aphrodisiac recipes  February 2007

Aphrodisiac Valentine’s Recipes for Gourmet Food Lovers

Happy Gourmet Valentine’s Day to all Italian Food Lovers!
Academia Barilla loves food [...]

Gourmet Valentine's Day from Italian Food Lovers!Happy Gourmet Valentine’s Day to all Italian Food Lovers!

Academia Barilla loves food and, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we have decided to browse our Gastronomic Library for some of the most intriguing (or most curious) aphrodisiac recipes.

Academia Barilla’s Gastronomic Library is part of the Academia Barilla Culinary Center in Parma, Italy, and it’s a real paradise for food lovers, historian and researchers.

With more than 15,000 books from all over the world, including handwritten books dating back to the 16th century, historic menus and other gourmet gastronomy resources, the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library is a unique biblioteque in the world, the perfect place where to spend days browsing and reading, if you are into food.

Isabelle allende's book - AphroditeLet’s start this series of Valentine’s posts with an easy and surely sexy recipe: Crab and Avocado Mousse.

The recipe is taken from one of my favorite books, Aphrodite – A Memoir of the Senses, by Isabel Allende – the perfect read for food lovers, perfectly balanced in a literary place between a narrated aphrodisiac cookbook and Allende’s literary narrative style.

I have both an Italian and a Spanish version of Allende’s book, so I will have to translate the recipes directly into English for this blog – I hope I won’t butcher brilliant Allende’s writing style too much.

I love this book – let’s now go to the kitchen!!!

An aphrodisiac gourmet recipe by Isabel Allende

Intro by Isabel Allende:

Almost all mousses are based upon the same basic recipe, with the main ingredient being the one who provides the particular flavor to each mousse – in this case crab and avocado.

Mousses are discreet foreplays to both menus and love. This two-color recipes, light in consistency and nice to see when served, can be prepared in advance, with the further advantage of letting you receive your guest lover without the risk of a last-minute culinary anxiety.


- 1 cup bechamel cream (besciamella)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup cooked and minced crab meat
- 1 ripe avocado, medium size
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons food jelly
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 spoons of water
- 3 spoons of Jerez (Spanish Cherry Liquor, also Brandy works fine)
- few drops hot chili sauce, to taste
- a pinch of salt and pepper


Mix the cold bechamel cream with the mayonnaise, while melting in a different bowl the food jelly into boiling water, adding the Jerez liquor (or brandy). Pour the hot jelly/jerez into the bechamel/mayonnaise bowl and mix it all together, stirring well.

Split the resulting mousse in two parts – add to one of the halves the crab meat, after seasoning it with salt, pepper, lemon juice and the chili sauce; prepare the other half with the avocado, previously mixed with the heavy cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Use some olive oil to wet the inner walls of a tall tray, and pour the crab mousse in, leveling its surface with the back of a spoon. Create a second layer carefully pouring in the avocado mousse. Make sure to distribute the avocado mousse evenly, make sure not to leave empty spots and not to mix the two creams/mousses.

Personal note: you can also use shaped food containers for better presentation results. Since it’s a Valentine’s dish, you can’t go wrong with an heart-shaped mousse but, if you want to be more creative, try to use other shapes: I would shape it into a star, just to leverage its romantic reminiscences – or would opt for a more classic and always contemporary oval shape. The final creative decision is up to you and your creativity.

Refrigerate for at least two hours or until the mousse will be solid. Rotate the tray onto a serving dish to serve, using a leaf of lettuce and some slices of lemon to decorate.

Thank you Isabel Allende!

Stay tuned with Italian Food Lovers in the next few days: we’ll offer you a full week of aphrodisiac recipes from the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library, so you will have plenty of gourmet choices for your Valentine’s week!

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