?.....Foie Gras?.....Sex?.....

Both are fleeting pleasures....one is starting to become less available...

My decision is easy...

good foie gras also seems to be a bit more memorable. and more expensive.

in university, my friends and i used to say "booze before boys"

now i suppose it would be more like "food before fornication"

literally and figuratively. :)

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Apples are not better than oranges.

Cake is not better than pie.

Food is not better than sex.

They're different, though overlapping in both categories and degrees of pleasure.

This recipe is one of those thing that overlaps in a serious way: Scalloped Potatoes and Ramps.

I've reported it elsewhere, but have to tell you just in case Eli's comes through with a miracle next Sunday at Dupont Circle, or if this thread gets revived next spring. I used fresh thyme, omitted the Cheddar topping, sprinkling Gruyere on each layer, sliced each ramp, including greens. Then I brought lots of stock to a boil before mixing it with a little heavy cream and popping the dish into the oven where the perfume of the pungent ramps became an almost unbearable, prolonged test of endurance. Talk about the Pleasure Principle!

I whined in the Ramps thread that I liked the new discovery, but didn't find the flavor as powerful as I had expected. This dish complements the potency of ramps more than the other combinations and preps I have tried.

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1973's La Grand Bouffe is a rather interesting type of in-depth study of the excess of both, if you will, with perhaps a preference for the former. This is one of the more infamous dark comedies in the history of cinema with a very real cult following in France. Well worth sourcing a copy off of the internet and watching.

This is the plot summary:

"Four successful middle-aged men Marcello, a pilot; Michel, a television executive; Ugo, a chef; and, Philippe, a judge go to Philippe's villa to eat themselves to death. After the first night, Marcello insists that women should join them. Three prostitutes make it through a day or two; Andrea, a local school teacher, stays to the end. The villa, the food, and a Bugati roadster are essential props."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070130/

Catherine Deneuve ended her relationship with Marcello Mastroianni after the movie because of his enthusiastic participation in it. At the time it held the all time opening week box office record in Paris.

Edited by Joe H
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Heh. She should cut him off.

Or maybe, given the potential for food issues revealed in this sentance "- not to mention the sausage, bacon, whole milk, real butter, eggs and full-fat cheese" she has issues and he should ditch her.

I predict separate dinners and separate bedrooms in the near future.

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She should cut him off. I broke up with a guy once because he never ate vegetables, or ethnic food, or fruit, or anything with a sauce, or, or... It gets tiresome after a while when all he wants is a steak or pizza.

Also, she can probably envision what he'll look like after his metabolism slows down. It won't be pretty.

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Old joke: Husband is in the Navy and is returning from a 3-month cruise. Wife is eagerly awaiting him at the docks. They wave enthusiastically and call to one another. He yells, "FF." She yells back "EF." This goes on for a while and finally the woman next to her, wracked by curiousity, asks, "what is EF?" Wife sheepishly replies, "Eat first..."

Only Zora and Mktye will get this, but I married my husband because he gave the right answer to this question: If you were in the middle of an act of passion, and an Eskimo Curlew landed in your backyard, what would you do?"

Husband #1 was a great guy, but he ate Carnation Instant Breakfast. Every. Single. Day. Still does. Going on 30 years now. Never even changes the flavor. However, that's forgiveable. He's Husband #1 because he wouldn't notice an Eskimo Curlew if it landed right in front of him, with a name badge.

Ellen

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Wow, how apropo to my date last night.

Me: veggie-loving, fish eating, fry despising health junkie with a weakness for wine and new tastes.

Him: Won't eat a vegetable unless it's a fried potato- and won't even try anything else (seriously would not even try a piece of arugula). Unnerved by tomatoes not in spaghetti sauce. Would only eat the croutons on a Caesar salad, and thinks his appreciation of fish and chips counts as a pescatoral inclination.

Was literally disgusted by the guacamole that came with our soft shell crab. (Hello?! Sooo good!)

Sigh. Looks like I'll be going back to Pesce alone

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We get along very well except for one issue, food. He prefers pizza, burgers, fried foods -- not to mention the sausage, bacon, whole milk, real butter, eggs and full-fat cheese -- and his idea of vegetables are potatoes and corn, with the very occasional Caesar salad.
For all of you who have asked, the answer is "No!" I did not write to Ms. Hax. ;) [insert comment about my awesome cupcakes here.]
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When I first met Kay, she ordered a well done burger. Telling my best friend that, she advised me to drop Kay foever, asking me if I wanted to go thru life with someone who ate their burgers well done? I saw her point but for some reason I stuck with her and she proved willing to try some more adventurous foods but drew the line at sushi. When we moved in together, I flatly told her I was not going to give up sushi for her. Her choice: grin and bear it or stay home when I went out for sushi. Flash forward 24 or so years and now Kay is a big sushi fan and one of the more adventurous eaters I know. The sex is still great too!

I'm not a sushi fan, but my husband is. Beef negamaki (sp?) is my compromise. My husband also loves it when I leave stuff on my plate. He just thinks of it as more for him. He did have to give up cooking with bell peppers, but I taught him to love chili peppers and red wine, so he doesn't seem to mind too much.

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Husband #2 waltzed in last night, having returned from a trip to Seattle, all pleased with himself because he ate sweetbreads for the first time. Now we are both pretty adventuresome eaters, but I can't bring myself to try this one. He is going to lord it over me for the rest of our days, or until Husband #3 comes along (just kidding, honey!). Of course, this is a man who eats Bovril, which is a foul-smelling, tar-like meat extract (like Vegemite, except it is meat). In Palau, he once ate a sandwich made with Bovril, peanut butter, and garlic. I am trying to think of the sexual equivalent of that disgusting mess. Is there a word for the opposite of aphrodisiac?

The irony is that a good meal makes you happy, relaxed, and snoozy - not amorous...

Ellen

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The irony is that a good meal makes you happy, relaxed, and snoozy - not amorous...

No irony. The original point of the thread was that for many people, a great interest in food ("a good meal makes you happy, relaxed and snoozy") has taken the place of a preoccupation with sex, which also, if good, leaves you feeling happy, relaxed and snoozy...

Let's put it this way, eating is something you do several times a day, every day for your entire life. No wonder some people find it to be something worth caring a lot about. Especially, if most of your meals are shared with another or others.

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Or maybe, given the potential for food issues revealed in this sentence "- not to mention the sausage, bacon, whole milk, real butter, eggs and full-fat cheese" she has issues and he should ditch her.
I would agree that eating fat has a bad rep that isn't entirely deserved, but I also sort of take it for granted that men, in general, being larger, consume more calories than women, and I assumed that most women know this.

That the calories are due, in large part, to saturated fat may or may not be a legitimate health issue, as it appears that the Atkins crowd and the Ormond crowd are still duking it out, but the American Heart Association claims to have all the answers. Maybe so. Living a longer life while consuming egg whites scrambled in a non-stick skillet with a spritz of Pam and a glass of skim milk may not be his idea of a life worth living.

It's more like these folks belong to different religions. She belongs to the No Fat religion and he belongs to the Full Fat religion. These are issues which are personal to the individual. Demanding that the other person convert to your religion is tacky. Not to mention useless.

I say this as my husband sits nearby munching on prosciutto and full fat cheese on rye bread. I'd never dream of saying "you can either have prosciutto or me, take your pick." It's just wrong.

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Only Zora and Mktye will get this, but I married my husband because he gave the right answer to this question: If you were in the middle of an act of passion, and an Eskimo Curlew landed in your backyard, what would you do?"

What's the "right" answer? Fire up the Weber?

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That's why you should always start the eveing with the sex. Makes the food taste better, too.
That's a truffle in your pocket and you are glad to see me? Exactly.

"In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others."

--- Andre Maurois

And I am sometimes astonished at the dinner choices of others. Not that it is any of my business.

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The date: Our wedding anniversary.

The place: Eden Center's back hallways. We were looking to try a new place, but as it was our anniversary, we'd agreed that at least a small amount of ambiance was needed. Until we got to Cho Chu Saigon. Our eyes were drawn to the roasted meat case, and we saw the sign for "roast pig."

Him: "Fuck ambiance, let's go in."

Me: "Yeah!"

The roast pig was delicious, with generous chunks of nearly boneless pork seasoned to perfection beneath the crackling skin. The pork skin and turnip dish was a miss---the stewed texture was great for the turnips, but that poor pork skin deserved a deep fryer. Broccoli rabe stir-fried with garlic helped us pretend we were being healthy. Cho Chu Saigon is a Vietnamese Chinese restaurant.

Afterwards, we went to the tofu place to indulge in durian bubble drinks and some fresh-from-the-fryer mushroom tofu.

Food compatibility isn't the only thing that has kept us married for 21 years, but it sure hasn't hurt.

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