Nigella Lawson is no longer slut-shaming raspberries or pasta

Nigella Lawson: 'At My Table' Book Signing

Nigella Lawson, like most celebrity chefs/cooks, has a presence on social media. That’s where she chats with fans, posts old recipes, tweaks old recipes and hypes her latest projects. This week, Nigella posted an old recipe for her “recipe of the day” and her fans noticed something strange: Nigella had renamed her dessert. Originally, she called it a “Slut Red Raspberry” something and now it’s “Ruby Red.” Are we not describing food as slutty anymore? Can we at least refer to carrot cakes as a little bit trampy? Nigella explained her choice to rename the dish to a fan:

Nigella Lawson’s “slutty” dishes are cleaning up their act. The British chef recently shared a recipe for a popular dessert, previously known as “Slut Red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly,” on social media — but she instead referred to them with the more modest descriptor “Ruby Red.”

“RecipeOfTheDay is a dream of a dessert, and so easy to make. If you’ve never tried home-made jelly before, now’s your chance: Ruby Red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly for the win!” she wrote on Aug. 22.

Fans immediately noticed the change to the recipe, which was first published in her cookbook “Forever Summer,” released in the US in 2003.

“Wonderful recipe (as always!) but it makes me wonder what has happened to this country when we can’t even call that recipe by its hilarious original name,” remarked one follower. “What has happened to our free speech, humour and a sense of fun? I love your turn of phrase Nigella!”

Lawson, 61, made a point to respond: “I feel that the word has taken on a coarser, more cruel connotation, and I’m not happy with that.”

Her site’s description of the recipe notes the title switch before rhapsodizing about raspberries: “This recipe has had a slight name change, but is the same dessert of dreams: the wine-soused raspberries take on a stained glass, lucent red, their very raspberriness enhanced; the soft, translucently pale coral just-set jelly in which they sit has a heady, floral fragrance that could make a grateful eater weep,” it reads.

Lawson also reportedly gave her “Slut Spaghetti,” a version of the classic Italian dish pasta alla puttanesca, a similar treatment. On Aug. 10, she tweeted, “New name; same gorgeous store-cupboard standby: Slattern’s Spaghetti — aka Pasta alla Puttanesca — is Recipe Of The Day.” An introduction to the staple recipe on her website reads: “Although you will often see its Italian name explained as meaning ‘whore’s pasta’ in English, the general consensus seems to be, however, that this is the sort of dish cooked by slatterns who don’t go to market to get their ingredients fresh, but are happy to use stuff out of cans and jars.”

Lawson continued her description, explaining in context what the word “slattern” means for those of us on the states-side of the pond. “I recently had a Twitter conversation with one Jim Hewitt about the new name for this,” she said, “and I gratefully end with this fabulous message of his: ‘On those days when my mum couldn’t be bothered to brush her hair and cooked dinner using whatever was in the cupboard she would say: ‘Hush. I’m slatterning!’ This is perfect for a slatterning day.’”

[From The NY Post]

I mean… we knew the bad connotations of “slut” in 2003, but back then the conversation was “we need to reclaim these words and/or use these words so they will have less power.” Seriously, that was the conversation. Plus, I guess people just felt like slutshaming raspberries was okay, little did they know that it’s a slippery, slutty, berry-covered slope. As for pasta alla Puttanesca… she didn’t name that. That was already a thing. That’s been an Italian dish for decades and it really does translate to “prostitute’s pasta.” I love food etymology.

Nigella Lawson arrives in Perth ahead of an event

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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10 Responses to “Nigella Lawson is no longer slut-shaming raspberries or pasta”

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  1. Catherine says:

    I love her!!

  2. L84Tea says:

    I adore Nigella. She is my hands down #1 wish for an autobiography. She’s had such an interesting and sad life that I find fascinating, but I feel like nobody could tell it like she could in her own oozing words. I hope one day.

    I also make a brownie recipe called “Slutty Brownies” that is insanely delicious. Bad name, gooooooood brownies.


      Those are insanely good brownies! I do find the choice of Slut Raspberries interesting as compared to Slutty Raspberries? I think the second sounds better and more natural. Like the first almost sounds like it is calling the raspberries sluts, or saying they are for sluts? It didn’t bother me though

      • L84Tea says:

        You can do them with either Oreos or Reeses Peanut Butter cups. The Oreo version is delicious, but the peanut butter cups version is INSANE.

  3. goofpuff says:

    I adore her too. Her recipes are always so deliciously decadent.

  4. Chanteloup says:

    Interesting, I always thought the pasta was named alla Puttanesca because it’s hot, juicy and deliciously flavorful, a little salty [from the capers and olives] and a little fishy [from the anchovies] … like the prostitutes it was named for.

    I’ll show myself out.

  5. Agreatreckoning says:

    This title made me lol.

  6. Jules says:

    I’m sure some people were legit offended in the name of feminism. eye roll.

  7. Meg says:

    I remember an ad for a cooking bit on TV and she started emptying canned tomatoes and looked a bit embarrassed into the camera and said ‘now before you all got here, i spent all morning chopping up these tomatoes and putting them into cans’