St. Valentine’s Day:
These poor demented fools that run our local commie radio station keep asking me back to talk about food. What are they thinking? Picture a blog without SpellCheck or MouthCheck……
Anyway, today’s guest on the Tasty Planet Show was supposed to be Catherine Fallis…fifth ever Master (Maitresse?) Sommelier…..and author of a book about erotic food. Scott Dick, the host was worried that he could not milk two hours out of Catherine or the subject…..so he booked me as chaperone. In Ireland we would say: “That lad could talk the legs off a donkey……”
And, believe it or not, I actually do my homework. I downloaded Catherine’s book and Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamic-ed the mothafucka.
And I dropped everything and scooted over to Sand City for the Show, at 1pm on the Saturday of the AT&T. And, of course, the famous Catherine was a No Show on Tasty Planet….she literally phoned it in. Hence the expression, I guess. Hint to the newbies: when you are being interviewed on the radio and have to pee…..turn off the phone.
The 45 minutes with Catherine were a snoozer. I could not find a single thing to say, for the first time in recent memory. When finally turned loose, my first comment: “I have been silent for most of an hour, listening to two people talk about erotic foods, one named Dick and the other named Fallis.”
Catherine gives recipes: truffle risotto, sea bass with something something. Do endangered species taste better or are they more erotic? Like bear paw, rhino horn and tiger dick? Is there room in the lexicon for my Spotted Owl Souflée?
I am so pissed at Bill O’Reilly. Not for the normal reasons. I was raised Catholic, and was the Bishop’s altar boy. I could feel myself being inexorably sucked towards his position of: “Christmas is secular! The Negro lesbian hippie Jew fucks have stolen Christ from Christmas!” Possibly because we actually physically stole Jesus from the Manger Scene at a local ranch, and machinegunned the Wise Guys, and filmed Jesus strapped to the front bumper of a truck being rammed at high speed into…..but never mind.
If the Christian Right is upset about Secular Christmas, what about Secular Valentine’s? For Chrissakes, it is SAINT Valentine’s Day. Whatever happened to the fucking SAINT?
I am here to tell you. One of the several Valentines (the lesser was murdered by Muslims in Spain along with his sister Agape, and his brother Fructus…..not a good Saint to focus on during CartoonRiotWeek) anyway Valentine1 was from Umbria. A Foligno dude. Foligno is near Montefalco and Bevagna, and close to Assisi. St. Francis actually chilled with the bluebirds outside Bevagna, on the Foligno road, not in Assisi. This is Truffle Central, but I digress.
Umbria is the center of Italy. Foligno is the center of Umbria. In the center of Foligno is a bar, and in the center of the bar is a pool table….and in the center of the pool table…..Well, just think about Valentine’s Day and romance…..You want to have extra chalk when you play that 8-ball across the middle of that table.
Anyway, St Valentine the Primero was a nice man who cared for the victims of the Roman oppression. When they caught him, the Romans chopped off his head on the Via Flammini….on February 14, 192
The Romans already had a festival on February 15, Lupercalis. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, who were abandoned as babies and suckled by a she-wolf in a cave on the Palatine Hill. To honor the wolf, on Feb. 15 each year, the priests would gather outside the cave with all the young people and slaughter some goats and a dog. They would slather the young men with the blood and cut the goatskins into long strips. The bloody, half-naked young men would run through the crowd of half-naked young women and whip them with the fresh goatskin strips. Adult beverages were served…to the point that the scribes mention them as a potential problem. Amongst all Roman festivals, Lupercalia was the big wine scene…..Sort of like Mardi Gras, with goatskin whips instead of beads.
Being whipped by a fresh goatskin strip by a half naked young man would bring the young woman increased fertility and a painless childbirth. Given the amount of wine served at the event, we are now blessed with a plethora of Scorpios throughout history.
When the Catholics finally took over, they looked for random Saints and events to assume the old Roman feasts. Midwinter became Christmas, even though Jesus was born in March. The Spring Thing became Easter. Halloween became All Saints’. And Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s. Hence the pink….the color of blood.
Finally, a word about Aphrodisiacs. From the Greek, Aphrodite. (If you want to read a REAL erotic food book, check out “Aphrodite”, by Isabel Allende).
L-Arginine is an amino acid. It is a precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a neuro-transmitter responsible in part for male and female erections. Turns out that the list of foods high in L-Arginine reads like an aphrodisiac manual: Shellfish, especially oysters and crab; nuts, coffee, chocolate……Hold on ye Vegans!…..Soy and seaweed are also at the top. No wonder sushi makes a great date. Cialis wrapped around Viagra.
Unfortunately, because there is a God, and She has a Vicious Sense of Humor, all these foods also can trigger an outbreak of herpes. Caveat Emptor.
Anyway, truth in labeling. St. Valentine had almost nothing to do with this thing, beyond getting chopped. He was buried in his own catacomb for centuries until the space became tight. The Vatican then evicted him and moved him into a church in Madrid, St. Anton’s. Last year, Al Gore’s TV network set up a videocamera there. All day, only eight couples came to pay respects.
But today’s Monterey Herald has half an inch of ads for crappy Valentine’s presents.
Bill O’Reilly, where the fuck are you when we really need you?