Category Archives: Food

Down Home

I went to the southern restaurant in Montpelier for lunch yesterday with a fellow southerner.  The food was good, but the yummiest thing was not on the menu.  It was our waiter. He was fine as wine. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t gay but damn was he good looking. Jet black hair and black eyes. He was model worthy. Perfect white straight teeth and a bit of scruff on his face. I’d love to have gotten into his Fruit of the Looms.

Vermont v. Alabama 

I received the following comment on my Saturday Moment of Zen post:

Joe, you have now been in Vermont for a month. What about a post on the differences in the aspects of living in the Deep South and living in Deepest New England? Your comments would be very interesting. Your last post touched on accent and way of speech but what else – not just material things, such as food and the time difference, but the way people behave and think?–The Academic 

The first thing I had to get used to, especially when driving around, is that I am in the mountains. Where I live is about 750 feet above sea level. Alabama’s highest peak is 1445 ft, whereas where I grew up was about 400 feet above sea level but so was everything else (In other words, it was relatively flat). The mountain that I am closest to, and is part of the university’s campus is 2382 feet. To get anywhere, you seem to have to go over or around mountains, so while a nearby town may only be 10 miles away, it takes roughly 20-30 minutes. That being said, I am not complaining. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, I just have to get used to the very steep hills, especially when they are covered in ice and snow during the winter. Also, while other towns are 20-30 minutes away, I was already used to that where I lived in rural Alabama. The exception being that here I actually live in a small town which has some of the conveniences you’d expect in a small town. An added bonus is that I live less than a mile from work, whereas in Alabama, I lived 40 miles from work.
Similar to where I was in Alabama, the young guys still drive trucks that are far too loud, and they race up and down the streets in Vermont just like in Alabama. That is one of the things that struck me as very similar to back home. There are a lot of similarities between Alabama and Vermont, as both are rural states. There are churches everywhere, but the ones up here are more accepting of gay people. Sadly though, there are no churches of Christ that I can find. Yes, there are United Churches of Christ, but that’s a totally different animal. It looks like I might be going to a Lutheran church with my boss, at least they celebrate communion each Sunday. 

Besides the churches, everyone seems to know everyone else. When I went in the pharmacy the first time and explained that I had out-of-state prescriptions, they knew exactly who I was and all about me by the time I returned that afternoon to pick my prescriptions up. It seems that the wife of the university president works there. I’ve lived here a month and already people in the stores and post office know me. That’s a nice feeling. Whereas the same could be said about Alabama, in Vermont the people are genuinely friendly, not the fake friendly that many people are in Alabama. When someone sees you, they are actually happy to see you, not just being nosy trying to figure out what you are doing and what gossip they can either get from you or make up about you. I am stereotyping badly here, but there is a certain truths in it.

As for food, there are a few differences, like “bombs,” which is a hot sandwich that comes on a roll that is halfway between a hot dog bun and a hoagie roll and is usually filled with a meat and a cheese. They are quite yummy. Also, when they say “greens,” in Alabama, it meant collards or turnips, here it means kale. They put kale on everything up here. I am surprised that I can find a lot of foods familiar to home in the grocery stores here. I don’t think I’ve seen grits, though they do have polenta, but I have seen corn meal. Surprisingly, though what is hard to find is self-rising flour. When I went to the grocery store last night, they had only one kind of self-rising flour, and they did not have self-rising cake flour. They also don’t sell PET milk, which didn’t matter since they did have Carnation evaporated milk and I had already planned on using heavy whipping cream in a recipe instead to give it a richer flavor. One other thing about food, you are much more likely to get local meats and cheeses and many restaurants try to use as many local ingredients as possible. Vermont cheese is phenomenal, by the way. Nearly every town seems to have their own beer brewery, and some places make hard cider, which I like better anyway. Citizen Cider’s Unified Press is delicious, but that stuff will sneak up on you.

Also, Vermont politics are odd, especially the fact that with my political beliefs I’m considered a liberal Democrat in Alabama and more of a moderate Republican in Vermont. I’ve always said that I was a moderate, but don’t expect me to start considering myself a Republican just because I live in a “hippy-dippy liberal” state now. The town meetings and how they conduct their primary will be quite interesting.

Now to what I suspect you all really want to know: how do I perceive the way they treat gay people up here? First of all, let me say that Vermont does not have a single gay bar. They do have at least one bar that has a monthly gay night. I’ve looked into this to kind of understand why, because Vermont is a very gay-friendly state, but what I have found, or have been told, is that there isn’t a need for a separate gay bar. As a gay man, and I think many of you will agree with this, you don’t always feel welcomed at hetero bars, but it’s different here. I’ve been in a few bars and such here and it always seemed like there was a good mix of gay and straight people. Everyone is treated the same. Sadly this means that there are no go-go boys dancing nearly naked on the bars or shirtless bartenders, but I can live with that, as I have found the waiters and bartenders tend to be cute and flirty jut the same. Also, there seems to be a wide array of gay groups in the state. I’m thinking of volunteering for Vermont Pride.

The thing is, sexuality seems to be a non-issue from anything I’ve seen. My boss went out of her way when I interviewed to let me know how open and accepting the university is and how supportive the president is of LGBT issues. I never mentioned I was gay, but I didn’t try to hide it. It’s part of who I am, but it’s not my defining characteristic. I have sort of mentioned things here and there but it was just in normal conversation. One of my coworkers was asking me yesterday how I was adapting and how I liked it up here, and I told her how much I really love it. I told her that “I had wanted out of Alabama, because it’s just not a good place to grow up as a gay boy.” I think she was happy that I confirmed it. I didn’t want my sexuality to be office gossip, but I figured that at some point it would come up. This particular co-worker confided in me after I’d actually said that I was gay, that when I’d had my phone interview and I’d said that the school had put me on charge of the drama club, even though I had no previous experience with the dramatic arts, she knew she wanted to get me out of Alabama and really pushed for me to get the job. They had really liked my cover letter and resume, so all I had to do was back it up and be a pleasant person. I’d already been told that it was a unanimous vote amongst the staff to hire me, but I had no idea that they’d basically decided to hire me after my telephone interview.

The important thing is that I am free to be me. I can be myself, and I don’t have to worry about hiding my politics to keep my job or hiding my sexuality to keep my job or hiding anything for that matter. I get to be the me that I’ve always wanted to be and do a job that really is a dream job because I am in a job where I am actually valued for my expertise and my work and opinion matters. Most of all, I am happy.
PS I realize that the winter will be harsh, but so far Mother Nature has been good to me. She is slowly easing me into winter. I’ve been told that Vermont is having its mildest November in a long time, and December is expected to slowly bring us into the brunt of the winter. I am sure that in a couple of months, I will be complaining about the weather and how cold it is, but right now I am looking forward to it.

The Way to a Man’s Heart…


The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  I really do believe this old adage.  Growing up, I loved to watch Mama and Grandmama cook.  I learned so much from them, and then I expanded my knowledge by Food Network and experimenting with different flavors.  By experimenting and learning what spices are best used with what and how t blend flavors, I can often eat a dish once and then replicate it.  My cooking skills is something that I take pride in, even though I know pride is one of the seven deadly sins.

I love cooking for others.  I have had the tremendous joy this week to be able to cook for my boyfriend.  We are getting to spend time with one another while I am house sitting.  My boyfriend makes me so happy.  I’ve been able to to cook each night for him, and he’s so appreciative of my cooking.  It seems to make him happy, which is always my goal when I cook for someone.

I’ve hear all my life what a good husband I will make, but when I cook, I do so because I love it.  I truly do love to cook, and I love to experiment and am especially happy when trying something new pays off.  I don’t know if any of you love cooking, but it’s a wonderful pastime.  And most importantly, it makes other people happy.

Tallywackers, Woodpeckerz, and Roosters


 Move over, Hooters. A new Texas restaurant is all about the scantily-clad men. There have been rumors of an all male version of Hooters for years, but most of them, such as Woodpeckerz in New Orleans, turned out to be pranks.  However, the new restaurant in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood (the gay section of Dallas) seems to be legitimate this time.

Tallywackers is a bar and restaurant slated to open in May in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood, the Houston Chronicle reported. Based on promotional photos on Facebook, the all-male waitstaff will be dressed in not much more than pairs of tight briefs.  Although the restaurant is situated in a predominantly gay neighborhood, Tallywackers is a place for any and every customer. The restaurant is planning to cater to gay men and straight women.  

I wonder how many women will drag their husbands to Tallywackers because the food is “very good,” like husbands drag their wives to Hooters.  I doubt many will do so.  I never understood the appeal of Hooters, but then again, I’m gay.  But quite honestly, there food just isn’t that good, no matter what many men say.

A spokesperson for Tallywackers said its founder conceived of the idea “10 years ago while enjoying the business we all know and love known as “Hooters.” The spokesperson told HuffPost:

He asked himself the same question we’ve all been asking for years, “Why isn’t there a male version for the opposite demographic?” After thorough planning and scouting for the perfect location we are excited to launch Tallywackers, a Bar, Restaurant, and Live Entertainment venue here in the heart of Dallas, Texas.

“While we are aiming towards the LGBT community as part of our audience, we are also expecting and welcome, a diverse clientele including women,” a spokesperson told HuffPost. 

The menu will include dishes like pasta, pizza and hot dogs, and there will be live entertainment.  According to Eater Dallas, the restaurant will be making its debut in Oak Lawn May and will no doubt become a hotspot for bachelorette parties, girls’ nights and Sunday brunch with aunties. After the success of Magic Mike, it was only a matter of time for a sanctuary like this to open. A place where washboard abs and cheese fries could become one. If this “fine” dining establishment achieves success and more locations sprout up around the country, my future self might turn out to be one of their longtime customers. Let’s hope the hot wings are good, and there will soon be a location nearby.

P.S. Roosters was a suggested name I once saw for an all male version of Hooters.

Down the Bayou


I’m still down in bayou country. I had planned to head back yesterday, but my friend begged me to stay a few more days, so I’m heading back home on Tuesday. It’s gonna make for a busy week once I get back, but it will be okay. I enjoying my stay and being able to hang out with one of my best friends and see a few other friends during the meantime.

I’m not sure what the plan is for today. It was mentioned that we would do something, but no specifics were mentioned. I guess we will play it by ear. I kind of enjoy a vacation in which nothing is expected and you can just go with the flow. Whatever we do, we will have a great time doing it, even if it’s just relaxing at the house.

And just a word of warning to anyone who might visit south Louisiana and Cajun country, if something ever says hot and spicy, it’s always has more than just a little kick to it. I enjoy spicy foods, but I like to be able to taste the food, not have my taste buds burned off with the first bite. However, if you are a lover of hot and spicy foods, you will no doubt love Cajun cuisine and the heat they add to nearly all other foods.



I don’t do these TMI posts from Sean at Just A Jeep Guy every week, but on occasion, I see a topic that I can’t resist. Since I love to cook, this one was a no brainer. I had to answer the question. I hope you enjoy my answers.

1. How good of a cook are you?

I’m actually a really good cook. I’ve experimented a lot with different spices and how they taste, so I can usually eat something once and then recreate it. I can also cook a wide variety of food, such as Southern comfort foods, Italian cuisine, Creole and Cajun, Mexican, and various other types of dishes. I’ve never had anyone taste my food that didn’t love it, even when it’s something they don’t normally like. As my aunt usually asks, “Did you doctor it?” My answer is always yes. I’m going to make sure it tastes good before I serve it.

2. Who taught you how to cook?

My grandmama taught me the most about cooking, and my mama helped out a lot as well. They both taught me how to cook good southern food. I learned to cook everything else I cook from watching the Food Network and experimenting with their recipes.

3. Who does the cooking in your home?

I do all of the cooking in my home. Usually, at least once a week or so, I also cook for my neighbors.

4. Do you cook more or eat out more?

I do more cooking than eating out. I enjoy eating out, but I love in a rural area, so eating out is not convenient. I cook what we have at home mostly. This also allows me to regulate the calorie and carb content of my cooking. I almost always make one meat, two vegetables and a bread. The only exception is when I make soups or stews then I only add a bread to that.

5. Are you more of a cook or dessert maker?

I am more of a cook. My mother and I together can make wonderful desserts, but alone, I’m not so good at it. I do make fabulous cookies, though. It’s the one sweet that my mother taught me well enough that I can make cookies and brownies on my own. We used to make a lot of cookies at Christmas time. In fact, we still do, just not together. And I almost forgot, I make a wonderful peach cobbler, but I love to adapt it and use plums instead, which is beyond delicious.

6. What was your worst/funniest cooking moment?

My worst moment is any time I try to fry chicken. My mama can fry a chicken better than anyone I’ve ever known, but I’ve never had her gift, and good fried chicken is a gift.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a funniest cooking moment. Although I recently made a fake coconut cake for a friend: styrofoam for the cake, rolled-out clay for the icing, and fake snow for the coconut. It looks beautiful and delicious, but you wouldn’t want to eat it.

7. What’s your best dish?

My best dish is Scallopini al Vino, which is veal in a white wine sauce. Pair that with risotto, bacon-wrapped asparagus, some linguini, and a good loaf of Italian or French bread, and along with a good pinot grigio, you have a delicious feast. (The dessert will be in the bedroom.)

I do my best cooking with Italian food, but if you prefer Southern comfort food, I can make a delicious meal by frying some pork chops, cooking collard greens and pink-eyed purple hull peas, with some fried hot water cornbread, that as they say in the South “Will make you slap yo mama!”

8. Is revenge a dish best served cold?

I don’t think revenge is a good dish at all. It’s best if you forgive and forget. Why dwell on something when you should jut move on. It’s best just to let anyone you’d want to take revenge on to just go their merry way, and let that be that.

9. Is the best way to a man’s heart truly through his stomach?

Absolutely! Let me cook for a man with a good appetite, and I’m pretty sure I can have him not only for the rest of the night (I make fabulous French toast for breakfast), but for the rest of his life as well. People have always told me that I’d make a wonderful husband, I just haven’t been given the chance to prove it. One day, I will though, and I have no doubt that my cooking skills will close the deal.

Have you made whoopee in the kitchen? Which foods have you used to spice up your love life?

Nope, I’ve never made whoopee in the kitchen, but it is a fantasy of mine. I’ve never used food to spice up my love life, mainly because it’s nearly non-existent. However,that is something I would do if I had the chance. I will say though that Charles Anthony’s Restaurant at “The Pub” in Montgomery, Alabama, has a creme brûlée for dessert is truly an orgasmic experience. I’m serious, take one bite and your dick gets rock hard, eat all of it, and you’ve had an orgasm in your pants. If you are able to resist the orgasm, then you will be so horny by the time you get home, that your significant other won’t know what hit him.

EAT! DRINK! BE MARY!: TMI Questions from Sean


I am not a huge drinker. I am a social drinker more than anything, but my friends tend to consume two or three drinks for each of mine. I especially don’t drink around people who I’m not out to or feel comfortable around because I tend to lose my inhibitions and am a lot gayer. However, when I saw this post from Sean at Just A Jeep Guy, I couldn’t resist adding my two cents. I love these TMI questions when it’s something I can relate to. So here goes:

1. Cocktails at brunch: Bloody Mary or Mimosa? Bloody Mary during cold weather, and Mimosas if it is hot outside. Both are pretty fantastic drinks if made right, but too cheap of a champagne can ruin a Mimosa and its easy to make a bad Bloody Mary if you don’t know what you’re doing.

2. Do you have a favorite food/drink pairing? A good Pinot Grigio with Veal Scallopini (or Scaloppini al Vino) or linguini with clams in a white wine sauce. Of course, you can never go wrong with beer and pizza. Also a favorite is Lazy Magnolia’s (a Mississippi brewery) Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale with pecan crusted chicken is a great pairing.

3. Beer? Wine? or Cocktails? Why? Beer or Mike’s Hard Lemonade on a hot day hanging out with friends. White wine when it’s a more formal event. Cocktails, particularly a margarita or cape cod when out at a bar, unless I don’t want to spend much money, then it’s Bud Light.

4. Red wine or white wine? White wine. I can’t stand red wine.

5. Tell me about the hard stuff. Nothing beats Tito’s Handmade Vodka. It’s a wonderful smooth tasting vodka, and it always gives me lovely dreams.

6. Cigars? No, I’ve tried to smoke them, but I hate them for two reasons: 1) they smell like burning dog shit, and 2) I can’t get the taste out of my mouth the next day.

7. When was the last time you were hungover? Worst hangover? It’s been several months since I’ve had a hangover, but the worst lasted about 3 days. I do my best not to drink enough to have a hangover. It was due to mixing alcohols. I keep with one type of alcohol a night, so that I want get sick. I can’t mix liquor and beer or change the beer I am drinking or drink more than one type of liquor.

8. Best hangover cure. Before I go to bed, I take three-four ibuprofen (depending on how much I had to drink) and a full glass of water. I usually don’t have a hangover if I do this.

9. Craziest/baddest thing you did when you had too much? Did you remember it or did your friends inform you? Make it a fun one! Ok, this might break some illusions some of you have about me, but several years ago, I got really drunk in New Orleans and gave a go-go dancer a blowjob while he was dancing on the bar. I remember it quite well. I am cursed/blessed with remembering everything when I’ve been drinking. It was slutty and a hell of a lot of fun at the time. And yes, I’d do it again if given the chance, lol.

Are you a cheap date? How many drinks does it take you get you into bed? Yep, I’m probably a cheap date, especially if tequila is involved. Tequila makes me horny, and I am not one to drink a whole lot, so yeah, I’m a cheap date. If on a date I am unlikely to drink more than two or three drinks. If out with friends, I rarely drink more than the equivalent to a six pack of beer.

So there you have it. My TMI questions about booze.

Gay Coffee?

Too bad I don’t wake up to him too…

I absolutely love coffee.  I love to wake up to the smell of coffee in the morning, and I almost always go by Starbucks for a cup of coffee before I teach my night class.  It always gives me that extra pep which helps me keep my students engaged in the classroom.  I have always believed that an enthusiastic teacher is one who has the best chance of keeping students interested, but I digress from my original topic which is coffee.  There is a new coffee company catering to the gay coffee lovers, and quite honestly we know that many gay people love coffee, just walk in any Starbucks or coffee shop and you should know what I mean.

The Gay Coffee story begins in 2004, in Northampton, Massachusetts – a small, progressive college town. After working in coffee shops throughout her undergraduate career at Smith College, coffee aficionado Melissa Krueger opened up a tiny cafe in a former ATM kiosk, on a quiet downtown street adjacent to campus. She called it the Elbow Room.

One of the first 100% fair trade coffee cafes in Northampton, the Elbow Room filled up daily with thirsty students, professors, staff, and folks visiting from the all over the world. The cafe soon became a local landmark, the ideal place to meet a friend, take a one minute vacation over an espresso, and chat about the events of the day. The Elbow Room Cafe patrons grew into a family, and word spread about the tiny cafe with the best coffee in town.

Melissa ran the Cafe each day, often from morning ‘til closing, and after two years cranking out locally roasted java, became interested in taking the quality of her coffee one step further. She purchased a small commercial drum coffee roaster and set about learning the craft of coffee roasting herself. Each night after the Cafe closed, she disappeared into the small roastery behind her house and, like a mad scientist, roasted late into the night perfecting each bean.

The Elbow Room’s reputation grew, and patrons lined up down the street and around the corner as word spread about Melissa’s fresh and vibrant hand-roasted coffees. As her business grew, Melissa maintained her commitment to 100% fair trade coffee purchasing. With her partner Mary, she traveled to rural Nicaragua to meet coffee growers and hear their stories. And four years later, unable to keep up with demand for her coffee, Melissa sold the little Cafe to purchase bigger equipment and pursue a new career as a full time coffee roaster.

A few months after launching her new coffee roasting company in early 2011, Melissa and Mary were musing one morning – over coffee, of course! – about the recent legalization of gay marriage in New York. Watching the images of couples marrying on television, Melissa and Mary toasted the screen and smiled at one another with their cups raised. With a clink, the idea for Gay Coffee was born. At the intersection of a historic moment in gay civil rights, and over the morning ritual of sharing a cup of exquisite coffee, Gay Coffee was conceived as the perfect integration of these two powerful themes. Gay Coffee celebrates ourselves, our history, and our unique contribution to the world.

Melissa’s passion for roasting the very best coffee is reflected in every cup of Gay Coffee. All of their coffees are fairly traded and organically sourced, respecting their coffee growing partners, and our planet’s health with 1% of all profits donated to the LGBT Task Force. Melissa continues to roast each batch by hand in her Williamsburg, Massachusetts studio and cups every roast of Gay Coffee before it is packaged. She, Mary, and the crew at Gay Coffee hope you enjoy these unique, vibrant coffees as much as they enjoy bringing them to you, one cup at a time.

Gay Coffee debuted at the Castro Street Fair in San Francisco, California on October 2, 2011 with five new hand-roasted coffee blends. Each named after various aspects of queer culture, Stone Butch Breakfast Blend, Good Morning Mary!, Red Hanky Roast, Second Date, and Weekend Pass mix humor with history to create a product that is both educational and enjoyable. Rather than simply tap into queer culture for the camp value, each package of Gay Coffee is also informative. Every blend named after an aspect of gay culture also includes a description of its place in LGBT history.

“One part of our branding is to take some stereotypes and themes we are all sort of familiar with, take ownership of them in what we hope is a fun and funny way, and then compliment the wink and chuckle with a piece of something more meaningful and thoughtful,” said Krueger. “I have actually learned quite a bit about gay history during this project. I’m always particularly delighted when someone reads the back of one of our coffees and says, ‘Oh cool, I didn’t know that!’”

A brand name with such obvious ties to the LGBT community might have made some entrepreneurs nervous, but Krueger says the idea that her coffee could be controversial was never an issue. “My main concern launching Gay Coffee was more that people would take the time to interact … and really enjoy the whole product – our branding, our sense of humor, our mission and, of course, our coffee.”

Aside from perpetuating the unique legacy of queer culture, a percentage of all profits from Gay Coffee are also donated to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. However, it was also important to Krueger that her company be mindful in another way as well.

“Unlike the vast majority of coffee companies out there, 100% of our coffee is sourced fair trade and organic. We think the fair trade price and mission should apply to all of the coffee farmers we buy from, not just a couple,” Krueger said. “I have travelled to coffee producing areas and spoken with coffee farmers, stayed at their houses, and feel very strongly about our commitment to being a real fair trade company.”

Melissa Krueger’s commitment to fairness and quality has earned Gay Coffee high praise since the brand debuted earlier this month.

“The response to the product has been incredibly positive,” Krueger said. “I am personally in awe of the tremendous positive feedback we have received, and inspired to continue to create something that does good, tastes great, and makes people happy.”

To order your own batch of Gay Coffee, visit the company’s website.

Sensuality and Food

As I said in my post about aphrodisiacs:

In simple terms, the “Doctrine of Signatures” is the idea that God has marked everything He created with a sign (signature).  This doctrine states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body.

image The consumption of certain foods can invoke a powerful response to our libidos, just because of the various body parts they resemble. My favorite is probably a crème filled éclair.  How can you go wrong with such a phallic symbol as that?  It’s long and thick, and cream bursts from it when you bite it just the right way.  Yum, Yum…

image Éclairs are by far not the only sensual food.  Think of asparagus, long stalks that are still crispy enough to stand when cooked correctly.  Or what about carrots or any number of root vegetables. What about small potatoes that look like perfectly formed testicles.  Or you can go right for a more literal interpretation.  Mountain oysters and bull and sheep testicles have long been eaten for their testosterone laden potency. 

There is an old story about the guy who went to a bull fight.  Afterward, he sits down at a nearby restaurant to eat dinner.  With much fanfare, the guy at image the table next to him is served this beautiful dish with two luscious lumps of meat, and he relishes it as he eats it.  The guy asks his waiter, what is that lovely meal that guy is having, and why is he enjoying it so much.  The waiter replies that it is the testicles of the bull that was slain in the arena that day.  They supposedly supply the eater with the potency of a bull, and therefore, he can fuck all night. So the guy asks, how can I get that dish.  He says you must be the first to order it before the bullfight, then when you arrive after the bullfight it will be served to you.  Right there the guys says, well put me down for tomorrows dish, I want to see how potent these bulls testicles are.  So he goes to the bullfight, but he is so excited about his meal that he leaves early.  he has a few glasses of wine waiting for his meal to be prepared and arrive.  Finally, the waiter tells him that it is ready.  And with much fanfare, he is brought out a rather sad looking dish.  On a bed of lettuce are two rather small pieces of meat. The guy looks at his waiter and says, wait a minute, why the hell are these so small, they look nothing like the dish from last night.  The waiter replies, “Sometimes, the bull wins.”

image In Asia, they actually go beyond the eating of the testicles of animals, but a particular delicacy that is meant to enhance the potency of a man, is an animals penis.  The meaty cartilage around the penis bone (unlike humans, most animals actually do have a bone in their penis) is a sensuous meal served mainly to men to enhance their sexual prowess.  Eating testicles and penises are taking the  “Doctrine of Signatures” to a whole new level.

image All of these foods can be used in the most sensual and exciting way, especially if your love of food and man can be mixed.  I say have a Ancient Roman banquet.  If you have a low table, some pillows on the floor for reclining, spread out a a feast of sensual foods that resemble the penis, the testicles, and maybe even through in some fruit like peaches that resemble a perfect ass. Then you and your partner can feed each other, make sure that you only use your hands to eat with so that it is far more of a sensual experience.

So since my friend Crothdiver over at Anything Male challenged me to a post about aphrodisiacs and the sensuality of food, here is my challenge to him:

You have mentioned several times how much you like to cook….Well, can you plan a menu (recipes included) that would be your ideal of a sensual banquet?  What is the most romantic and sexually laced meal that you can come up with?

Love Potion #…Nah, I’m Not Eating That

“The Roman Emperor Vitellius gave a feast in honor of Minerva at which the piéce de résistance called for the brains of a thousand peacocks and the tongues of a thousand flamingos.”

image Throughout history man has searched the earth for ways of enhancing sexual desire, looking for substances which would act as aphrodisiacs, a word derived from the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. This quest for sexual stimulants has encompassed a startling variety of substances, some with good reason but many on the basis of entirely unfounded ideas. One good example of a well known but false sex enhancer is the long sought after rhinoceros horn, which is powdered and consumed in alcohol. Equally unfounded is the consumption of other animal products such as various parts of the tiger and the bear and drinks containing such delicacies as crushed frog bones or snake droppings.
image Aphrodisiac recipes have been cooked up throughout the world for millennia. In Europe, up to the eighteenth century, many recipes were based on the theories of the Roman physician Galen, who wrote that foods worked as aphrodisiacs if they were “warm and moist” and also “windy,” meaning they produced flatulence. Spices, mainly pepper, were important in aphrodisiac recipes. And because they were reckoned to have these qualities, carrots, asparagus, anise, mustard, nettles, and sweet peas were commonly considered aphrodisiacs.
An aphrodisiac, as we use the term today, is something that inspires lust. It usually isn’t meant to cure impotence or infertility, problems that are now handled by separate fields of medicine. But until recently there was little distinction between sexual desire and function. Any lack of lust, potency, or fertility would have a common cure in an aphrodisiac. Galen thought that a “wind” — or as one 16th-century writer put it, an “insensible pollution” — inflated the penis to cause an erection, so anything that made you gassy would also make you erect.
image Galen’s theories were not the only basis for concocting aphrodisiacs. Mandrake root was eaten as an aphrodisiac and as a cure for female infertility because the forked root was supposed to resemble a woman’s thighs. This was based on an arcane philosophy called the “doctrine of signatures.”In simple terms, the “Doctrine of Signatures” is the idea that God has marked everything He created with a sign (signature).  This doctrine states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body. Oysters may have come to be known as an aphrodisiac only by their resemblance to female genitals. However, because of the high amount of zinc in raw oysters, it actually worked to produce more semen and healthier sperm.  Few old medical texts listed oysters as an aphrodisiac, although literary allusions to that use are plentiful.
image Parts of the skink, a kind of lizard, were thought to be an aphrodisiac for centuries. It’s hard to say why exactly, but three different ancient authors make the claim. Potatoes, both sweet and white, were once known as an aphrodisiac in Europe, probably because they were a rare delicacy when they were first transplanted from the Americas. Potatoes are also related to night shade, which was known as a poison in Europe, but the Incas who first cultivated and domesticated potatoes as a food source, bred out the inherent poisons.
image Some aphrodisiacs came out of mythology. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love (from whose name, of course, “aphrodisiac” is derived) was supposed to have held sparrows sacred. We think rabbits are promiscuous animals, hence the Playboy bunny and certain lewd sayings, but the ancient Greeks thought sparrows were especially lustful. Because of the association with Aphrodite, Europeans were inclined to eat sparrows, particularly their brains, as aphrodisiacs.
St. Thomas Aquinas, a 13th-century friar, also wrote a bit on aphrodisiacs. Like Galen, he thought aphrodisiac foods had to produce “vital spirit” and provide good nutrition. image So meat, considered the heartiest food, was an aphrodisiac. Drinking wine produced the “vital spirit.” The association between food and eroticism is primal, but some foods have more aphrodisiacal qualities than others. Biblical heroines, ancient Egyptians, and Homeric sorceresses all swore by the root and fruit of the mandrake plant. The grape figured prominently in the sensual rites of Greek Dionysian cults, and well-trained geishas have been known to peel plump grapes for their pampered customers. Fermented, of course, grape juice yields wine, renowned for loosening inhibitions and enhancing attraction (though as Shakespeare’s porter wryly notes in Macbeth, alcohol “provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance”). image Honey sweetens the nectar-like philters prescribed in the Kama Sutra to promote sexual vigor, and the modern “honeymoon” harks back to the old custom for newlyweds to drink honeyed mead in their first month of marriage. Grains like rice and wheat have long been associated with fertility if not with love, and Avena sativa (green oats), an ingredient in many over-the-counter sexual stimulants, may explain why young people are advised to “sow their wild oats.” Numerous herbs and spices—basil, mint, cinnamon, cardamom, fenugreek, ginger, pepper, saffron, and vanilla, to name a few—appear in ancient and medieval recipes for love potions, as well as in lists of foodstuffs forbidden in convents because of their aphrodisiac properties.
image Among other delicacies banned by the Church in centuries past were black beans, avocados, and chocolate, presumably all threats to chastity. And truffles—both earthy black and ethereal white—caused religious consternation in the days of the Arab empire. One story has it that the muhtasib of Seville tried to prohibit their sale anywhere near a mosque, for fear they would corrupt the morals of good Muslims. For those who held debauchery in higher esteem, the list of favored aphrodisiacs was bound only by the imagination. The herb valerian, noted for its stimulant properties at lower doses, was long a brothel favorite, and yu-jo, professional women of pleasure in feudal Japan, supplemented their charms with the aphrodisiacal powers of eels, lotus root, and charred newts.
image Another foodstuff much favored by Casanova was chocolate, although the first person associated with chocolate as an alleged aphrodisiac was the Aztec ruler Montezuma, who is said to have drank 50 cups of hot chocolate a day in order to fully service his harem of 600 women. Such was the reputation of chocolate at that time, that the Aztecs and also the Mayans celebrated the harvest of the cocoa bean with festivals of orgies. However, this was far from being the earliest use of a vegetable substance for sexual purposes, as various plants were being extensively used in China thousands of years before that. image  The earliest known beneficiary was Huang Ti, the Yellow Emperor, who lived around 2600 BC. He was provided with a potion made from 22 herbal ingredients mixed with wine and it apparently bestowed him with an amazing sexual stamina. Empowered with this potent concoction of herbs he was able to enjoy the sexual favors of 1200 women and achieve a legendary status as the greatest of all lovers.
Coffee is another old one, and it’s still sometimes considered an aphrodisiac. “Every time you have an excitation, you have an effect of disinhibition,” says Paola Sandroni, MD, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic. She reviewed the scientific evidence that exists on many supposed aphrodisiacs, and published her findings in the journal Clinical Autonomic Research.
image But to call coffee or anything that contains caffeine an aphrodisiac would be misleading. “I think the effect is much more general,” she says. In the same way, cocaine and amphetamines may seem to be aphrodisiacs because they stimulate the central nervous system, but they have no specific effects on sexual desire.
Sandroni also looked at studies on ambergris, which comes from the guts of whales and is used in perfumes. Some consider ambergris an aphrodisiac and there is evidence to support this notion. In animal studies, it increased levels of testosterone in the blood, which is essential to the male sex drive, and is thought to play a part in women’s libido as well.
Next to oysters, the most well known aphrodisiac is the fabled “Spanish fly.” image It’s not just a legend. Such a thing does exist. Its active ingredient is the chemical cantharidin, which is found in blister beetles. Cantharidin irritates genital membranes, and so it is believed to be arousing. It’s also deadly, causing kidney malfunction or gastrointestinal hemorrhages in people who ingest too much. A quick Internet search is all it takes to find some for sale. Sandroni says she was “horrified” to see how easy it is to buy.
Then there’s the “herbal Viagra” pitched in spam emails. This is yohimbe bark. Some claim, falsely, that arginine, an amino acid in yohimbe, can restore erectile function and act as an aphrodisiac. “The only saving grace there is that arginine in large quantity is not harmful,” says Cynthia Finley, a dietician at Johns Hopkins University.
The Roman poet Ovid wrote in The Art of Love, after giving a litany of aphrodisiacs,

Prescribe no more my muse, nor medicines give

Beauty and youth need no provocative.

Similarly, Finley says she thinks the only true aphrodisiac is good health achieved by a balanced diet — which isn’t all that different from what St. Thomas Aquinas said 800 years ago.

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