Saturday, October 10, 2009

Since I went to a friend's party over the weekend, I didn't cook--again. But I wanted to talk a little about aphrodisiacs.

Aphrodisiacs, according to Merriam-Webster, are defined as "an agent (as a food or drug) that arouses or is held to arouse sexual desire." A food might be called an aphrodisiac simply because of the way it was shaped--ginger looks sort of like a human being, figs look like testicles, and carrots look like a penis. Science eventually determiined that there were certain foods that had a high nutritional value to them. And, of course, if you feel good, you'll want to do more in the bedroom. Oysters are high in zinc, strawberries in Vitamin C, and ginger and cinnamon help improve circulation. There are two "aphrodisiacs" that should never be consumed, however--Spanish fly and yohimbine. To make a long story short, these two don't arouse you--they irritate the urinary tract, causing a burning sensation when you go to the bathroom. Not the kind of reaction you want when you're trying to seduce your date.

Isabel Allende, author of "House of the Spirits", wrote another book called "Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses". In it, she talks about aphrodisiacs and lists a number of recipes that contain them. You can find crepes at specialty stores, or you can look up a basic recipe on; they're fairly easy to make. This particular recipe looks so good I may have to save it for my fiance's birthday in a few days--or my wedding night.

Bottom line is, an aphrodisiac is whatever you and your partner think it is. What's yours?


6 crêpes

2 cups fresh peeled ripe figs

4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

4 tablespoons very finely chopped walnuts or pecans

2 teaspoons brandy (or Cognac)

Pinch ground nutmeg

6 tablespoons whipped cream

With a fork, mash the figs. Mix in the sugar, nuts, brandy and nutmeg. Divide the filling among the crêpes and fold each crepe into a square. Place in a glass dish and microwave for about a minute. Top each crêpe with whipped cream. Serves six.

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