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I admit that I seduced my wife with wasabi-garlic mashed potatoes, larded down with heavy cream and more butter than the average supermodel is allowed to consume in a year. I also wooed Carrie with a medium-rare wild Alaskan salmon draped in a Pernod cream sauce. I stalked my sweetie, not with expensive gifts nor with dinners at the city’s four-star gastronomic palaces, but with homemade soups, stuffed entrees, and even with the occasional braised vegetable. You won’t believe how much excitement braised red cabbage with green apples can create.

So I read with fascination this passage in playwright/food writer Jonathan Reynolds‘ ticklish memoir, Wrestling with Gravy:

Serendipitously, I learned that women find a man cooking seductive. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the surprise, or the role reversed, or some revelation of this warm fuzzy we men are secretly supposed to have if only we’d admit it, or the implied altruism—-‘He’s taking the time to whip up the riz a l’imperatrice just for me‘—-but every woman I’ve asked, married or un-, claims that a man cooking specifically for her is aphrodisiacal.

The converse is not true. Most men still find women who cook specifically for them scary, grasping, desperate, and clearly in search of a lifelong mate. Worst of all, it’s expected—-like men fixing the satellite dish. Women need to not cook for thirty or forty years so it becomes a novelty again.

Image by Flickr user kochtopf