The early 19th century French aristocrat the Marquis de Sade once said, "Sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other."
A libertine at heart, this “Good Samaritan” was an advocate of extreme freedom, bound by no moral compass, religion, or law, a fact which kept him for the most part in prison. Jail. Why?
He would be a man after my own heart and libido today, if I were still so inclined. I can’t say why the “Sade” popped into my head at this particular moment, as a delicate trickle of blood, like a crimson river, flowed gently down my butchered finger, around my knuckle, and dripped onto the summer squash I was preparing for dinner. “Hypocrites,” I thought to myself. “Damnit!” I shouted as I stood there watching red mix with yellow and wondering why there was no orange.
Sex and food. I have a history with it, carnal knowledge, if you will, of intimate delicacies, succulent desires, tasty treats, and forbidden dishes. It is no surprise to anyone, least of all to me, that the Sade figured this out centuries ago. It is also no surprise that the French word for “ass,” “cul” spelled C-U-L, finds its way into the word culinary. C-U-L inary. The two are inseparable. I have equally and permissively fallen in love with women and fresh-baked cookies, their plump round asses baking under a summer sun. Sade understood perfectly the “five senses” of l’être humain; he exploited them to their fullest climactic potential. Those who deny themselves these pleasures, yet say so while seated at your table, will not know what to do when the shucked oysters arrive. See for yourself.
How do I know this to be true? I’ve had a lesson or two.
My grandmother on my dad’s side was Portuguese. My grandma Cosmina, not much taller than I was as a kid, couldn’t speak a lick of English but she could make a mean dish of “favish.” It was a sort of poor man’s stew made with fava beans, potatoes, beef, turnips, carrots, onions, and several special ingredients that had everyone clamoring for more. Portuguese comfort food if you will. My mom tried making it a couple of times to please my dad but it usually ended up in the garbage disposal. Her family was from Quebec. Anyway, the story goes that my grandfather, whom I’ve been told I resemble, was a bit of a philanderer. A womanizer.