Teresa Guidice’s segment on making traditional Italian red sauce (marinara) included a little tidbit that makes women roll their eyes. Basically, women are forbidden from making delicious red sauce while on their periods. Teresa’s reason? “It spoils the sauce.”
It only spoils the sauce if you straddle the boiling vat naked, but that’s beside the point.
Here’s the clip:
Of course there is something behind this Italian tradition, and it’s not just Italians who want to avoid menstrual blood in their food. Women’s time of the month has always been cloaked in mystery, magic, and superstition in almost every culture.
For one thing, men are just generally freaked out by the fact that women flow blood monthly for about 40 years of their lives.
This mysterious blood has been used, or thought to be used in an all manner of mystical voodoo, and in many cultures men are advised to avoid red foods, or drinks like coffee that could be served with a dose of “time of the month.”
Often, like in this particular tradition, women don’t need to actually add the blood to food, but merely be on the rag in order to work love magic, or magic of other kinds on men. The power of woman is strong.
That, or as a Jezebel commenter noted:
“how much you want to bet that myth was started by one stressed out, overwrought woman in the “old country” who was sick of doing f**king everything?
i would totally do something like that!”
Yeah, that was probably what happened, actually!