When I went to Betty recently, my dining companion and I got two different versions of the dinner menu.
“The Parmesan pudding looks interesting,” I kept saying, but she couldn’t find it on her menu, and wasn’t getting excited by the sound of it.
I repeated the line, then realizing the potential selling point, added, “It comes with chanterelle mushrooms.” That sealed the deal. My companion loves mushrooms.
The pudding looked like a flan, albeit with a nutty, earthy flavor that was subtle and seductive. Parmesan cheese is a hallmark of umami, the fifth flavor, which is sometimes known as savory (to go along with sweet, salty, sour, and bitter), but is somewhat more complex than that.
Betty amps up the dish by doubling down on the umami through the addition of those beloved chanterelles. Mushrooms, like Parmesan, are also umami-packers, and their presence on top of the pudding made me ecstatic. This dynamic duo of parmesan and chanterelles was all about flavor–and the enhancement of that flavor.
So, as Sexy Feast always asks: What does this dish teach us about sex?
What we eat can definitely affect the flavor of bodily fluids. Ever eaten a garlicky dinner? Or a big plate of asparagus? Think about how you might sweat garlic or have unique urine odor afterward.
It’s the same for our sex juices.
Some years ago, a woman who called herself “The Taste Tester” blogged about blowjobs and the taste of her boyfriend’s semen. She’d have him eat a large amount of a specific food for a period of time, then pleasure him to eventually eat his ejaculate. Her findings typically mimicked the consensus opinion: Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and asparagus can make semen more bitter-tasting, whereas strawberries and other fruits make semen sweeter.
I’ve long stated that pineapple and kiwi are some of the best sweetening agents, which might make Hawaiians and New Zealanders the best lovers based on taste. Note, though, that it takes great quantities to get the desired impact, so you’d probably want to travel to those places to find a potential lover based on that practice.
Still, sexually speaking, it’s good to think about the taste of what you slip inside of your mouth, and how that affects the flavor of what later seeps out of your body–and into another’s.
As for the Parmesan pudding with chanterelle mushrooms, I’m not sure how the umami blast affects the bodily fluids. But I do know that Betty served up a nearly orgasmic dish and, as always, food for thought.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on October 21, 2010.