In this blog post I will: talk about Lady Nige being an attractive lady and talk filthily about her cooking. But crucially, I will argue that these are all separate features of her cookery show working together, and that ultimately, she is not trying to seduce you. Sure, I’m seduced by her cooking – who doesn’t want to add extra cream and sugar to steamed broccoli? Which brings me on to the first topic.
It’s not her, it’s the food
It’s the food. Oh God it’s definitely the food. She makes food you feel naughty looking at. The x-eyed olives that squint at you like a stern mistress as she tangles them in buttery, buttery, heart-cloggingly rich pasta sauce. The reason it’s so sumptuous-looking, glossy and crispy in all the right places is because she gives zero shits about the diet you’re on. Can’t take dairy? Double cream makes you squat-shuffle to the bathroom? Well it’s going in anyway. Pure butter makes you shart? Well this cake is layered with jam, butter and treacle. Here’s a nappy.
Nigella is heavy with the adjectives. Soused, jeweled, squelched, coloured with sunshine yellow – nobody does adjectives like Nigella does adjectives. All of these add an extra dimension of colour and texture to her cooking, adding sensory details that aren’t palpable through the screen.
One thing though – she uses the word soused a lot. But it usually refers to onions and vinegar. Onions are not sexy. Renaissance artists used grapes. Plump, red and purple grapes. Not rings of crunchy onion.
“What’s that Leonardo? Bathe me? Not with red wine this time or the milk of a silken alpaca (alpacas can be seen in the Sistine Chapel) – but with a jar of pickled eggs? Oh if you insist. There is nothing that I desire more than the plop and roll of its rubbery orb rolling down Venus’ scallop shell.”
Whoever produces Nigella Lawson’s cookery shows has the microphone underneath the frying pan and turned up to 11. It’s the sizzle, crackle and pop of ingredients hitting the pan that makes her programmes all the more desirable to watch and ultimately, hear. Admittedly, it doesn’t help that every squirt and slap of a ball of dough is filmed with unnerving focus. But then again, if that gets your engine running I dare not put a bowl of Rice Crispies near you.
Now, as you can see, this article has turned into verbose filth. I guess, what this means is, Nige brings it out in us, without even trying. And besides, it’s the producer that wants to slather you with truffle-infused butter and tuck parsley between your buttocks It’s the producer that wants to slather you with truffle-infused butter and tuck parsley between your buttocks – not her. It’s those big doe eye she looks at us with, the pout she makes when a cake is nicely risen and the way her hair bounces as she thumps the oven door shut. She’s gorgeous isn’t she? Maybe we can’t help be seduced by her, and it’s not really her fault.
Then there’s the common misnomer of ‘God she’s sexy, she’s trying to be seductive.’ Well, not really. Just because you fancy an attractive woman, doesn’t mean she’s actively trying – you just find her attractive. It just so happens there’s a lot of sensory overload in her programmes.