Did you catch the story about the New York chef Daniel Angerer, who made cheese from his wife’s leftover breast milk? He fed it to her (without telling her what it was. Unacceptable! Though she liked it); he fed it to the New York magazine foodie Gael Greene with “apricot preserves and a sprinkle of paprika”; and he fed it to customers in the know at Klee Brasserie, with “figs and Hungarian pepper.”

Greene did not dig the texture. In her story about the experience on The Daily Beast, she called it “so off-putting. Strangely soft, bouncy, like panna cotta.”

The story caused a hubbub on the interweb. People (and the New York Department of Health) went crazy over the ew factor.

That’s where I have to say hey. I eat the wing of a chicken with gusto. A chicken’s wing, plucked of its feathers. Covered in skin. I eat that. My favourite cheddar, my organic yogourt, my maple ice cream comes from a cow’s teat. That cow in its fetid pen is how much less savoury than the cosmopolitan Mrs. Angerer?

The only reason anyone’s cringing over human ricotta is because our experience of breastmilk doesn’t override the basic facts of it – the way a Friday night with beers, Steve Malkmus and my crispy chicken wings overrides in tone and atmosphere (and taste!) any notion of a poultry farm.

I suppose there’s something unsettling in the way all this cheese-tasting conflates the sacred and the sexual: You think you know what a mother is all about; you think you know what type of woman it is whose breast you’d want to put your mouth on. Sure, they’re both givers, but that’s where the similarities end. Put them together and dinner is ruined.

Or is it just plain old Electra writ large – a case of “ma – get outta my face“?

Look: At the end of the day, Daniel Angerer went for it. He and his fearless palate took a giant step towards his wife and refused to let his experience of her override his curiosity. He went there. Which is more than I can say for me on a Friday night with my Malkmus and chicken wings. (To wit: See “Do I dare to eat a beef?) As for Mrs. Angerer’s personal ricotta: Not sure I want to buy it, or eat it – ever. But theoretically? Bring it on!
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