No Food, just Thought.

Why is it that Foodies are so passionate about the tasty, tiny morsels of nourishment that pass their lips? What other value does food have, other than the nutritional?

“You’re fat, and look as though you should be, but you’re not.”

I’ve been thinking; are there similarities between having a good meal, and finding a suitable romantic partner? Foodies are generally romantic people – just not about people. We wax on poetic about the delightfully creamy texture of a well-cooked risotto or the satisfying meaty flavor of a tender wood grilled steak. A man in love can talk for hours on end to anyone who will listen about his lovers’ eyes, figure or even the way she answers the phone with an audible smile. Are they so different?

Foodies also experience food “crushes” – Pringles, anyone? They even have their guilty affairs, akin to soliciting prostitution from an unhygienic purveyor of culinary excess. Hot dog stands, Egyptian Liver sandwiches and impossibly cheap meat kofta sandwiches devoured while hot, and thoroughly enjoyable. Eating such food can be a delight in the heat of the moment, but once the foods (and our loins) have cooled down, we begin to see the folly of our hastiness: Half-cooked meat, strange deposits in the overly spiced sauce, the dirty fingers making the meal. It is the culinary equivalent of eXile’s “Whore-r stories”. We’ve all had one of those. That oh so familiar worry of spending the next week with diarrhea hits you just as you’re taking another bite of a Bacteria sandwich from Abdo Talawoth in Nasr City. Still, you throw caution to the wind. Why? Because it just tastes so damn good!

Foodies know this maxim to be true: No man can live on bread alone. There is no “perfect food” – the one and only food I would eat for the rest of my life. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. I love steaks, but I wouldn’t eat it everyday, would I? That having been said, there are meals that I could not live without. Meals that, were they to disappear from my daily routine, would leave my life a grey and dreary mess, or at the very least, a bland string of circumstances, near misses and idle Tuesdays. Perhaps this maxim applies to love as well.

Every red-blooded, meat eating Man’s ultimate sexual fantasy is the threesome. Every true Foodie’s culinary fantasy is a three-course meal, where all the dishes get along well with each other, and there is no drama afterwards.

Is eating like sex? They both echo that primitive and formative pleasure we experienced as babies from putting things in our mouths. And how many times have you heard someone describe a meal as “orgasmic”? I’d be a fucking millionaire if I had a dollar for each time I heard that line. Nevertheless, I do understand the analogy: the right forkful of nourishment is a beautiful thing to experience. The flavors are perfectly balanced: the sweet with the sour, the salty with the bitter. The texture is sublime; creamy pomme puree, silky smooth gravy, robust meat and the delicate crunch of French fried onions. I’ve had those before, and they were all pure ecstasy.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say they were “orgasmic”, though, because that would put women in an unfair comparison with a nice, tender grilled Filet of Beef. And such a comparison would only serve to reinforce the notion that most women tend to repeat quite often:

Men treat women like pieces of meat.

Ok, let us analyse that for a second: do you know the care that is given to a piece of meat?

The best meat comes from a happy animal. Wagyu beef and Kobe beef is culled from cows that do nothing but drink beer all day, get massages and listen to soothing music. That way, their flesh has more of the flavorful fat marbling and is more tender and soft, since the cow has not been using the muscle at all. Even when they’re slaughtered, it’s done quickly and painlessly to prevent a lactic acid build-up in the muscles that could ruin the taste and texture of the meat.

A delicate Rib-eye steak is not something to be pounded into wafer thin protein wafers. It is something to be lovingly tended to, carefully trimmed of excess fat, until all you are left with is a succulent and lean piece of flesh. Lightly seasoned, it delights in the heat of the pan, subtly perfumed with rosemary and thyme and presented in all its glory with a minimum of fanfare. A well-cooked piece of meat is a beautiful thing to behold.

Maybe if we gave our food the same care and attention we gave our palates, then our significant others would be happier, more fulfilled. More tender.

A word to the wise; when giving your better half a diamond ring; do not tell her you’re trying to keep the cow happy.

Cooking time… 20 minutes


About Wesam E Masoud
Chef Patron of @chefsmarketmasr, Host of @CBCSofra's #matbakh101. I have one degree in Medicine & 3rd degree burns from cooking.

One Response to No Food, just Thought.

  1. Haatem Reda says:

    I think a sense of release is common to many of life’s pleasures! Sex, food, pain relief, entertainment. Euphoria.

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