Words: Shamim de Brún
Words: Shamim de Brún
Erotic cakes have been somewhat available for years if you knew where to go, but Dublin got its first house of Xrated waffles last week. The sexy sweets come in two anatomically correct varieties: vagina and penis-shaped.
The anatomically apt treats, as might be predicted, have been arousing controversy. Fooderia, as it is officially called, garnered attention from all aspects of the food media. We did a silly video ourselves; EatDrinkDub were first in with their video. LovinDublin wrote an article about the opening. AllTheFood managed to get in a review at lightning speed. Spin1038 ran a segment on it.
Believe me; there are comments on all of them that would make you alternately gag and roll your eyes. Some of those commentators have definitely taken it upon themselves to report the new business because they’re open less than two weeks and are already shadowbanned.
There is something about places that can be derided as gimmicky that brings out our inner hater. Even the most liberal can become pearl clutches in the face of penis-shaped things. Conflating its whimsy for crude vulgarity.
That said, X Rated foods aren’t new or groundbreaking. You can see phallic food items around the world — penis-shaped baguettes in Paris, penis cookies in San Francisco, and vagina cupcakes all over the internet.
On AliExpress, you can buy more than 40 different kinds of electric penis waffle machines. There are vagina waffle options too, but predictably fewer. According to this TimeOut London article, “the penis waffle began in Taiwan in 2010, at a now-defunct stall called ‘A Piece of Gayke’, in Shilin Night Market”. There was NSFWaffles, created by queer celebrity baker Tom Smallwood in NYC. Barcelona has been ‘plagued’ by them. There are currently three separate places in London where you can eat penis-shaped waffles.
Though they all trigger controversy in some countries, it’s worse than in others. In Warsaw, the opening of a penis waffle shop called ‘The Dickery’ caused political backlash. It was called ‘The worst sewage from the Western world is pouring into Poland’ by far-right politician Krzysztof Bosak. In Bangkok, celebrity chef Yingsak Chonglertjetsadawong railed against a penis waffle shop on Facebook, commenting, ‘Would you put this in a monk’s alms bowl?’.
In the comments on our video, people asked us not to platform the new whimsical businesses. Proclaiming that they would be bust in a year. An uncommonly mean thing to say of any new business in the city.
But who are these erotic waffle joints actually for? Obviously, it’s not devout flavour seekers. More likely, it’s hen parties and bemused tourists. I first saw these sorts of waffles on British TikTok in 2021 and knew it would only be a matter of time before some entrepreneur carpe-ed the diem. It is such a frivolous, niche business idea, so obviously, there’s a market for it. And it’s the market that dick-tates.
These sexy little ditties on sticks are intended to be an experience, not the highest calibre of food. And that is reflected in the price at Fooderia. Will the cheese sandwich blow your mind Loose Cannon style? No. But will it satiate you for a fiver with a cuppa included – yes, it will.
The success of places like this is self-driving: Customers visit Fooderia because they see sexy content online and create new content once they’re there. Then the people in their sphere of influence want in. And so on until the trend has been surfed to its end. (RIP FroYo)
It’s easy to look at Fooderia and see an example of our social media-obsessed culture gone mad. It could easily be used to demonstrate how capitalism has converted food to entertainment from nourishment. But food is so much more than nourishment to so many. There is the subset that if they could exist off a red pill full of nutrients, they would – but they are the minority. Food is culture, tradition, holidays, memory, and celebration. It is so much more than just fuel.
Food as an experience has been a thing for generations. In essence, that is what the Michelin Guide is founded on. Documenting food experiences so good that you would drive to them, which in turn would sell tires. While this is the absolute opposite of that, it is still valid. Coming across a fun, silly food that will make you laugh and bond with your comrades in a serendipitous way can be as enjoyable as a high-calibre meal, albeit in a completely different way.
You get one of these sexy nibbles to laugh. You eat it to ’gram it. To post a crush alerting thirst trap or to stick it to the ex that lingers on your stories. To signal that you’re good craic. That you don’t take the world too seriously. You eat it because you’re on holiday with the galz, and your critical faculties have been melted by pints.
Places like Fooderia also say something positive about this city’s attitude towards sexuality. Capel Street was the perfect pick because of its inherited reputation as a sex district. As AllTheFood pointed out, opening a week before Pride opposite PantiBar was no accident. It represents a cultural shift towards not just acceptance but an embracing of sexy culture as just par for the course. You love to see it.
Here customers are treated to a full show in the store — jokes, innuendos, dripping sauces and a bit of craic. The menu is pretty inclusive and includes items that are vegan and gluten-free. Is this likely to be a place that becomes your regular? Maybe not. Will you have fun when you visit – absolutely!
Elsewhere on CHAR: Rat Girls are Devouring Rotisserie Chicken with Their Bare Hands