May 20, 2008

"But that cold soup stayed with me. It resonated, waking me up, making me aware of my tongue..."

"... and, in some way, preparing me for future events."

Anthony Bourdain wrote that about the vichyssoise he was served as a kid in traveling to Europe on the Queen Mary. (The book is the delightful "Kitchen Confidential," page 10.) Cold soup was "the first food [he] really noticed... enjoyed and.. remembered enjoying."

Anyway, Jac is into cold soup, and looking around the web for ideas he found a lovely blog post about gazpacho which included this line (from the blogger, Sarah Miller, but in the comments):
Chilled soups were a tough sell for Patrick (as they seem to be for many men).
Jac doesn't like the gendered approach to food. Why not eat (and do) what you like and not worry about it?

I guess Jac wouldn't like "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche." Remember that? I'll bet a lot of men avoided quiche as a result of seeing that title. But do real men read books like that? (Do real men read?) The subtitle is "A Guidebook to All That Is Truly Masculine." That's a real artifact from the 1980s.

Do you care about gender and food? If you do and you want to eat cold soup, let me just say that Anthony Bourdain is thoroughly macho.



Or is he?

45 comments:

Palladian said...

"Gendering" anything except words and restrooms is usually a bad idea. I hate anything that begins with the premise "real men don't..." Nonsense.

Cold soup can be delicious. Here's my gazpacho recipe.

Manny Stiles said...

I read. And I'm a real man. {burp}

See?


I also eat quiche. Any person who says "quiche isn't for men" needs to see my special "No Whimps or Pussies Allowed Quiche" recipe.

Steak Quiche. Real men eat Steak Quiche. With HOT sauce! Eh, not just "Hot" sauce, but just concentrated capsaicin. It's not for whimps, it's ManQuiche - Quiche for Men! (Now with more testosterone!). $24.95

add Pomegranate on side: $4.95

with White Wine Spritzer and Rocky Mountain Oysters: $26.95

Chip Ahoy said...

Bourdain's experience in Provincetown, one of the East coast's gay Meccas, caused me to have doubts about him, as does the ear stud he wears And he lacks the catch-phrase obsession prevalent among the celebrity chefs. I don't know. Stopped trying to figure that out.

I liked best his description of the baker. His being tuned into his state of mind. Calling the dough that must me attended to "Bitch." He know his baker was out of sorts when he no longer cared for "feeding the bitch." Down indeed, if he was so down as to neglect that. That made me appreciate him more.

I saw him last night in Lebanon rueing about Hezbollah ruining the country. I wondered, "what took you so long?"

George said...

I saw a 'chef' kill cobras in a Chinese market once. It was disgusting. Lots of Chinese men were watching, too, as the guy drained their blood into a cup of whiskey.

There were not many takers. It seemed like half carnival act to me.

Any drunken sailor can drink a cobra blood/whiskey cocktail.

Real men eat boiled donkey penis...

That's the piece de resistance in a feature article in the June 2008 Men's Journal.

The magazine sent a reporter to eat 'wild' food in China. I think he wrote that the texture and flavor differed, depending on what part of the donkey penis one was sampling.

oldirishpig said...

"...do real men read books like that? (Do real men read?)"

Yes, I read extensively and I love food- planning a meal, cooking the meal and most especially eating the meal. What a silly question for the 21st century...

John Burgess said...

You don't have to be a sissy to not care for Hot Vit Lon (Vietnamese) or Balut (Filipino) duck eggs. They're just not very tasty. And real men don't eat things that don't taste good!

Quiche tastes perfectly fine, particularly if it's of the Lorraine (ham and cheese) or Provencal (anchovies, tomatoes, pepper, onion) variety. I'll have to see the steak quiche recipe before judging it, but on principal it sounds fine!

Chip Ahoy said...

I make a soufflé that's like eating air. But I have to admit, it makes me feel like such a girl.

Chip Ahoy said...

I used to make quiche all the time. They're gay. Nowadays, in order to butch it up, I load savory pies with heavy ingredients like a shepherd's pie with a mashed potato top crust. It can also contain a lot of egg, sort of like a surreptitious quiche except disguised with hearty chunks of meat, preferably ripped apart and not daintily cubbed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Piffle, real women eat Chinchulines Actually quite delicious

Courtesy of my Italian descended relatives from Argentina :-) I agree....don't eat it if it doesn't taste good, but how do you know until you try??? (My mother's voice echoing in my head)

My recipe for blood sausage/blood pudding is still up for the offing....any takers?

Chip Ahoy said...

The first thing I remember eating and appreciating was a peanut butter sandwich. In the peanut butter commercial, they covered a slice with one clean swipe of a table knife. I was determined to master the technique. It took an entire loaf of bread for me to realize I had to dip the knife all the way into the jar and completely cover it with peanut butter in order to do that. I recall Mum being unpleased. Oh well. Eventually was to cost a lot more than that for education.

Palladian said...

"My recipe for blood sausage/blood pudding is still up for the offing....any takers?"

I love a good blood pudding! The Spanish make very good ones.

TMink said...

I think it is safe to say that real men could care less about what other people say, write, or think about them.

And many of us eat quiche, though not I.

Tony's show and book are killer. He is a gas, and a real man, gay, bi, or whatever.

Trey

Kit Pollard said...

Hmm. I wonder if I'm unfeminine because I don't love cold soups? No, I don't think it does.

I can't help but wonder if in countries where words in the native language are gendered, does anybody worry about the gender associations of the food their eating? I'm guessing no.

Also, last summer I read an article comparing the cooking styles/approaches of men and women chefs. The gist of it was that female chefs cook simple food to nurture their guests and make them happy, while male chefs are more ego-driven and artistic.

I didn't totally buy it then (I wrote this about it at the time) and I still don't buy it now. But it is interesting to think about.

MadisonMan said...

I'll eat a quiche, but the crust better not be soggy.

Cold soup on a hot summer day is great. Tonight I'm making hot soup. Spinach. Ramps. Chicken broth. Pretty simple.

Dad came back from WWII on the Queen Mary -- but I doubt they served soldiers vichysoisse.

Michael_H said...

Tony Bourdain's television show No Reservations is excellent, and a must-watch in my household.

The episode filmed in Cleveland was brilliant. Bourdain had lunch with Harvey Pekar in a buffet, then later that day had dinner with Joey Ramone.

Bourdain says the Cleveland episode was his best show ever. It was extraordinarily well written.

michael farris said...

My favorite cold soup is chłodnik litewski (lithuanian cold soup) from Poland (and maybe Lithuania).

It's made with beats and cream and chooped fresh onions and hard boiled eggs. It looks a lot like Pepto Bismol with green onions and eggs added but it's very delicious.

Pastor_Jeff said...

I don't care for cold soups, but my wife makes an awesome quiche. We just had some the other night -- and no soggy crust, MadisonMan. She is a good cook, but an unbelievable baker.

Smilin' Jack said...

Real men eat food. They don't read about it, and they certainly don't read recipes.

rhhardin said...

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Bon Vivant Vichyssoise, the most famous soup of the 70s.

Time does the woman-frightening story beautifully:

The day had been stifling, so chilled vichyssoise straight from the can seemed like the perfect dish when Banker Sam Cochran, 61, and his wife Grace, 63, sat down to dinner at their Bedford Village, N.Y., home a fortnight ago.

vbspurs said...

Bourdain's experience in Provincetown, one of the East coast's gay Meccas, caused me to have doubts about him, as does the ear stud he wears.

Don't forget that durned thumb-ring.

Yes, he gives out a gay vibe, but actually, I suspect he fancies himself the Mick Jagger of the cookery world.

Mick may have landed a few choice catches in his day, like David Bowie, but essentially he is straight. Bourdain's married with kids, FWIW.

I love watching Anthony Bourdain's show. I think his trip to Hong Kong was a masterpiece. That old artisan making the noodles with the palette will live long in my mind.

But Bourdain's not just arrogant, he's stuck up.

He thinks any Westerner who isn't like him, that is someone very cool, is worthy of being sneered at for accepting the second-rate, essentially for being conned.

He has a restaurant here in Coral Gables, called Les Halles (I think it's a "chain" actually).

I've been told in clientele he loves the young, the good-looking, the chic, and the rich.

If you're just a schlubb, forget it.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

Real men eat food. They don't read about it, and they certainly don't read recipes.

Who do imagine writes half of them?

Today's salad

Contains
*apple
*grapes
*pecans
*chunks of cream cheese
*steamed purple broccoli
*snow peas
*tomato
*zuccini
*mushrooms
*shredded honey ham
*romaine lettuce

dressing
*olive oil
*rice vinegar
*Dejon style mustard
*Colorado alfalfa honey

Haha. Tricked you into reading a recipe.

joe said...

I love quiche. And I'm a man.
I spell M... A... N...
Man.

Ron said...

Althouse-Bourdain is video blogging just waiting to happen...oh, you know you want to see it!

Victoria, I think Bourdain is just doing the New York snark thang...

reader_iam said...

Palladian: I'm drooling on my keyboard. If it weren't for the "vine-ripened" part (given the time of year here), I'd be revising my dinner menu. Instead, I settled for printing it out for a later time.

I made a cold soup the other night, and I guess it must have been the first time in a long while, because my kid said, "I didn't know soup could be cold!" (He just doesn't remember.) Then he ate 2-1/2 bowls** of it.

Should I be worried?

(**His dad ate two.)

vbspurs said...

Ron, good point about the NY-angle.

But it occurs to me that there's no more New York-kinda guy than Andrew Zimmern, who follows Bourdain. Neither does he give off gay vibes, nor is he particularly dismissive of people.

In fact, he's a bit like the David Crosby of the cookery world. Fat and cuddly.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

FYI

1. I love Anthony Bourdain.

2. The issue of his masculinity was never intended to raise the question of whether he might be gay, believe it or not!

vbspurs said...

1. I love Anthony Bourdain.

Me too!

2. The issue of his masculinity was never intended to raise the question of whether he might be gay, believe it or not!

"Or is he?"

If the door is left open, folks will walk in.

Cheers,
Victoria

dmfoiemjsof said...

Real men eat anything, if you know what I mean. On a related note, those guys on The Sopranos were not real men (if you remember the episode about Junior and the sushi).

Palladian said...

"Palladian: I'm drooling on my keyboard. If it weren't for the "vine-ripened" part (given the time of year here), I'd be revising my dinner menu. Instead, I settled for printing it out for a later time."

Much obliged. Sadly you're right, it's not the season for gazpacho yet. Better to cook something appropriate than use flavorless vegetables.

It would be ok for some recipes, but for this, since the tomato is the star of the show, better to wait.

Fletch said...

Chip Ahoy-

*steamed purple broccoli

Any "Real men" reading these comments just stopped... :o)

John Burgess said...

DBQ: Please do post the recipe for blood pudding. If you've a good Anglo-Irish Black Pudding recipe up your sleeve, all the better!

Locally, I can find various Latin American variations on morcilla and German blutwurst, even an occasional French boudin noir, but nothing for Black Pudding.

AND I've just found a source for the blood!

Joan said...

Anthony Bourdain is a personal hero for me, and the role model I told my kids about when they were being excessively picky and wouldn't try new foods. I told them how Tony's parents would drag him to France every summer and he would eat the equivalent of burgers everywhere, until his realization that there must be something about all this great food all the grown-ups were eating. So a very picky little boy grew up to have his own TV shows and books and restaurants, because he decided to try new foods.

This worked on the boys, not so much on my daughter. But she's the one who can walk into the kitchen and say "I smell celery" a half-hour after I've finished chopping it and putting everything away, so maybe it's just that her palate is too sensitive.

Real men -- and women -- eat everything. I'm not keen on vichyssoise but I adore gazpacho. I think Campari tomatoes could make a lovely gazpacho and they're available almost all the time. And quiche -- that's a comfort food, but I agree, soggy crusts are the kiss of death.

Palladian said...

"AND I've just found a source for the blood!"

*looks around nervously*

vbspurs said...

*looks around nervously*

John is Sweeney Todd and I claim my weekend in Torremolinos.

-- Anyone tried Romanian sângerete? I had a Romanian boyfriend once who introduced me to it, knowing I liked black pudding in general --

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

The best thing about "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" was the response that it got. People were offended.

I've eaten quiche occasionally; not really my thing. I tend to agree that real men eat anything. It's sorta prissy to turn up your nose at food. And really prissy to do it because of some misguided concept of manliness. (Which, if I'm not mistaken, was the "quiche" book guy's point.)

Now, some of the recent attempts to gender-ize food have included taking sushi of the masculine side.

That aggression will not stand, man. If eating sushi isn't manly, I'm going to have to check out the West Hollywood scene more closely.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
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Dust Bunny Queen said...

Palladian: here is the recipe. No guarantees... I haven't made it in years but my memory tells me it was very good. Bood pudding and eggs over easy for breakfast.....yum

babuilder said...
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babuilder said...
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babuilder said...

Too many affectations for me. He doesn't seem comfortable in his own skin. His pot-shots at George Bush in the Lebanon episode showed what a puss he is, gay or straight.

PatCA said...

A great cold soup: Thai Watermelon Soup. Spicy and sweet all the same time.

Palladian said...

Oh, and here's Jennifer Patterson's recipe for Crème Vichyssoise Glacée.

Palladian said...

Thanks DBQ!

vbspurs said...

Palladian, I just saw that very episode in the DVD compilation of the 2FL.

She said that Vichyssoise surprisingly is not French. Well it is in a roundabout way. It was invented in America by a French chef!

Thanks for the recipe too. And the J-Pat reference. :)

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Too many affectations for me. He doesn't seem comfortable in his own skin. His pot-shots at George Bush in the Lebanon episode showed what a puss he is, gay or straight.

Yes, I have a Romanian friend who found his Romania episode very insulting. He was a total schmoe about their cookery.

My God, he went nuts over the tubers in Ghana, but sneered all over Castle Bran.

That's what I mean by being too cool.