This article originally appeared on VICE Spain
A few years ago I stumbled upon the writing of Paul Photenhauer, author of the seminal works Natural Harvest (2008) and Semenology (2013). Both are books with semen-based recipes – the first focusing on food, the second on cocktails. Photenhauer works as a nurse, but had enough time on his hands to develop recipes for dishes and drinks with a slimy twist.
When I learnt that there might be a semen cooking class, inspired by Photenhauer's work, coming to London thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, I realised it was time for me to explore the idea of treating semen as a proper ingredient. I had so many questions. For example: why would you ever put semen in your meals? And, more practically: does cum keep well in the fridge, or do you need to harvest it on the spot?
When I reached out to Paul, it turned out his fascination started in a pretty simple way. "One day I was in the kitchen with some friends, and the conversation veered towards semen," he explained. "I thought it would be quite natural to use it as a cooking liquid and I decided to try it myself. My passion for it began right there, and it hasn't waned since."
According to Paul, consuming semen has many health benefits. It's true that there is some nutritional value to the fluid – it includes proteins, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc – and consuming semen is even associated with a few medical benefits. A study by North Carolina University in 2003 found it decreases the risk of breast cancer, and there are studies that showswallowing their partner's sperm has helped to prevent preeclampsia in pregnant women. There's even a study suggesting that semen helps to alleviate morning sickness. Of course, if you choose to listen to these studies and think it's worth swallowing sperm because of its supposed health benefits, you need to know whose semen you're swallowing so you don't end up contracting an STI. That would be unfortunate and counterproductive, to say the least.
Because I felt a strong urge to try some of his recipes out myself, I asked Paul for his favourites. His personal all-time favourite is the Macho Mojito, a cocktail made with rum, soda, mint, sugar and semen. He swears the taste is unique. I could imagine it would be, but decided to put it to the test.
The Macho Mojito
"You need fresh ingredients, so they still have all their nutrients," Paul explained. I gathered fresh mint, a tablespoon of sugar, another tablespoon of powdered sugar, 15ml of lemon juice, lemon zest, 60ml of soda and some semen.
I usually make my mojitos with cane sugar, but to not stray too far from the original recipe I used normal sugar. Also: semen. I usually make my mojitos without semen.
I mixed the sugar with the lemon juice, added the fresh mint and crushed the leaves in. I added zest, soda, rum, ice cubes and the final touch – you guessed it – semen.
The white liquid immediately swirled down through the glass. I'm not sure if it was supposed to happen, but as soon as the ice cubes started to melt they diluted the semen and my Macho Mojito started to pass for a less macho mojito, i.e. a mojito without sperm in it. I could have easily treated my worst enemy to the festive cocktail and they never would have known.
It did taste a bit weird at first, but I got used to it after a couple of sips. I have to be honest here – it helped that I'm married to the semen donor. I'm not sure I could have drunk the cocktail if I hadn't had any idea where it came from. That might be a psychological thing – it just freaks me out when I don't know what I'm eating or drinking, whatever it is.
Ham, Cheese and Semen Crepes
The Macho Mojito was drinkable enough for me to want to experiment with semen a bit further. I chose a recipe of crepes with ham, cheese and semen, which I made the day after the cocktail, to give my donor a little breather. Preparing the crepe mixture was pretty simple – I added one egg to a cup of flour and another cup of milk. So far, so good.
It's a universal truth that the first crepe never comes out right. Mine stubbornly stuck to the pan and I had to throw it away. The second one turned out fine, and when it was lightly golden on both sides I added the filling of ham, cheese and semen, and folded the crepe.
The smell of heated semen and cheese melting into the crepe made me gag. If it hadn't been for that very specific smell, the crepe could have easily passed for a semen-less one, because the semen was completely absorbed by the rest of the filling. That smell, though. Christ. There was no escaping it. After eating half of the crepe I decided to save myself for dessert.
Which brings me to:
I love pudding and I had never made a Spanish flan before, so this was a big moment for me. I liquified some sugar and poured that into a little dish. Secondly, I mixed milk, eggs, cinnamon and sugar with semen and poured that into the dish. I cooked it for a while, and then flipped the dish over. It had come apart a bit, but no matter. It was the effort that counted.
It was a proud moment for me, even though the memory of the fetid smell of hot semen nearly ruined it for me again. This time, however, the smell of cinnamon covered most of that up. And the flavour was fine – a little too sweet for my taste, but not too weird or semen-y.
To be sure, though, I will never use semen in a culinary way again. Whatever its apparent health benefits, I'll just stick to the struggle of trying to get through my normal five-a-day. Fruit, veg –that sort of thing. I've tried, and can say from experience: semen has no place in my kitchen.
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