The love of food and the food of love – all mixed together in Isabel Allende’s inimitable sensuous style.
A book Bacchus would have been proud of – bawdy, lurid, unfettered, Rabelaisian fun.
This book of recipes, sensuous stories, aphrodisiacs and lovers’ spells is an irresistible fusion of Allende’s favourite things.
Lavishly illustrated, this fascinating personal guide to all things erotic is an international history of seduction through food; ancient and modern stories and poems about sex and eating; titillating recipes and advice.
Learn how to organize an orgy.
Read the funniest, nastiest recipes you’ll ever see.
Enjoy a pleasure-seeker’s handbook; an epicurean’s manifesto.
Ai No Corrida for the reader.
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There is something about reading suggestive material that awakens the senses--too often ignored in the fray of modern life--and fires the imagination. Perhaps it brings us back to those breathless, palpitating moments from childhood when puberty was a rosy smudge on the horizon and sex was an abstract term. Aphrodite is a long, savoury, enthralling ode to sensuality.
In this bawdy memoir-cum-cookbook, Allende has put together an apothecary of aphrodisiacs, from snake's blood and rhinoceros horn to the more commonplace and more palatable oysters, "those seductive tears of the sea, which lend themselves to slipping from mouth to mouth like a prolonged kiss...can be purchased in bottles, but there they look like malignant tumours; in contrast, moist and turgid in their shells they suggest delicate vulvae--a prime example of food that appeals to the eye." Chapters such as "Alligators and Piranhas"; "Supreme Stimulus for Lechery"; "Bread,God's Grace"; "Forbidden Fruits"; and "The Saucy Way to Foreplay" offer categorical listings on the aphrodisiac qualities of meats, spices, fruits and vegetables and alcohol. A few chapters into the book, one begins to wonder what foods aren't considered erotic: "the shape of the wheat head is considered phallic, which proves human imagination knows no limits." Wine (no surprise there) is recommended because "it lessens inhibitions, relaxes, and fosters joy, three fundamental requirements for good performance, not only in bed but at the piano as well." However, as in many situations, moderation is key: too much and you may find your guest asleep in the soup.
Allende dismisses nouvelle cuisine in favour of earthier foods and more satisfying portions. More than 100 recipes are provided, from sauces and soups to hors d'oeuvres, supplemented with her voluptuous commentary. Recipes such as Mykonos Sauce, with walnuts, pistachios, basil, garlic and milk; Widower's Figs; Filet Mignon Belle Epoque; and Alicante Cream Soup, with leeks, prawns, oysters, paprika, and cream will have you in an apron (and perhaps not much else) in no time.
"If cookbooks make up part of your library," Allende notes, "books on eroticism should, too." And what more delightful combination of the two than Aphrodite, which provocatively underscores the relationship between sustenance and sexuality, and the aphrodisiac qualities of watching a man cook: "[Women] suppose that if he can remember how many minutes frog legs can tolerate in the skillet, how much greater reason he will have to remember how many tickles our G spot demands." Spiced with litanies of lust and longing from Anais Nin, W.B. Yeats, Pablo Neruda, and Lady Onogoro, and enriched with Allende's warm humour and lusty joie de vive, Aphrodite will tantalise your senses and engender lascivious grins. Recommended in delicious but moderate doses, this book is not for the faint of...er, heart. --Jhana Bach, Amazon.comReview:
‘Allende’s writing is so vivid we smell the countryside, hear the sounds, see the bright birds, the scorched earth, smell and even taste the soft fruit.’
‘Allende is incapable of telling a bad story. She writes of her own experience with a kind of wild candour. Her heroically sustained narrative, her lovingly prepared plots and surprise inventions explode in an exaltation.’
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