Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Food and Sex

I must confess that while I find a man who can cook attractive (and I have been wooed by mediocre dishes simply because they were prepared by men), I find a man who knows how to wash stockings more attractive.

I heard the term Gastrosexual a few weeks ago while watching Franco-German cultural news. I thought it was somewhat insulting, targeting the young males as predators who cook in order to attract women. A Gastrosexual is apparently a male, aged 25-44, who cooks exotic dishes in order to gain praise. I dealt with the term "Metrosexual", and although I find groomed men attractive, I vowed never to date a man who described himself as such. I think my aversion to a Gastrosexual is even greater. Yesterday, I read an eloquent post at Bacon Concentrate on the subject & I feel that I have to elaborate on my comments.

According to the study of food historian Dr. Paul Levy (the man who coined the term "foodie"), a Gastrosexual differs from a Foodie in the hunt for praise. A Foodie is interested in all aspects of food while a Gastrosexual is interesed in the acknowledgement that he (for the Gastrosexual is nearly always male) receives. The more far-flung the origin of the dish, the more impressive it is, and Asia, being the most far-flung from Britain, is the most impressive. This belief is apparently linked to the perceived complexity of Asian cuisine. This results in the fact that Gastrosexuals cook Asian food and go on Asian cooking tours, presumably to impress the most people. Bear in mind, the study was commissioned by PurAsia, the makers of pre-made Asian food.

For clarification: Asian food is no more difficult to cook than the cuisine of any other continent. (Yes, an entire continent appears to be one generic mass of cuisine. Try that in classification in Europe.) All you need is the right ingredients, which, thanks to the wonders of airplanes and immigration, are not that hard to find. Even in Germany, a country that expressed for decades, it is not a nation for immigrants, I can find all the exotic spices I need to make a decent meal from a multitude of various Asian nations.

Not only does the self-absorbed Gastrosexual seems like an ass, so does the company PurAsia in its attempt to sell itself by claiming that you can impress women with PurAsia products. I doubt I will ever buy PurAsia products, and I hope to never date a Gastrosexual. I found a guy who does laundry. I'm sticking with him.


Cathy said...

ick - really? That would turn me off completely. Here here on the laundry - S has been banished after putting a cashmere sweater in the dryer. But...I have a man who cleans the bathroom for me....I'm happy with that.

E. Lee said...

Hehehe, thanks for your lucid take on this ridiculous PR stunt. We can cry into our (not-frozen or boxed) Thai food should "Gastrosexual" ever go mainstream.

Where do you live in Germany? I spent some time in Berlin two summers ago, and loved Berlin's unique brand of "hipness" (I felt like Berlin was sort of nonchalant about its own coolness, so it felt very welcoming and still utterly "cool"). I'm thinking of learning German (in my spare time) and spending a month over there next summer...what do you think?

taste traveller said...

Cathy: Cleaning the bathroom (and esp vaccuuming long black hair off of floors) is a very, very good thing.

E: I'm in Heidelberg, a quaint University town in the south. Not as cool as Berlin, but a cosy place to call home. I'm all in favour of learning new languages, it just so happens that the University of Heidelberg offers an excellent summer language program (no, I don't get paid for plugs but I know a bunch of the instructors).

Murasaki Shikibu said...

hmm maybe those guys who tried to pick me up by saying they'd make Sushi for me were gastrosexuals??? Well it was a stupid ploy because I don't really want to eat Sushi made by a European male (who is not a Sushi Chef) considering how difficult it is to get fish fresh enough for it around here. I don't dare make it myself and unless he's a fisherman the fish would probably be unfit to eat raw. :p

taste traveller said...

Murasaki: That's too funny! Some boys are just dumb. :-)

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