Tiramisu emerges as titillating sin in 'Sleepless in Seattle'


In the romantic comedy "Sleepless in Seattle," a widower played by Tom Hanks asks for advice from his friend, played by Rob Reiner.

He hasn't gone on a date since the Carter administration and wants to know what "tiramisu" is. He worries that "some woman is gonna want me to do it to her, and I won't know how to do it."

Mr. Reiner neglects to explain tiramisu, which has resulted in a flood of inquiring calls to the film's distributor, TriStar.

Although this is a family newspaper, it is appropriate to talk about tiramisu, especially as practiced by caring, consenting adults.

Mr. Hanks' character shouldn't worry. Most normal women would enjoy tiramisu with a man. Guys like it too, especially in an atmosphere free from performance pressure.

Pronounced terra-mee-ZOO, tiramisu is a yummy Italian dessert involving soft ladyfinger cakes, sweet and creamy mascarpone cheese, espresso, brandy and perhaps chocolate.

However, bright couples should approach it cautiously because there's no such thing as "safe tiramisu."

It contains the four deadly sins: fat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. In other words, as Mr. Reiner says to Mr. Hanks in this confection of a movie:

"You'll love it!"

Many Italian restaurants serve tiramisu. It's also relatively easy to make.

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