By Kari Arneson

Ever heard the expression, “The way to man’s heart is through his stomach”?  In Babe Scott’s hilarious and insightful book, Delicious Dating: The Single Girl’s Guide to Decoding Men by Their Wining and Dining Styles, the self-confessed “manthropologist” proves that a man’s eating habits are a good indicator of what kind of boyfriend he’ll be.  Babe decided to test her theory by going on countless dates and interviewing more than 200 people about men, food and dating.  Her research led her to conclude that there are 10 male dining types, including the Transfat Type, who has the “culinary and romantic skills of Homer Simpson,” and the Culinary Con Man, a guy that will tell you he knows a lot about wine and food but really, doesn’t even know how to operate a hot plate.  Babe took some time out and talked to us about her unique, funny and insightful look at the relationship between cuisine and courtship.  Take a look at what the Aussie dating expert had to say:

What inspired you to write a book about men, dating and food?

I had an epiphany that men are what they eat during a dyspeptic anniversary dinner with my ex-fiancé.  He excavated a meal out of the back of his freezer that looked it like it had been frozen before the Bosnian war.  It was covered in a rubbery goo masquerading as cheese and tasted like the tread on a tire.

As I tried to suppress my gag reflex, I realized our dietary differences spelled doom for our relationship.  It wasn’t even just that the meal was unsavory, but that we were two strangers across a table.  My Ex had everything going for him – he was funny, successful and cute – but our palates lived on different planets.  I realized that I had been unerringly dating the wrong Male Dining Type – guys with the dietary and romantic habits of Homer Simpson – and that I didn’t want to spend my life being Marge.  I threw in the tea towel on my relationship and decided to research my food theory as a litmus test for lovers.  I thought I would be able to change my own romantic destiny and potentially save other women from needless heartburn.

What kind of research did you do for the book and what is the most important thing you learned from your research?

I embarked on an empirical study of the male species.  A manthropologist on a mission, I dined with more than 100 men and had every type of culinary experience I could – from dumpster diving to foraging to five star restaurants.  I also interviewed 200 men and women about the connection between a man’s wining and dining style and his mating style.  I learned that you could distill a man’s true essence from his culinary style.

The research gave me an insight into the male species and what type of guy worked for me.  It helped me transform my love life and I now have a relationship I relish.  Most importantly, I learned to heed my own appetites.  In the past, I’d focused on feeding male appetites rather than satisfying my own.  Hence, my relationships had become increasingly unfulfilling.  Instead, I put the emphasis on seeing if a guy could get me salivating.  I honestly think seeking the Delicious is the secret to love as well as living with zest. I learned so much about myself on my dating and dining odyssey and discovered what my tastes were in food, wine and men, the three things that keep the rosy hue in our cheeks.  We put so much emphasis on our degrees and our careers, but sometimes we can learn from our everyday lives.

In the book, you identify ten types of male diners, from Trans Fat Types to Culinary Con Men.  Which type of man was the most appealing to you and which type should women definitely avoid?

I would avoid men that don’t give a kebab about courtship.  Even if a guy lacks finesse but makes an effort to whet your appetite, then he might be a keeper.  It’s not the money he spends, but the effort he puts in that counts.  A guy is investing in you by taking you out for dinner.  He is serving up a sliver of himself and trying to stir other appetites.  The Pretzel Player doesn’t have any nutritive value, hence his culinary totem.  He is the sort of guy who texts you late and asks you out to a bar.  This guy is only interested in sexual conquest, not connection.  His seduction strategy involves plying you with enough vodka shots to pry you out of your pants.  He will be all over you like a bad case of dermatitis but the next morning he will do a disappearing act.  Even if you are only after a lover, you are better off with someone who considers your needs and puts a value on getting to know you.

As far as the other types, I don’t think there is any prescription when it comes to love.  One woman’s perfect male dish is another’s plain unpalatable.  I think it is a good idea to test-drive the testosterone smorgasbord and get an idea of what sort of man suits your palate and preferences.

What is the most important piece of advice couples and singles can take away from your book?

I think it is really important to bond over shared meals.  I don’t mean just a conveyor belt dinner where you talk over the kids’ heads or ramble absentmindedly while you rattle off mental grocery lists.  I mean a proper dinner date with wine, candles and a thought-out menu that gets both your juices flowing.  We don’t live by beer alone, nor do our hearts thrive on to-do lists.  It is really important to keep romance alive by enjoying special dinners, whether they are at home or at a restaurant.  During these dinner dates, try to talk about what you like about each other, rather than children or chores.  It will help you keep the fires of intimacy burning and will remind you of what attracted you to each other in the first instance.  Every person I interviewed said they had a presentiment that a relationship was going cold when they didn’t make time anymore to have special dinners together.

Do you have any upcoming projects we should know about?

I am blogging regularly for The Huffington Post in the Living Section and I am also revving up the Eat, Pour, Love blog on my website at BabeScott.com.  My blog will be dedicated to all things decadent.  My ultimate goal is to turn it into something like an online cocktail party.  I will be interviewing “Inspiring Women Who Drink,” hunky chefs and also writing about all things to do with mating, masticating and martinis.  I do have a top-secret special project that I am also working on, but I’m not ready to spill the Fava beans on that just yet.  But as soon as it’s cooked, I will be serving up the hot gossip on Cupid’s Pulse.

Cupid thanks Babe Scott for her time! You can purchase Delicious Dating: The Single Girl’s Guide to Decoding Men by Their Wining and Dining Styles on Amazon. Visit BabeScott.com to purchase merchandise and to learn more about Babe Scott, and check out her blog on The Huffington Post.