Carnal Embrace

Septimus, what is carnal embrace?

Carnal embrace is the practice of throwing one’s arms around a side of beef.

Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

So here I embark on a month-long exploration of the deadly sin of Lust as it is evoked, expressed, encouraged, and pursued through food and drink. Long hours of practical research were involved, and I hope you enjoy the fruits of my endeavor.

But before fruit comes flesh. Few foods so vividly conjure the animal passions as red meat. When we lust, it’s the flesh of another we’re after for the satisfaction of our own, and when we eat meat, we’re reminded of our own carnality. That reminder is particularly vivid when the meat is served raw in thrillingly lurid red ribbons, or quickly seared over a high flame–for who hasn’t once felt similarly seared by desire? There’s even some sharing of vocabulary between boudoir and butcher-shop: consider, after all, the word beefcake.