The literal meaning of this expression is to put one's hands around someone's throat, typically in an attempt to throttle them. In both Italian and English the expression is also used figuratively, so that no strangling actually takes place.
In Italian, however, the expression is commonly used to describe a gourmet endeavor: to tempt someone by offering him or her delicious food.
The temptation can be as innocent as make someone stray from a diet or eat more than necessary, but it can also have a more romantic objective, when the perpetrator exploits his or her culinary skills to win the heart of the person with whom s/he has fallen in love.
[This post was inspired by Lisa's review of a book called The Food of Love, whose Cyrano-like protagonist cooks to conquer.]
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the prendere qualcuno per la gola audio file [mp3].
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