Wednesday, 14 December 2005

Gastro-porn

I used to think this was a silly word, but after glancing through some current glossy supplements I realise that is a necessary one as it accurately describes a modern phenomenon. The parallelism of food and sex, of course, has always been obvious, but nowadays they have become comparable also in the sense that the depiction of both is a major source of obscene material for the media and the internet.

This was not always the case; food writing often used to be of literary as well as practical value, but since Elizabeth David's day illustration has taken over, as if a full-page colour picture of an avocado is interesting or informative.


And the accompanying text is always profoundly depressing. Last weekend one food supplement alone featured the gratuitous information that stripper Dita Von Teese likes asparagus and lobster after she's done her show at the Café de Paris (and did you know that nipple covers are known as pasties in the trade?), that pomegranates are the latest thrilling wonderfood from Beverly Hills to Brighton, that sheeps' lungs, boiled and inflated, are a big thing with the Uyghurs of Kashgar (Xinjiang) and that one supermarket this Christmas is offering a Four-Bird Roast—a deboned goose stuffed with deboned turkey, guinea fowl and the breasts from two ducks. A snip at £200, as it serves fifteen and is a doddle to carve.


Those who can't afford this, as they have already joined with a friend to pool their Pensioner's Winter Heating Allowances and share a £400 bottle of the Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1972, can make their own multi-bird roast by following the recipe given in the same supplement by some double-barrelled fool: you start with a goose stuffed into a turkey then, he says re-assuringly, you don't need all the smaller birds to be different: you can use, say, three pheasants and five pigeons.


All that is crude and vulgar pornography.

There was once a Persian imam who ordered his cooks to stuff an olive inside a lark, that inside a chicken, that inside a peacock, that inside a sheep, and finally that inside a camel.. The whole was rubbed with rare herbs and spices by sloe-eyed virgins and then cooked for five days on a cedar-wood fire while classical dastgâh music was played by two hundred musicians.Then the imam fed the flesh to his dogs and ate the olive.

Now that was style.

5 comments:

Minerva said...

Or maybe he just did it for a lark? Or maybe it tasted fowl? Or he just got the hump? What do ewe think?
Minerva

Tony said...

Min: I think I should miss you if you stopped making comments.
X

~dawnne~ said...

that was baaaaaaad, he bleated, sheepishly....

Minerva said...

That is the nicest thing you have ever said to me.. *blush*
Minerva

Tony said...

...so far...