Lame Adventure 292: Food Porn

One of my dear friend Milton’s great passions is cake.  The man can speak rhapsodically about long-shuttered obscure bakeries with the same degree of affection others reserve for a departed mate, relative or pet.  He can be merciless in his opinion about red velvet cake for that confection proves reliably disappointing.  One cake that consistently delivers his seal of approval is the Magnolia Bakery’s Hummingbird cake.  Unfortunately, I have searched my extensive personal photo archive of thousands of images that I have shot over the course of the years but much to my regret, I have yet to photograph a slice of one my buddy’s favorite cakes.  To fill this void, I am posting a picture of the Valentine’s Day cake he had made last month.

Yellow cake with white butter-cream frosting and strawberry filling.

I would like to add that he ate this entire cake himself in a single sitting at his desk at work, but I jest.  That is something one of the more dysfunctional nabobs at my place of employ would do.  Milton is very good at sharing with others, so  his colleagues very likely view him as “the cake guy”.  I am sure that he’s quite a popular and adored member of the staff.

Unlike Milton, I’m not much of a cake woman.  I like cupcakes, but I’m not a fan of a large slice of anything with frosting. Last month at work, to celebrate my sidekick Greg’s birthday, he wanted a chocolate banana layer cake.  I could barely eat half a slice.  It was a struggle to get down.  When I had given up I emailed an image of it to my Special Someone under the subject heading “I. Am. Stuffed.”

Burp!

Me: Jesus, what a dense cake!  I feel like I ate the Alien.  I did the best I could with my piece of it.

SS: LOL. That’s it?! I wish I had your petit appetite.

Me: Oh, cut me a break!  That thing is enormous!  It weighs as much as a Buick and feels like a Buick idling in my gut right now.

SS: I could eat half that [entire] cake and not look back.

Like Milton, my Special Someone has a sweet tooth for cake.  Although I am not much of either a cake or dessert fan, I do like cookies, in particular the legendary six ounce warm chocolate chip cookies that are baked fresh throughout the course of the day at an Upper West Side institution, the Levain Bakery, conveniently located just a short trot from my sanctum sanctorum.

If this picture was scented it would reek of the aroma of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

During a casual email exchange with Special Someone, I mentioned Levain and sent her the link to the cookie portion of the site.  She thought their cookies looked amazing.  The next day we visited Levain so she could try one.  My favorite is the traditional chocolate chip walnut variety, but Special Someone hates walnuts to a near violent degree going so far as to claim they’re racist.  I resist the urge to fall into the trap of asking for an explanation of this intentionally absurd declaration. Since it’s the weekend, the line outside is long, and the aroma of warm chocolate is intoxicating.  We have both been subject to far worse New York City line-waiting experiences.  At least this one smells like paradise.  I don my little spender cap and ask:

Me:  What flavor would you like?

SS:  Can we get the dark chocolate chocolate chip?

Me:  Of course.  We’ll get whatever you want.  I like them all [muttering] and I’m perfectly fine with ditching the dream of eating my favorite flavor with you.

Special Someone is fixated on the cookies on display.

SS:  I think I want the dark chocolate peanut butter chip.  Let’s get that!

We get both the chocolate chocolate chip and the chocolate peanut butter chip.  We hightail back to my lair, open our bag and place them on a plate.  I am eager for us to dig in.

SS:  Hey, I thought you wanted to photograph these for your blog?

Me (salivating):  Huh?

She whips out her iPhone and takes a picture.

Dark chocolate peanut butter chip on left and dark chocolate chocolate chip on right. Cookie bliss somewhere in-between.

We first try the chocolate peanut butter chip.  The center is warm, ooey, gooey, and the peanut butter chips are melty, too.  This cookie is like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup on steroids.  For those of you that are peanut and nut-averse, take it from us that the chocolate chocolate chip is equally satisfying; like a chocolate lava-filled brownie with a crusty shell.

Special Someone enters cookie-bliss and I follow her lead.  As we eat our cookies, I realize that cake-connoisseur Milton is onto something when he laments the loss of the many bakeries he’s loved that are no longer around. If the Levain Bakery ever shutters, that will be a sure sign that the Upper West Side is on the decline.  In fact, it might be yet another indicator that western civilization on a whole has entered freefall.

Levain Bakery ever going away! I can't face it!

Advertisements

34 responses to “Lame Adventure 292: Food Porn

  1. I make an amazing red velvet cake. Just sayin!

    Like

  2. Always fun to read your goings ons! I just read all about the Levain bakery and have added them to my must visit list. (I don’t really like cake either.)

    Like

  3. I share your love of cookies. But I was taken aback a tad after reading the piece. I am thinking about contacting the interweb’s** version of the Better Business Bureau to complain about false advertising. You see, I believed you were going to combine two of my favorite things. While I commend you for posting great photos of cookies and cakes, you have failed to deliver in area #2.

    ** from For Your Consideration – 2006

    Like

    • Milton has been known to equate sinful and decadent desserts with porn. Blame the man!

      Like

      • I guess you’re right. Since I am at work, I probably would be in deep you-know-what if you had posted photos of persons actually engaged in sploshing. For that, I thank you.

        Like

        • Yes, those viewings are best conducted in private at home and when your mate shouts, “What are you doing?” You reply, “Research!” And hopefully, they will not notice that you’re breathless … Not that anything like that has ever happened to me in my life.

          Like

  4. beverly halliday

    I had to check to see what area #2 was ah yes. Leave it to the professionals…….Cookie monster’s got nothing on you. Levain owes you a cookie!

    Like

  5. Good God, I love cake. I have an undying passion for it–and cookies, of course. I’m with Milton and SS on this one. Food porn, indeed!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    Like

  6. Oh. Sweet. Moses.

    Like

  7. Snoring Dog Studio

    Love cake! Love it! Love cake! Adore red velvet cake! Love it! Want cake now. Thanks, LA. No good bakeries here in Hideho. Argh. Still wanting cake. I don’t mind making them from scratch, though. Not much is as rewarding as making a cake for yourself alone.

    Like

  8. This may be Old News but there is a ‘Food Porn’ group on Flickr.
    Last time I looked; there were thousands and thousands of pictures.
    And what a great way to portray ‘porn’ via the use of an integrative pull and hook of pictures (yes, I’m writing about food here). Aside from those who are offended by food; most of us are ‘hooked’ on food one way or another.
    And cake? well I haven’t had any since yesterday….but today; it’s still early.
    Splendid story!

    Like

    • That’s new news to me and possibly others that read Lame Adventures — just for its educational value of course. Seriously, thanks for taking the time to share that fun tip Jim. Very much appreciated! I hope you enjoy a delish slice of cake today!

      Like

      • And may all of your readers enjoy a *delish slice* of whatever floats their boat or, in keeping with the theme, melts their butter.

        Like

        • You’re feeling even more magnanimous than usual today, Mike. The butter image makes me think of Kristen Wiig when she recently played Paula Deen on a Weekend Update segment of SNL where she licked a stick of butter throughout. I found that very amusing (in other words I was howling like a stupid fool).

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s