Monday, 15 October 2012

Food, Sex & Mussels

Kitchenslut has been somewhat perplexed by the controversy and political upheaval following the comparison by the now parliamentary ex-speaker of bivalve molluscs to female genitalia. 

What has confused is that beyond the context of the legal and political implications, whic are indeed real, the descriptions themselves have been regarded as too “vile” or “disgusting” to even report: Mussels off the menu at the ABC.

Food and sex, sex and food, have long shared an intimate association. KS recently acquired an anthology of food writing by Clarissa Dickson Wright (half of the two fat ladies) where she relates advice from her mother that you could assess someone sexual abilities by the way they ate asparagus. Personally, an image of how one devours oysters freshly shucked from the shell is a preferred indicator! Damn, there’s the shellfish again!
Bivalve molluscs, including mussels, have been associated with female genitalia since at least the ancient Greek civilisation. There is no absense of links to comparisons of mussels with female genitalia so rather than dwell on that perhaps some more contemporary and obscure references. A food blogger is most eloquently erotic when posting her recipe for drunken mussels linguine:
‘What kind of woman has to seduce her boyfriend?’
The kind of woman who, right before dinner, asks her man (who hasn’t eaten all day), “Don’t you want to sex me now?”
The kind of woman who says during dinner, “Don’t the mussels look like vaginas to you?  Look, there’s the labia.  Eat the labia!  Eat the vagina-mussels!”
I’m a good seductress, don’t you think?

A more naive lad has responded in comments at ASK Yahoo: What does a vagina look like?

The entry of the inner labia looks like a mussel after cooking it (the shellfish, not the vagina lol), different color obviously. I never noticed that until my girlfriend showed me at a buffet.

Leaving unclear precisely whether his girlfriend had shown him the mussel or her labia at the buffet??

I did also stumble upon a comment that critics of the description as offensive may not have read enough erotic lesbian poetry. Darn those misogynist lesbian poets! 

However, it must be acknowledged that the comments from Mr Slipper related specifically to de-shelled brined mussels in a jar. Not an image which rocks my boat but hey! Was it this which actually caused offense in either a culinary or metaphorical sense? At least Slipper's texts were meant to be private and not Posted on Youtube!

We are privileged in this era to now enjoy mussels more than ever. The vacuum packs of live mussels in salt water are an exceptional innovation and quality, the uncertainty once associated with mussels removed. Also no longer the tedious task of de-bearding the mussels! Note that ironically this last feature also parallels contemporary pubic fashion in recent times!

It is to be hoped the current prudery does not taint the image of mussels! Perhaps it is the mussels which should also be offended?

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