To live, people must eat. To survive as a species, people need to have sex. So books that combine food and sex are a win-win, especially when it gets close to Valentine's Day. Give one of Gayot's top 10 sexy cookbooks as a present, and it sends a powerful message. Or grab your partner, take off your clothes, put on an apron and head to the kitchen for some full-contact cooking with these sexy cookbooks filled with aphrodisiacs and hot recipes like "Pornish" game hen.
1. Consider the Oyster
By M.F.K. Fisher
The "poet of the appetites," as John Updike called her, writes about food so beautifully and sexily, we had a hard time picking our favorite book. Her tiny volume Consider the Oyster is a gorgeous homage to the "strange cold succulence" of these tasty creatures — and you don't even have to be an oyster aficionado to enjoy her luscious prose. Yes, some recipes are included, for oyster loaf and other delicacies.
2. The Physiology of Taste
by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
This classic tome by the famous French foodie is not a how-to cooking manual with recipes but rather an exploration of amusing, epicurean morsels in the world of fine dining. This esteemed work on the pleasures of food was published in 1825. While some of his witty chit-chat might read outdated, a lot still holds true today. Among his famous observations: "The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure."
3. Table for Two: French Recipes for Romantic Dining
By Marianne Paquin
French writer Marianne Paquin's Table for Two is devoted entirely to gastronomic pleasure for couples. The recipes — such as Tagliatelli in Cream with Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Pistachios, Olives and Parma Ham, and Strawberry Soup with Mascarpone and Pink Sugar — are inspired and
exciting but also sensibly grounded and definitely delicious. Whatever the season or occasion, think about using this book next time you set the table for two.
4. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
By Elizabeth Bard
Lunch in Paris is a playful, feel-good book, one you can devour in just a few nights, while living vicariously through the young protagonist's adventures with love, lust and food — lots of food! Who doesn't feel like just flying up and away to the city of love, and then falling in love with a handsome stranger and the country's incredible edible bounty?
5. The New Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook
By Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge
The New Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook takes you on an aphrodisiac journey of more than 135 sexy dishes ranging from traditional stimulants, such as oysters, chiles or artichokes, to lesser-known mood boosters such as black beans, basil and pine nuts. It's a delicious book for the kitchen, the coffee table and, of course, the bedroom.
6. The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations for Lovers
By Diane Brown
This little volume will get you in a playful mood in no time, with the help of seductive dishes such as "Pornish" game hen dressed up in orange, ginger and soy sauce or erotic ahi and mussels ménage a trois. We love the little bits of history and erotic lore and playful ideas for "fork-play."
7. Romancing the Stove: The Unabridged Guide to Aphrodisiac Foods
By Amy Reiley
Unlike your typical unabridged guide, Romancing the Stove is short, sweet and sassy. From its libido-stoking recipes to its Dictionary of Desire, this playful tome will teach you and seduce you. The aphrodisiac ingredients of each recipe are highlighted alongside sexy serving suggestions. Although the collection contains some indulgent fare like creamy lemon custard cakes, the emphasis overall is on healthy eating.
8. Sweet Serendipity: Delicious Desserts and Devilish Dish
By Stephen Bruce w/ Brett Bara
What's more romantic than serendipity (the idea of a "pleasant surprise" or "happy accident")? Although, to New Yorkers, Serendipity means the famous and whimsical general store, restaurant and dessertery named Serendipity 3, with Sweet Serendipity, you can have the best of both. Give your significant other their own pleasant surprise with one of the book's 75 fun desserts (e.g. Lemon Ice Box Pie or Cherry Pan Dowdy and Chocolate Chip Pizza) and a viewing of 2001's Serendipity, a romantic comedy featuring the restaurant.
9. love, eric: Delicious Vegan Macrobiotic Desserts
By Eric Lechasseur
Chef Eric Lechasseur started dabbling with microbiotics when his wife Sanae was diagnosed with cancer in 1993. Today, Sanae is well, and Lechasseur has cured himself of debilitating allergies. The former head pastry chef at Los Angeles macrobiotic mecca M Café de Chaya has published love, eric, a vegan, macrobiotic desserts cookbook that is a true love letter to this life-affirming approach.
10. Sustenance & Desire: A Food Lover's Anthology of Sensuality & Humor
An opening by famous food writer M.F.K. Fisher, who is known to describe food the way others describe sex, sets the tone for the journey through Sustenance and Desire. More of a love letter to food than a cookbook, this compilation of poems and prose pieces complemented by paintings by the editor, Bascove, is a great read for literary gourmets and food-loving couples alike, and thus it earned a spot on our list.
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