Aimed at the more discerning gourmand, Edible Pleasures is a cultural and culinary romp through the history of aphrodisiacs. Written in three parts the first titled How an Appetite is formed explores how and why universally, culturally and historically food and love have become intertwined.
The second part, Inside Love’s Larder, is a comprehensive compilation of aphrodisiacs spanning the humdrum to the downright disgusting, (here you will Forbidden Fruits, Venerous Vegetables and a selection of Fetishist Foods).
Having explored both the eroticism of appetite and the food that feeds it the final section of the book presents a diverse selection of recipes. Written as a ‘Love Menu’ it begins On the Tip of the Tongue with a collection of love bites, canapés and ‘starter’ recipes. Sweetmeats and Love Feasts shift focus from the fripperies and flirtations of first meetings to a more steadfast and committed love. Citron offers a selection of hearty mains accompanied by A Bit on the Side, which she has dedicated to those courtesans who introduced so many gourmand dishes to the aphrodisiacal repertoire… it is here we will tarry.
A Bit On The Side
….. When I began writing this chapter I could have listed any number of vegetable concoctions – creamed spinach, a sizzling aubergine dish or Chartreuse carrots glazed in fresh Swiss Alpine butter. But the following menus seemed to me far more provocative.
Thus, in honour of those courtesans, I include – unconventionally perhaps – a selection of ‘side orders’ courtesy of an 18th century best-seller entitled Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, an annual guide detailing the names and specialties of London’s prostitutes – an essential guide for any epicurean gentleman in pursuit of pleasure. Hundreds of women were listed and the book was updated annually. The following is an assortment of what one may (or may not) look forward to:
From the annual dated 1764 we have Mrs. Bland of Wardour St, described as a gay volatile girl, who ‘makes use of provocatives; such as pigs, veal, new laid eggs, oysters crabs prawns and eryngoes…’ Harris notes her appetite is insatiable and goes on to say that ‘sometimes (she) leaves the marks of her penetrating teeth on her paramours cheeks.’
However a dish to avoid at all costs was… Bet Ellis. This poor lady is described as a diminutive, smirking, lecherous hussy: ‘a very wart upon the crudities of Venus.’ Harris further demeans her, ‘neither her teeth nor her legs are good, and being red haired she emits a unsavory effluvia which alone is enough to damp the ardor of an elegant debauchee.’ (Annual of 1761)
Mrs. Hamblin, we are told, had been in the business for 30 years and was most adept at servicing the more elderly gent. At the other end of the spectrum was the enchanting and wanton nymph at No. 44 Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, described as having ‘panting orbs, pouting lips, delicate shape and love sparkling eyes’. Harris fairly rhapsodizes about this girl and describes her as an offspring of delight, of only 18 summers, which the reader ‘for a compliment of five guineas (may) be in full possession of.’
Continuing in the same fashion…. A renowned London lothario sent the following to me – his own epicurean revelling in the female form, alas, cut short by marriage.… It is the 1912 menu from an American brothel; easily found on the internet, it may not be to the taste of the faint hearted or morally fastidious, but I for one was rapt. It may be a fake (note the name of the madam!), but it’s fascinating all the same.
‘Mrs. F. A. Tasse, having opened a Rapacious Capsulation Parlor at Twenty Second Street, requests patronage of the fast slow and smart set.
French fashion with finger in ass hole
Common old-fashioned fuck
Diddling on the edge of the bed, with one foot on the floor
Fucking the breast with tits tight
Blowing in the ass hole, new style
Finger fucking with juice
Sitting on prick shoving in stones and all
One female suck off stones in mouth
One fuck ten minutes soaks
Under fucking woman on top tits in your face with extra lady to play with your balls while blowing wind up your ass hole with goose quill
Asshole fucking for men over 45
Bob cocks and flat pricks extra
No discount for cash. Stink fingers and jerk off matinees for young men under 21, every Wednesday from 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Customer must enter with cash in one had and tool in the other. If you are not a self-starter stay at home and jack yourself off.’