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There are so many—and also not enough—words for describing food: some generic (delicious, tasty, gross), some specific (salty, brown, caramelized, fishy), some figurative (beautiful, glorious, heart-warming), some literal (hot, cold, starchy, chocolatey), some banned (luscious, indulgent, meltingly-tender, toothsome).
And then there are some that are downright silly. Since Food52's birth in 2009, we've been occasionally describing food as "sexy," which might be one of the most subjective adjectives of all time. Is silken tofu sexier than firm? Is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sexy? What about if it's almond butter? It depends on the circumstances—and on whom you ask.
In honor of Valentine's Day, the year's sexiest holiday (or is it?), we've compiled a list of foods that we've described as sexy and unsexy over the years. Some will make sense to you (figs stuffed with cheese and dipped in chocolate) and others (turkey breast, cabbage, scrambled eggs), not so much.
Beauty is in the eye of beholder.
The hot list:
- Coconut milk (“Coconut milk is one sexy, dreamy canned good.”)
- A tangle of grassy pea shoots
- Beefsteak tomatoes
- Asparagus (...but also cabbage)
- Figs stuffed with cheese and dipped in dark chocolate
- A perfectly ripe nectarine
- A Chioggia beet
- Meals for two
- A cross-sectional view of a sandwich piled high with Tetris-like precision
- Brie (bake it and it’s Red Carpet-sexy)
- A back-pocket recipe (“A pantry recipe sounds sad and desperate, but a back-pocket recipe sounds competent and a little sexy, the sort of thing that Brooke Shields would make after putting on her jeans.")
- Roasted vegetables (but in our defense, we were just quoting Francis Lam)
- Turkey breast
- Galettes (Phyllis Grant said: “Galettes are sexy and beautiful and oozy. They are not for people who have problems with mess.”)
- Ricotta (“It looks like a sexy cloud.”)
- "A sexy little pan sauce"
- Maialino's Olive Oil Cake
- Scrambled eggs ("One of the most glorious, indulgent, and straight-up sexy meals of all time.")
- Refried beans, when made with the right spice combo
- Chicken liver ragu
- Poached pears (sexy and slinky)
- Naked Chocolate Ice Cream for Lovers
- Madeira Tart
And not so sexy:
- Butter pecan ice cream
- A turnip
- Tapioca pudding
- Cauliflower (“the least sexy crucifer of them all”)
- Cast-iron skillets
What, in your opinion, is the sexiest (or least sexy) food? Share with us in the comments!