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Sexy food?

I went out to dinner Saturday night with some girlfriends. I ordered my usual at the place: a simple but buttery filet mignon, grilled vegetables, and a glass of Pinot Noir. One of my friends semi-jokingly remarked, "Ohhh, red wine and steak, so sexy!" after I ordered, and we were instantly catapulted into a discussion of what food actually IS considered 'sexy'.

One of the girls argued that anything French or Italian is considered seductive. None of us could disagree with the Italian part of her stance. She has two aunts that live in Italy and come to visit her family every single summer. I've met them several times, and I adore them. Everything about them is earthy, sensual. They make the simplest dishes, like perfumed oranges with aged balsamic, olive oil, and thin slices of prosciutto, seem like an intoxicating, exotic treat.

However, I brought up the whole aspic fiasco that went down in Julie Powell's book as she worked her way through 'Mastering The Art of French Cooking' and we agreed that not ALL French food gets your pulse racing in a good way.

Someone else said sexy food is messy food, and referenced an old commercial where a couple slurps on peaches while gazing salacaiously at one another from across the table.

I mentioned that I'm a sucker for old school seduction fare: strawberries, whipped cream, champagne, chocolate souffle, chocolate truffles, chocolate anything, really.

So what does the rest of Chowhound think? What foods, recipes, even menus strike you as sexy? Sensual? Romantic? Lust-inducing? etc?

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  1. Any chocolate raspberry combo is dead sexy to me.

    Ice cream cones can be damn near erotic, if you're, uh, pervy like that. Ahem.

    My new husband made our first homemade dinner as a married couple a romantic one; it was last weekend and I just loved it. We started with arugula, goat cheese, and grilled peaches with a champagne vinaigrette. Then we had lamb with a sour cherry and sweet wine sauce, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Dessert was simply some chocolate ice cream. That will serve as one of the most seductive meals in the universe to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jadore

      Congrats on your marriage! I'm getting married next June, I can hardly wait. :)

      Ice cream cones ARE erotic, dammit. The first time I finished an entire vanilla cone in front of my now fiance, he told me he wanted to throw me down and take me on the spot. (Luckily he restrained himself because we were at an outdoor concert and there were 200 people in the vicinity.)

      And ohh, your first newlywed dinner sounds delicious! What a sweetheart he must be.

    2. I agree that messy food is sexy food, particularly anything that is managed with fingers. I hold a belief that food and sex are the most sensual experiences available to us and it's all to do with stimulating all 5 senses. Which is probably why I like to play with my food (I love eating with my fingers!) and I always have my nose in my wine glass - I swear I spend more time smelling my wine than actually tasting it. Actually that would explain my habit of spending time looking at food porn and why I love the snapping sound of a really excellent raspberry chocolate from Simon Johnson. Hmmmm...

      1. I don't consider most food sexy, and definitely have a hard time with classic images--girl biting into chocolate--dipped strawberry, etc. Just doesn't do anything for me. If I was picking though, I'd have to say anything clean, simple, crisp and light can be sexy. A bowl of cherries, strawberries, or raspberries. A plate of oysters on the halfshelf or clams with a gin martini, 3 olives. There's a painting in the national gallery in DC (can't remember who did it) that shows a table loaded with the remains of a feast, especially heaps of empty oyster and clam shelves, half-empty bottles of wine and knocked over bottles with wine dripping out. Very obviously the people had a marvelous feast and then rushed off to....other activities....leaving the table decimated. Love that painting.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mdzehnder

          If anyone can comment on what the painting might have been and the author, I'd appreciate it. Can't remember and would love to frame a nice print.

          1. re: mdzehnder

            Is it Willem Claesz Heda's 'Still Life with Gilt Goblet'?

            1. re: onceadaylily

              That may well be it--I'm not certain. Oh well--I don't mind an excuse for another trip to the National Gallery.

            2. re: mdzehnder

              It's not the one you're talking about, but this painting also features seafood and wine, and is obviously...ummm...pre-rushing off. This one hangs on my kitchen wall. It's also, as you may notice, my icon. It's hard to get a look at the details there, but this one will enlarge if you click it. (Double entendre intentional)

              1. re: BobB

                P.S. Could this be the painting you're thinking of? If so, it's Willem Claesz Heda's Banquet Piece with Mince Pie, painted in1635.

                Edit: just googled the one onceadaylily referenced above and they appear to be the same painting in mirror image! Tsk! Just when I thought you could trust stuff you found on the internet...

          2. I have to agree a bowl of berries, cherries and or grapes can be very sensual. Fleshy fruits such as peaches and nectarines as well. Oysters have always been considered an aphrodeciac. Oysters and sushi/sashimi is very sexy to me.

            1. You want to see sexy food? Check out this site. Click the small images at the top of the page to enlarge each one.

              Someone gave me this book for my birthday - the full-size glossy images (there are lots more that are not available on the Web site) are stunning.


              2 Replies
              1. re: BobB

                I just got into oysters BobB, thanks for ruining them for me.

                1. re: jhopp217

                  Sorry about that. On the plus side, I may have inspired a new love of pine nuts in you. ;-)

              2. I totally disagree with ALL Italian food being sexy. A plate of pasta is about a sexy as a car wreck (although if you've ever seen the movie Crash...nevermind). I think the mood is what makes food sexy. Someone cooking for you is sexy. Sharing food can be sexy. I think there are obvious foods people think of as sexy, because of the look of them; figs, bananas, asparagus, peaches, etc.

                I think combining certain foods can be sexy. proscuitto wrapped around melon or peaches is orgasmic to me, but the setting has to be right. We dined on this one night at a guys only card game - not so sexy, but at a picnic under a tree with the right person. Magic! I don't love chocolate, but dip some fruit in it...presto - sexy.

                I'm also not a fan of the whole messy food thing. Unless of course you're eating in bed, then it's all good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jhopp217

                  Totally agree a bellyfull of pasta is just not a sexy feeling for me. Oh la la whipped cream bikini.

                2. A bit off topic, but here's a famous movie scene from Tom Jones to suggest that how you eat, and mood, are also crucial factors:


                  The way the original novel by Henry Fielding does it is even funnier...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    Whole artichokes. Partly its the finger food thing. You strip the leaves off, dip them in something & pull them through your teeth.

                    Ice cream cones or popsicles because they must be licked, so snocones not so much. Men seem to like watching women eat bananas, hot dogs, ect. for some reason.

                    Turkey legs eaten with fingers. The Henry VIII overindulgent thing I guess.

                    And yes anything chocolate really & any dessert that has liquor in it.

                  2. To me, it's all about a well-defined single flavor with a single ... ah, desirable texture.

                    I love complex recipes. I love mixed textures. I enjoy hearty plates of pasta, soup, vegetable medleys, etc. But for me, that's not sexy food.

                    Perfect simple coffee ice cream.
                    Plain, salty seafood.
                    Cool, juicy fruit, +1 for berries.
                    Dark chocolate.

                    (By the way, if you have a lady friend, listen up: I have read that the sensation of a piece of chocolate melting in ones mouth causes more intense and longer-lasting physical excitement than does deep kissing. Get your woman some sweetness.)

                    And wine. Wine's alllways good.

                    1. Mango. Incredibly perfectly ripe mango.

                      It has the most sensual smell and, when ripe, the only practical way to eat it, so as not to make too much of a mess, is naked in the bath. Preferably with the partner of your choice. Trust me on this.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Harters

                        Don't throw the baby out with the bath water...;)

                        1. re: Harters

                          Oh yes this is a very sexy food. Eaten in the bath tub while sipping champagne solo or duet...perfectperfectperfect!

                        2. Strawberries dipped in chocolate, eaten while drinking champagne.

                          Freshly cooked lobster dipped in butter.

                          Great chocolate mousse.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tracylee

                            The trifecta of romance eating! Throw in a candle and some rose petals..heavan

                          2. Deep, rich colors are very sexy.

                            Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and dark chocolate have a beautiful color.
                            especially in a small bowl together...I feel like that's a very sexy treat. the soft, moist feeling of taking a bite into a strawberry and the sensual melt-in-your-mouth characteristic of rich dark chocolate. Paired with some aromatic red wine and you're in sensual paradise.

                            I love seafood but I have a problem with it as a sexual food. after eating seafood....you smell like seafood which is not very appealing to me.

                            chocolate pudding does have an amazing texture when you eat it, but i don't think its very sexual since its just a blob of formless food.

                            I don't think eating foods that are overly filling are very sexual either. I know the amount of food plays is the main factor, but I can never eat a "little" bit of ice cream or a deck-sized steak. So i usually feel overstuffed after meals like that.

                            but whisky always gets me in trouble...I LOVE whisky!

                            1. for me, what defines sexy in food is texture, or more precisely, consistency. I find soft, flowy, slithery, squishy things sexy. Melted dark chocolate, chocolate souffle being drizzled with chocolate sauce, soft-serve ice cream (but not the kind you get at McD's), foie gras, oysters, panna cotta... Also, the only way that I can describe the flavor of truffle oil is that it tastes like sex. ::blushing::

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: soniabegonia

                                If I wasn't married, I would ask you out after that post :)

                              2. asparagus dipped in great aioli.

                                fresh steamed crab or lobster with ice cold french chablis

                                5 layer chocolate torte with great port.

                                1. Angelo Sosa thinks many hunks of meat are sexy, from what he said IIRC. Some veggies qualify too, if memory serves me right.

                                    1. Raspberries, especially when you get the juice all over your fingers.

                                      After my snack today, melted fontina cheese, the texture is just so sensual and buttery.

                                      A perfect buttery chardonnay.

                                      A great creme brûlée

                                      Plums, nectarines, etc.

                                      Hmmm.... yeah that cigarette sounds good about now, haha