academia barilla  February 2007

More Valentine’s Aphrodisiac Recipes from our Gastronomic Library

Have you tried Isabel Allende’s recipe we published last weekend? Let us [...]

Gourmet Valentine's Day from Italian Food Lovers!Have you tried Isabel Allende’s recipe we published last weekend? Let us know how it went – in the kitchen, of course, we don’t want to know the rest… It could be interesting for me to know, from a strictly professional standpoint, if the mousse was truly aphrodisiac as described by Isabel Allende. So let us know if it worked or not – just shoot us a comment below.Alright, so, some more Valentine’s Day aphrodisiac recipes today from the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library!

After starting our aphrodisiac explorations in Chile with Isabel Allende (well, for many years the Chilean-born writer was a San Francisco bay resident), we move across the Andes to land in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The book I have found for you today in the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library is La Cocina Afrodisiaca, by Gerard De Villiers, who introduces the Argentinian-Catalan Chef Maurice Szigeti. The edition I found is from 1995, published by the Argentinian Ministry of Culture, of course in Spanish.

Gerard De Villiers is a French spy-story writer who got famous since the 70’s also because he was always showing up in theatres of operations during terrorist attacks, and then for writing best-seller thrillers rich of real-life details. It’s interesting to note how De Villiers also ventured with Argentinian Chef Szigeti into a cooking theatre of operations to write this cookbook, unique in his long list of spy-thriller publications.

Ceviche, a classic starter from Peru

I chose a classic aphrodisiac today from De Villiers’ book, seafood. I selected this part of the book also because I got inspired (and found immediate connection) from the introduction to the Seafood chapter (Pescados, crustaceos y mariscos) published by De Villiers – I translate it here below, trying to keep the same poetic approach, for as much as possible…

Fish, crustaceans and seafood
An introduction from Gerard De Villiers

All food from the sea
are aphrodisiacs by excellence.
The same word should remind us this.

It is not by chance if Aphrodite,
born from Neptune, God of waters and foams of all seas,
is the Goddess of love and beauty.

In your seaside holidays never hesitate
in replace meat with fish,
you’ll feel its beneficial effects up to the middle of the next winter.

Ceviche, as from today's recipe
CEVICHE (Peruvian Sushi)
A recipe by Maurice Szigeti

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

- 1 very fresh Tilapia or Kingcroaker fish (Besugo, Corvina)
- 2 or 3 lemons
- garlic and salt to taste
- thyme
- 2 bell peppers


Ask your local fish store to cut for you fillets out of a very fresh Tilapia. Cut the fillets in thin slices.

Put the fish slices in a tray with 2 colorful bell peppers chopped to tiny pieces, a finely chopped piece of garlic, a pinch of salt and another of thyme.

Add the juice from the lemons, stir well and leave in the refrigerator to marinate for 12 hours, stirring again every now and then to make sure that each piece of fish gets soaked in the marinating sauce.

If the Tilapia fish bears eggs, throw them in the ceviche, too. Fish and seafood’s aphrodisiac properties are valid also for fish roe. When raw, their aphrodisiac effect multiplies.

Only one imperative: only use very fresh fish and seafood for your raw ceviches.

Good one, easy and surely hot, De Villiers! Thanks to Chef Maurice Szigeti, too.

Today there are hundred different versions of ceviche, from those with shrimp and calamari to those with scallops, tuna fish, salmon and all fresh delights from the sea. Variations in this classic recipe include adding chopped onions, chives, capers, ginger, soy sauce, fruits, or even also balsamic vinegar!

I’m a fan of both raw food and seafood and I love any version of sushi, from Japan to Peru to Italy – have you ever heard of Italian Sushi (also called Italian Susci)? We’ll touch base on that soon here on Italian Food Lovers.

My personal serving suggestion for the recipe above, and in general for all seafood cocktails/salads: use a cocktail glass to serve it for maximum gourmet presentation results. Present the glass with the ceviche on a serving dish that you can use for adding more creative presentation decorations. Buon appetito!

In the meanwhile, have a great Valentine’s week with your gourmet special person and the culinary tips from Academia Barilla’s Gastronomic Library. And if you want to surprise your gourmet lover with a great Valentine’s gift, don’t forget that you can find great gourmet gift ideas at the Academia Barilla online shop.

I will be back soon with more aphrodisiac recipes tomorrow!

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