When I saw this recent photo of my brother in law, I instantly knew that it deserved a spot on my blog. But, in what context?
You may recall my Father’s Day post Confident Like a Man where I talked about a gender difference that I apparently don’t possess. But are there gender differences around food? It just so happens that I am hosting a baby shower at my home tomorrow afternoon. The invitations went to a wonderful list of friends and family of the mother-to-be and I’m scurrying about working on centerpieces, cupcakes and the menu. As it turns out, the attendees are all female and my menu? Quiche and salad and white wine and lemonade.
But what if this was a co-ed event or better yet an all-male entourage? What would I be serving and would it be different? The answer is yes. We all know that Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche. Certainly I’d be firing up the grill and while turkey legs find themselves outside of my repertoire, I’d likely be doing heavier dishes and meat. Scouring the internet, I learn that gender differences around food are real and that they are exacerbated by culture. Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, says that people are more likely to eat foods that they associate with qualities they’d like to see in themselves. So men who want to be strong and masculine are more likely to eat strong and masculine food such as meat. Women, on the other hand, will go for lighter fare such as salad and fruit and have an endless craving for chocolate – especially once each month – a gender difference but also a hormonal difference.
Oddly, the chocolate divide disappears in Egypt where men and women crave it in equal proportions. And a researcher in Great Britain found that among school age children, it was actually the boys who had a greater propensity for sweets. So what of this gender divide? I’m unwilling to say that it’s an outflow from early cave days where men hunted and women gathered. No, I’m much more likely to take the reasonable approach and enjoy a light lunch even if it means that I’m looking for these qualities of femininity and sensibility in myself.
What are you eating for lunch?
- 1 10-inch pie crust
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1/4 lb sliced mushrooms
- 1 sliced medium tomato
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper
- a pinch of thyme
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 4 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk (I use 1%)
- 2 Tbs flour
- 1 an 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
- 1 splash hot sauce