Food and music have gone together since the dawn of man (or at least since the creation of the song “Do You Know The Muffin Man?”). Chefs like Mario Batali make their love of music an integral part of their restaurants – whether you like it or not – and musicians have long paid tribute to pleasures of the plate. Zach Brooks, creator of the famed Midtown Lunch site, has gone so far as to create a new site extolling all things musical foodie (foodical musie?) called Food is the New Rock. This is all to say that music + food = good times.
Since this is Heart Attack, I think we can go a little further and take a look at a very specific place on the food-music continuum: the best romantic food-related songs. In appropriate High Fidelity fashion, I give them to you as a Top Five list:
- “Mambo Italiano” by Rosemary Clooney
George’s aunt was singing about food long before he was learning the “Facts of Life.” If you want to spice up your homemade pasta party, crank up some Rosemary and sing along with lyrics like: “Try an enchilada with a fish baccala” and “Just make-a wid da beat bambino/It’s a like a vino.” I’ve never tried an enchilada with baccala (salt cod) but, who knows? Maybe it’s an aphrodisiac. At the end of your date, snag a goodbye kiss and follow it up with Clooney’s signature send-off: “’At’s nice!”
- “Eat It!” by Weird Al Yankovic
This song defined my childhood. Now I think it’s worthy of some airtime while you prep. It’s just the right rhythm to keep your chopping on pace and lyric for lyric, this might just be the foodiest song of all time. It may not be super romantic, but it’ll get your heart beating as you try to figure out exactly what fresh Spam would taste like.
- “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard/ “Cherry Pie” by Warrant
There are no better songs to make-out to than these hair metal classics. Just think: you made a rocking rack of lamb, you created a cocktail just for that evening (smooth move, champ), your soufflé didn’t fall and now you’re on your way to Make-out City. Take a quick detour to your iPod, blast one of these gems and pray that your date likes cheese.
- “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent
Don’t be fooled by 50 Cent’s clever lyrics. HE’S NOT TALKING ABOUT A REAL CANDY SHOP. As best I can tell, Fitty is trying to describe the place where genitals are sold. That lollipop he’s touting? It’s not made of sugar. Basically, play this after you go out and get your crunk on. It’s a little too raunchy for a civilized wine tasting date, so maybe there’s a Patron (or, perhaps more appropriately, Ciroc) tasting event that you can go to and then head back to your candy shop for some fun. Let me reiterate: I don’t know exactly what a candy shop is in 50 Cent’s world.
- “Carry-Out” by Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake
This one’s the game changer. “I’ll have you open all night like an IHOP” POW! “And if there’s room for dessert, then I want a piece” ZING! “Cause I’m well seasoned if you couldn’t tell” ZAP! It’s like a master class on Musical Sexuality As Told Through Food Metaphors. There’s one perfect occasion to use this song and, if you’re not careful, it’ll lead to a delivery. Bless you, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake for perfecting the intersection of food, sex and music. You are true heroes, and I’m not referring to the sandwich.