Two reminders before we get started here. This is your last chance to vote in the finals of the invention bracket. Your champion gets crowned tomorrow. Secondly, if you're watching the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night and need something to do during the 10 minutes between picks, you can tune in to The Couchwarmers NFL Draft Live-Blogging event. Guaranteed fun or your money back.
Also, if you're observant, happy holiday. The Couchwarmers don't condone that kind of activity, but I have to admit, seeing a group of Stop & Shop employees sitting in their car in the store parking lot, staring giddily at their watches at 4:17 this afternoon was pretty amusing. Now, on to the good stuff.
Last night's episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations looked at food in such a way to compare it with porn. They went all out too -- the "bow chicka bow wow" music, the graphic content warning, and even Ron Jeremy making double entendres while wearing a bathrobe. But at the heart of the episode was the argument that for many people, food is truly a sensational experience. G-rated porn, if you will. For some people it's cars, for some it's clothes or shoes, and for others like Bourdain, it's food.
Seeing as how I'm in a good mood today from having just received my certified barbecue judge badge, I'd like to share with you my own stash of food porn websites. The first of these sites even calls itself Food Porn Daily, and could definitely be considered "classy" -- professionally-taken pictures of professionally-made food.
No, this website has nothing to do with pornography in the "naked people doing things with/to each other" sense of the word. But if you consider the alternative definition of pornography, as simply lurid or sensational material, I'd say you have to at least consider this an example of it. If you love food as much as I do, I dare you to look at some of these pictures (this one or this one, for example) and not let out an "ohhh yeah" or a "mmmm.....that's what I'm talking about" or simply that drooling noise that Homer Simpson makes. What this truly is, is harmless pornography. So show the kids, because they'll see it sooner or later anyway.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum is the real smut of the food porn world. Some will point to this website as everything that's wrong with America. I vehemently disagree with them. Then I see the giant mug made of bacon and filled with cheddar cheese sauce and completely change my opinion.
While most everything on Food Porn Daily looks amazing, some of the things on This is Why You're Fat make you look away and shake your head in disgust. Don't get me wrong -- some of the food on here looks great, but this site is all about quantity over quality. A bacon-wrapped sausage can only be dipped into a chocolate batter and deep fried so many times before it becomes unpalatable. But sometimes, when you're feeling adventurous, it's nice to change things up.
Ground beef in a crispy taco shell covered in nacho cheese, lettuce, tomato and southwestern ranch sauce, wrapped in a flour tortilla with a layer of refried beans in-between, wrapped in a corn tortilla with a layer of melted monterrey jack cheese in it, all in a crispy gordita shell with a layer of guacamole inside. Simultaneously, it both was and was not one of my prouder moments.
Finally, there's Food in Real Life -- basically, a do-it-yourself website that's useful if you don't actually feel like cooking. Its mission statement is: "Preaching truth to packaging. Pictures of packaged food, cooked to specifications, compared to the photo on the box." Basically, this site reviews pre-packaged foods to see if they meet expectations. It's a good thing to know if the microwavable meal you bought is going to look like the appetizing picture on the box, or just a jumbled mess. Throw in taste reviews, and you've got yourself a lazy man's cookbook. It's perfect for that Lean Cuisine meal you force yourself to eat the night after eating a 4000-calorie taco.
So there you have it -- my entire food porn stash, now at your disposal. Although I'm hoping that one of you out there reading this knows of a website or two that I've yet to stumble upon. If you do, please forward it along. As the man with the bacon mug filled with cheddar cheese sauce will tell you, it's the patriotic thing to do.