The perfect date meal, you name it, go! This has been one of my favorite questions of 2009 (happy New Year, by the way!). Until recently, I may have asked the same friends to describe their dream dinners way too many times, but now on nearly every episode of Let’s Eat In, I get the chance to put it to a great new pair of guests each week. From food writers, sex writers, musicians, and overall food fanatics, each awesome expert has had something equally inspiring to say. It’s a bit of a research project, for no good reason but fun. Two of the most commonly voiced food choices I’ve heard overall on this have been devilishly spicy, or deliciously sweet. So now, I wonder, what is the most romance-worthy flavor profile: spicy or sweet?
And what better folks to help tackle that debate than my guests for this Monday, January 4th? We’re starting off the new year with three of the coolest local food artisans: Kheedim Oh of Mama O’s Kimchee and Laena McCarthy and Liv Manifredi of Anarchy in a Jar. Basing his recipes on his mom’s, Kheedim makes the crunchiest, brightest-tasting kimchees from scratch (as well as “kimchee salsa,” pictured at top — great idea!). Using organic and in-season fruits that they hand-pick themselves, Laena and Liv make some amazing jams, in all sorts of flavors and all-naturally. In my opinion, both of these products totally bust their respective categories (kimchee and jam), but it’s also their makers’ downright passion and creativity that makes snacking on them so fun. I can eat a binge helping of Mama O’s Kimchee and feel “O” so much better about it than had it been potato chips, and I have given just about everyone I know a jar of Anarchy so they can see what they’ve been missing with Smuckers.
Liv Manifredi and Laena McCarthy of Anarchy in a Jar
Kheedim Oh (right) with Mama of Mama O’s Kimchee
But seriously, let’s get down to business. What’s the better aphrodisiac? Do you like it hot? Or do you want more sugar in your bowl? This is not the sort of question that can be answered, cut and dry (and like Kheedim sagely suggested recently, some foods are both sweet and spicy at the same time). But I’d be tickled to hear more thoughts from folks all over. Plus, February’s coming up and Valentine’s Day cooking is on the way (is there anything else people do on Valentine’s Day than have “perfect date meals” together?).
As always, you can call in on Monday from 1:00-1:30pm EST with your questions to the guests, thoughts and comments (the number’s 718-497-2128). But you can also leave your comments on this post, before the show. Get a little competition going, so the guests may have to defend themselves (and their food) once we air. Me, personally? I’d choose spicy. Sorry, ladies, that’s just my sauce.