It’s February and to me that means that the excitement of Valentines Day is right around the corner. Since I was a very little girl I’ve been fascinated by this holiday. Every year I’d make fancy handmade Valentines Day Cards and decorate my shoebox with paper and lace, hoping for the right combination of magic and artistry to somehow have the box be filled to it’s brim with love notes and spicy sweet hearts that were emblazoned with “I love you” and “Only 4 you” and other special secret messages. Those sugary little hearts now say ridiculous things like “Email me” or “Rock Star” but that’s another story. I’m glad that I was raised in the 1960’s when crafting tokens of love was still such a simple and romantic experience! To this day, I still think that frosting is the ultimate fantasy food. I recently had the opportunity to play with some when I helped my friend Bethane decorate her glorious heart shaped sugar cookies. All that I could think about was what good body paint it would make…..I have never been able to control my imagination!
Ninety percent of the fun on Valentines Day was trying to decode the candy messages sent to by any special someone. Those sugar hearts with their “fancy” clove, wintergreen and cinnamon flavorings were my first introduction to the seductive connection between the tongue and desire. In plainer terms, they were my very first taste of an Aphrodisiac.
The word Aphrodisiac as defined by the Merriam -Webster Dictionary connotes an agent that arouses or is held to arouse sexual desires. Appropriately derived from the name of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love and passion, men and women from the beginning of time have used various foods and talismans to stimulate desire and sexual pleasure. Food and sex are inextricably tied together through emotional memory. Think of some of the words that we use to describe our passions, hungers, desires, cravings. It’s no surprise at all that they are the same words that we use to describe our sensual appetites.
I’ve always been thrilled by the thought of a food that specifically has the power to wet my sensual appetites. Some are very obvious, like the vulvic succulent flesh of a ripe fig or the dripping scarlet seductiveness of a freshly split pomegranate. Apples and pears dipped into honey, fresh grapes, apricots and dates stuffed with a soft sweet cheese as well as juicy melons , mango and papaya are a such a treat. I love to marinate fresh honeydew and charantais melon slices in a bit of honey and Muscat wine, wrap them with prosciutto and serve them with French bread and a very ripe triple creme brie.
Manchego cheese laced with fresh honeycomb set on top of slices of freshly ripened pear is a sublime and juicy treat. Fresh peaches and honey are orgasmic and as a matter of fact, if you’re lucky enough to have a lot of fresh peaches be sure to mash some up with some olive oil, heavy cream and fresh honey. Lay a towel down on the floor or a massage table if you’re lucky enough to own one. Slather the peach mixture all over your lovers body and massage gently. The peaches and honey will act as natural exfoliants and the cream and olive oil will soften the skin. Fresh juicy watermelon will work just as well and the end result after you shower will be soft and elegantly smooth skin!
After your shower try my very favorite Champagne cocktail made with fresh pomegranates!
For each cocktail you will need: 1 bottle of chilled champagne 1 tablespoon of Chambord 1/4 teaspoon of Cointreau 1 teaspoon of fresh pomegranate juice (made by muddling the fresh seeds and straining the clear juice through a sieve) Yes..I know that it's extra work, but its worth it! a dash of Blood Orange Bitters (I love Stirrings brand) 1 lump sugar cube Candied orange peel for garnish - Dipped in dark chocolate if you can find it! Soak the sugar cube in the Cointreau and place into the bottom of a flute champagne glass. Add the Chambord, Pomegranate juice and bitters. Fill the glass with the chilled champagne and garnish with a piece of the orange peel and that's all there is to making this deliciously decadent treat!
All of these treats are meant to be eaten with the fingers so grab your lover , undress each other slowly and enjoy them together. Spread a blanket out on the floor, light some candles and turn yourself into a canvas. Don’t forget the Godiva dark chocolate liqueur! Dripped onto a nipple or licked off a belly button it makes a most marvelous dessert!
A raw briny oyster gently loosened but still in its shell topped with only a bit of truffled salt , a touch of pernod and washed down with a sip of champagne is what I would choose to begin my very last meal on earth. I adore the act of picking up the shell and tipping the oyster into my mouth, letting it slide slowly down my throat. The liqueur of the oyster does smell a bit like semen, which is probably one of the reasons that the ancients celebrated this little treasure of a food so long ago. I’m not immune to the power of suggestion myself and I love the way that they seem to taste and smell of the sea as she churns herself enthusiastically into a richly fertile orgiastic stew. Any shellfish for that matter, minimally cooked and simply adorned is erotic by it’s very nature and associations. Steamed clams, fresh lobster and crab legs cracked open and dripping with butter beg to be fed to a lover. Think of the extraordinary beauty of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”, showing the Roman Goddess of love rising naked and dripping from a clam shell clothed only by her gorgeous flaxen hair. Our olfactory associations of sensuality and the smell of the sea are unmistakably sexual, erotic and deeply rooted in our earliest pagan natures.
Then there are truffles. If I want to have my way with my husband at anytime, all I have to serve him is a plate of risotto laced with fresh petite pois , asiago cheese and white truffle. If you’ve never had a truffle before, you owe it to yourself to try one.
Be forewarned that they are generally an acquired taste. To me, they are the smell of best kind of sex and I KNOW that you know what I’m talking about. The smell of truffles are of lovemaking that’s just plain lusty, sweaty and mutually passionate. A roasted chicken with bits of white or black truffle tucked under the skin can bring me quickly to my knees. That same roasted chicken when eaten with my husband quickly becomes an act of foreplay. Truffles are a fungi that grow under a specific sort of oak tree. They are harvested in Italy and France during certain seasons by specially trained pigs and dogs. The men who hunt for them are extremely protective of the special places that they are known to be found, I’m told that you’ll almost never be able to find one on your own. They are incredibly expensive, but when they are in season they ARE worth it. Treat yourself to a little one, dust the earth off of it with a truffle brush and put it into a glass jar that you’ve filled with some Arborio rice and some fresh eggs. Leave it for a few days and you will have eggs and rice that are exquisitely scented with fresh truffle! Make risotto our of the rice and be sure to gently scramble the eggs with lots of fresh butter , nothing more. Finish the eggs with some shavings from your truffle and just a touch of sea salt. Indeed, this is food fit for the gods. Please don’t ever buy the truffles that you see in a can or in a little glass jar, because in my opinion they’re overpriced and never worth it. Instead, buy a wonderful truffle infused oil or a small jar of the fragrant truffle infused salt. You will use them all of the time!
Which leaves me to one last thought…….a little bit of truffle oil mixed with a bit of rich dark chocolate absolut dabbed in all of the right places tends to leave my husband just a little bit breathless......
In honor of Valentines Day, I'm giving away a jar of my favorite truffled salt! Just leave your name and email in the comment section if you'd like to enter. The winner will be chosen at midnight on Friday, February the 12th!
Now for fun.....Truffle Hunting in Tuscany!
Now go over to the magical world of Roxana Villa's Illuminated Perfume to enjoy her fragrant portion of todays Perfume Illuminated: Aphrodisiacs
Don't forget to join us next week for Perfume Illuminated: Aphrodisiacs Part 2
Chocolate, Wine and Roses!