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 tumors; 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 favor 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, shrimp, 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 humor and lusty joie de vive, Aphrodite will tantalize your senses and engender lascivious grins. Recommended in delicious but moderate doses, this book is not for the faint of ... er, heart. --Jhana Bach --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Allende doesn't shy away from using personal experiences in the kitchen and in the bedroom to educate and entertain. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sheila Roberts
I love the writing, but have not tried out the recipes yet. Recipes seem complicated, and the ingredients are not available in my part of the world.Published 9 months ago by N. Ho
the recipes are very good but really the authors stories and information about aphrodisiacs are the best. Read morePublished 15 months ago by brooklyn
I love all Isabel Allende books but this one didn't grab my interest. I had been wanting to purchase it for awhile and am a bit disappointed. I love the theme and recipes included. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Anonymous
I love the concept of this book food and the senses It is a topic I have been exploring for a while & I like the way Allende added the stories, historical and medicinal topics to... Read morePublished on April 18, 2013 by Lalanii Sangode
I have yet to try out any of the offered recipes in this book, but I enjoyed reading it. Allende is indeed the sort of author I would expect to write about aphrodisiacs and senses. Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by BP
Read this book on my honeymoon, which was a GREAT idea, except for the fact that I wanted to rush out and make about a dozen of the recipes in the back and had no access to a... Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by LindseyL