Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Food Eaten By Women, Men

This morning, I went out in the yard with a few chicken bones tied together with a rag, muttered a few guttural incantations and left them hanging from the branch of an apple tree to ward off the evil eye. Why? Because the Globe is toying with my mind.

You may think this sounds paranoid. Well, then, you explain it. Why else would they run a great big blooming feature on the cover of Living/Arts--oops, sorry, "g"--devoted entirely to the thesis that men eat meat and women eat plants? And call it "Guys vs. Dolls"? And stuff it with irrelevant science? And, for the jaunty little sprig of parsley atop this teetering pile of madness-inducing verbiage, execute a rhetorical 180-degree-turn in the last few paragraphs that neatly disposes of the premise that THEY MADE UP IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Sorry for the yelling. Deep breath. Go to your happy place, Harris. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Now, I know they run this kind of drivel on a regular basis. There's no reason to think it's personal. Except for the deviled eggs.

Deviled eggs, you see, are men's food, along with everything else of animal origin. According to source Holly Safford, the Hingham caterer upon whose experienced shoulders this story's meager pretentions to factuality rest, no self-respecting female would be caught dead sinking her teeth into one of these savory little confections.

"I don't think I've ever seen a woman eat a deviled egg" at a social function, says Safford. "She might like them, but with all of the mayonnaise and everything it just feels too much like a whole meal. For a man, he might deny himself eggs every morning because he should watch his cholesterol. But at a party, he's not thinking about his statins," referring to cholesterol-lowering drugs.

(Ooh, they explained "statins." Thanks, nameless Globe editor!)

Deviled eggs are my Proustian madeleine. I sometimes think I might be the only person east of Worcester who owns a special deviled-egg plate and uses it on a regular basis. I never let a summer barbecue go by without making a giant mess of deviled eggs, and I usually consume an untoward number of them personally. When Joe Keohane and Jean Whitman left Boston recently to make their fortunes in New York, I was very sad, not only because they're fine folks and I will miss them, but because they were the only other people I know around here who made deviled eggs. I don't know how the Globe knows all this. Is it possible they've implanted some sort of chip in my spine?

But enough about my personal paranoias. Go read the story; go stare in slack-jawed wonder at its mind-boggling irrelevance, as with one fell swoop it divides the entire food-eating world into tremulous salad-pickers and boorish bacon-grease-swillers. And if you still haven't had enough, check out the bonus Q&A, in which a couple of female food bloggers face off against, unaccountably, a couple of Merrimack Valley radio guys to reveal their food preferences and ascribe them to the rest of us. A sample:

Q. What kind of salad dressing do guys like?

DJ: If I throw it against the wall and it sticks, that's the kind of dressing guys want.

I hope MC Slim J.B. rips this useless idea a new one in print somewhere. I hope Nina Planck reads this story and mails Globe food correspondent M.E. Malone a brick of lard for his or her birthday. I hope I will get a chance to eat a deviled egg soon. A really zesty one, with lots of horseradish and paprika.


  1. Srsly, poll the servers at the Independent and see if they say only men order the deviled eggs.

  2. Srsly, my woman bought a deviled egg plate at some antique barn last weekend.

  3. McMorrow, your woman's deviled egg plate fills me with hope that one day soon you will have a party, with eggs and beer and babies and filthy reporters.

  4. This thing is amazing. It's bright yellow and has a picture of a deviled egg - and asparagus, too! I can't believe I haven't blogged it yet.

  5. Holy crap! That piece is so jaw-droppingly inane I'm not sure where to begin. But I'll think about it. "Oog like meeeeat!"

  6. i also saw red once i got to that deviled eggs paragraph. how could they?! and the totally uninspired bridezilla lede just made it even more painful. at least it wasn't a story wholly based on that fleming's press release ("know a lady intimidated by meat, tee hee?"), which is what i was fearing. at least it *could* have been worse. wherefore art thou, journalism?

  7. p.s. i got a seriously gorgeous set of deviled eggs from highland kitchen ready to fly live on tomorrow! look out for it :)

  8. Be brave Harris. Because there are no fortunes to be made in New York anymore, Jean and I have been spending most of our time making and eating deviled eggs. I'll throw some in the mail today. Media mail, though, so you might want to aim the envelope away from your face when you open it.

  9. I wanted to write something, but all that comes out is a kind of frustrated, ragey weeping. Am hoping for some sort of catharsis at Christine's eggstravaganza this month!