Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Food and Sex

I joke with friends that food means more me to than sex, but it's really not a joke. It does. Given a choice between a meal of my favortie foods and sex, I think I'd always choose the meal, since a good meal is a guaranteed pleasure, and sex is not a guaranteed pleaure. Sex can be the most amazing experience, or the most horrible, but if I go to my favorite dumpling place, order a dish of Sesame wontons, I am guaranteed pleasure: it'll never disappoint. By the way, Plump Dumpling, on 11th Street, between 1st and 2nd, makes the best sesame wontons I've ever eaten. The Cantonese wontons are fresh, tasty, and the sauce is delicious. I strongly recommend a journey to this haven of the dumpling arts. The regular dumplings are good too, and the prices are cheap! They serve regular Chinese food too, but I can't resist the dumplings and wontons, so I've never moved beyond them on the menu.
I can also remember food firsts more than the first time I had intercourse. I know who it was I first fucked, but beyond that, no sense memory remains. I don't recall where I first had sex, if I came, or how it came to be, but I can recall the first time I ate real butter (in a hotel room, as a child, visiting a friend of my parents), the first time I had fresh fish (camping in Montauk, 1967), and the best pizza I ever ate (in Varazze, Italy). The reason I had never tasted butter was that even though both my parents cooked, my dad had high blood pressure, and back then doctors told you to eat margarine, believing it to be better. Turns out just the opposite is true, and I learned one of my first invaluable food lessons from that butter: Something real is always better than something fake. This is true of butter, sugar, breasts, whatever. The real thing is always more satisfying. The fresh fish was straight off a fishing boat: back then, fisherman in Montauk would bring their catch to the docks, and you could buy a fish or too right from them. Don't know if this is still true, but I'll never forget how amazed I was at the flavor of fresh fish over frozen. The pizza was served in this restaurant in Varazze, where I was travelling off season, along the Italain coast. We tried the restaurant because a sign mentioned a special of baby octopus in cream, but they didn't have it, and in fact, I never got to try it, because they never seemed to have it. I stll dream of tha octopus, as I am a huge fan of baby octopus. But the pizza was superb! Food has always imprinted itself on my braincells with sensual clarity, more so than almost any other activity I indulge in. It's just the way it is.

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