May 15, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Isabel Allende
Genre
Nonfiction
We gave it a B+

In this frisky catalog of aphrodisiacs, novelist Allende intertwines erotic anecdotes with carnal and culinary lore. After noting bizarre and icky passion-promoting ingredients — canary tongues, baboon testicles — Allende highlights the most sensuous and stimulating fare: raw oysters, and the lotion of honey and crushed almonds favored by Cleopatra. Alongside dozens of story-like recipes in Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses (their effects tested, she promises teasingly, with ”painstaking measurements”), Allende lyrically muses, through memories and vignettes, on the best aphrodisiac of all: love. (Failing that, there’s always her ”Soup for Orgies.”) B+

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