Passion fruit

Never mind music being the food of love, according to Margi Clarke food is the fuel of love. Jonathan Trew has his appetite whetted.

Margi Clarke. presenter oftelevision‘s (Jam! Sex Guide and co-author of Margi Clarke 's Better T/Itlll Sex Cook/wok. is in town to promote her first venture onto the written page. In the lounge of the quiet Princes Street hotel where she is holding court there is a group of Edinburgh matriarchs taking tea and ptrtting the world to rights. Every now and then a scandalised hush falls as Clarke chuckles throatin and unleashes another fruity comment. The sensual symbiosis ofgood food and good sex it seems is not a suitable subject for public discussion. Which. of course. is rot of the lowest order. As Clarke points out. if you don‘t eat then yotr die. and without sex there is no procreation.

Her book combines these two elemental drives. As well as 250 recipes for success in both the kitchen and the bedroom. ‘lhc two hottest rooms in the house' according to Clarke. it has detailed chapters on aphrodisiacs. nutritional dos and don'ts. and even a section on colours and their significance in setting the mood for a meal in terms of both dining room decor and their arrangement on your plate. Food plays an important role in all the stages of a relationship and a great deal can be learnt from your partner's eating habits. ‘Cooking a meal for someone is a good way to suss out a partner.‘ reckons Clarke. ‘If you‘ve copped off with someone. you're interested and you want to find out a little bit more without being too obvious. then make a dinner together. You can see how they finger that pic. how they touch lood. put it in their months. You think “I like the way he

brother switched her on to its benelils six years ago. Her conversion came about at first not through ethical reasons but purely on the basis of taste. lithical considerations followed later but she is not crusading zealously to raise awareness of animal rights. rather her interests lie in promoting the positiye health aspects of vegetarianism. especially for those on low incomes. She is equally keen to rubbish any patronising image of some.

Clarke is well aware of a good meal’s capacity to put fire as well as fuel in a belly.

kind of lady of leisure climbing down off her hobby horse to save the underprivileged from their own ignorance. Mar'gi (‘larke was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. her grandmother used to sell frtrit and veg from a cart around Liverpool and there‘s more than a ring of realism in more aspects of her role in the film '.eI/er ‘l'o [her/liter.

‘()ne of my ambitions with the book is


Margl Clarke ieellng fruity

susscd. They understand all the

; information. they‘ve got a few bob

more and they tend to cook for

themselves more as well.’

She believes that while it is more difficult to eat well on a low income. it is possible. Her recipes can be transferred from page to plate without a bulging bank account and as she puts it: ‘They‘re all foolproof. lf 1 can do it then anyone can. I‘m not a wizard in the kitchen. l‘m a working mother.‘

Clarke is well aware of a good meal‘s

capacity to put fire as well as fuel in a belly and her own fantasy league of sexually charged food makes humble vegetables sound like an alternative Casanova's dream cuisine. Having set the scene with candles for that intimate lighting and a spot of Barry White or Isaac Hayes for the sweet sounds of one-to-one soul searching. she recommends spicy dips as starters followed by asparagus souffle. The ruain dish in Clarke's cookbook has more than a passing acquaintance with the art of seduction: ‘You have to raise it like a man and if you get it wrong then it can deflate quickly so you've got to keep everything hot.‘ she husks before continuing with a wry grin ‘asparagus looks like a fella too. but you‘re not going to give him much in the way of competition.‘

For just desserts Clarke opts for the sticky delights of the aptly named Mango Mantrap. Mangoes are like some people she knows. They prefer to be stroked rather than squeezed. If that little lot doesn‘t make for satisfaction of the senses then the relationship looks bound to be a flop.

Which leaves nothing more than the eternal question of who‘s going to do the washing-up. him or her? Clarke has no easy solution to that one. preferring to cackle rnischievously and opine that that will be the fight that you will always have.

Mary! Clarke '3‘ Better Than Sex ( .‘(mk/mok is published by Hmldcr and .S'Ioug/ttmt at [14. 99.



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ate that. He could be eating me like that that I would like to try and influence EDINBURGH 2?6 5145 later." people from my own background. 50, East Fountainbridge All the recipes are vegetarian. a People who are on the schemes.‘ she EDINBURGH 228 4005 regime that Clarke espouses since her says. ‘Middle class people have got it 0 I Would you like over _ g thM “a 56655 . 5 w d : enthusiastic Scots to know about the . / c7 -- “W” _ M w M speciality cuisine of your restaurant - .6

or range of beers in your bar?

On 18 April we are publishing - //

our third annual Eating and Drinking Guide




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The List 8~21 Mar 1996 99