aphrodisiacs and Moonstruck

Tonight TSO, JBean, S and I went to the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington for a lecture on aphrodisiacs, given by food historian, Francine Segan, which was followed by a showing of the movie Moonstruck starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.

Ten interesting things which I learned about aphrodisiacs are:
  1. In ancient times it was thought that foods which resembled a body part would help stimulate that part of the body; i.e. bananas, asparagus and cucumbers were considered aphrodisiacs.
  2. Strawberries and Raspberries were referred to as "nipple fruits."
  3. Certain "hot" spices were considered to stimulate the body in the same way in which they stimulated the mouth, so spices like pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and later things like chili pepper were considered aphrodisiacs.
  4. The scent which most women react to the strongest is vanilla.
  5. In ancient Egypt the slaves working on things like the pyramids were given rations of garlic because it was considered a stimulant that lengthened life.
  6. Some major aphrodisiacs were: fruits (raspberries, strawberries, fig), but also nuts, honey and wine.
  7. Since carrots were considered a sign of a penis (which is a sign of life), King Henry VIII allegedly planted carrots in his garden to ensure an heir.
  8. Some cultures consider things like Rhino horns and antlers aphrodisiacs.
  9. Since things like frog and turtle eggs are thought to resemble sperm, they are considered aphrodisiacs in some cultures.
  10. Cassanova is given credit for furthering chocolate's reputation as an aphrodisiac; Cassanova spoke of its use as a food great in foreplay, and also spoke of its divine powers.
After the lecture, and before the movie showing, we were herded down to the basement of the gorgeous Mahaiwe to sample Italian desserts--since who knows love better and combines aphrodisiac chocolates and hazelnuts and all kinds of goodies like the Italians?! So good. My favorite dessert was the chocolate covered hazelnuts...mmmm...

Anyway, the movie was great. I'd never seen Moonstruck, probably since I was only 7 when it came out and probably also due to the fact that Nicolas Cage is in it, and I can't stand Nicolas Cage. But HOLY CATS!! If there were ever a part better suited to Nicolas Cage I don't know what it would be! The movie was great; a fun glance into Cher's ridiculous Catholic Italian American family and a NYC of the 80s! Cher was great, Olympia Dukakiss was great, Nicolas Cage was great, the dialogue was great and even the annoying guy behind us who needed to talk sporadically throughout the movie (*PET PEEVE*) didn't ruin the movie for me.

Being a questioner of love, especially the mushy, fluffy Hollywood-ified version of love as a seamless and perfect thing, I thought that the best part of the movie was when Ronny says to Loretta:

"Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn't know this either, but love don't make things nice - it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*. The storybooks are *bullshit*. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and *get* in my bed!"

The night was great. We extricated ourselves from NYC of the 1980s; walked away from the Mahaiwe, who's lights shined on the street below; hurried through the snowy, cold night to my car, and in no time found ourselves back at the Farm.


Amos said…
Monster- sounds like a lovely evening! Sorry we missed you last night and the night before, but one of these days we'll connect again soon. Tonight we are headed to a concert at the Colonial!
It was lovely.

Sounds like we may see each other tomorrow?

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