“Like a slow, seductive lover, Allende teases, tempts and titillates with mesmerizing stories and legends about gluttony—sexual and otherwise.”
—The Washington Post

“Thankfully, in this sophisticated defense of pleasure, novelist Allende puts the joy back into eating and loving with all the panache that marks the best of her fiction. Though passionate about her subject, she remains consistently whimsical with this mix of anecdotes, recipes and advice designed to enhance any romantic encounter. As always, her secret weapon is honesty.”
—Publishers Weekly

“The sensuality she absorbed from those books made Allende’s writing as erotic as Neruda’s ‘Body of a Woman,' as tactile as his ‘Ode to Tomatoes.' The imagination they engendered made her as compelling a storyteller as the inventive heroine of Arabian Nights.

“Allende’s book is not a primer for beginning lovers or novice cooks. Rather, it is deliciously deliberate provocation for those looking to refresh long-ago acquired and lustily honed skills.”
—USA Today

Aphrodite explores the enduring and passionate bond between the culinary and the carnal—and concocts a heady stew of amour and cuisine.”

“In Aphrodite, Latin American novelist Isabel Allende treats recipes as magic spells of eroticism.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Engaging, deliciously detailed and something of an aphrodisiac itself, Allende’s wide-ranging meditation on the methodology of seduction is sure to excite as many literary appetites as libidinous ones.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

“A passionate storyteller…holds the world spellbound with her tales…She is Latin America’s, the world’s Scheherazade…Her writing is lyrical, mystical, ribald, funny.”
—The Miami Herald

“Serves up an erotic banquet of aphrodisiac recipes and steamy stories.”
—Vanity Fair

“Isabel Allende’s Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses was born out of raw emotion following the protracted illness of her daughter. After a three-year period of grief-induced hibernation, Allende started having erotic dreams about food—nightly she swam in swimming pools filled with creamy rice pudding that filled every crevice of her body, and repeatedly she devoured a naked Antonio Banderas, slathered in guacamole and salsa on a Mexican tortilla…

Allende, through her own awakening, simultaneously takes us on a journey through our own senses, rekindles our forgotten passions, reminds us of our basic human instincts and, in doing so, soothes our busy minds and tortured souls like a healing balm or a lovingly prepared chicken soup…

This is her first work of non-fiction, yet it reads like a fantastical, magical story. It is about appetites, desire, pleasure. It is about life, love, and relationships. And of course it’s all cooked typical Allende style…

Some of the delicious ingredients include uninhibited, hot-blooded Chilean passion, hilarious insights into love and relationships, magical myths and legends, well-researched anecdotes, archaic rituals, and juicy morsels of historical trivia. Did you know, for instance, that a spell still practiced in some parts of rural Great Britain involves a woman kneading flour, water, and lard, sprinkling the dough with her saliva, placing it between her legs ‘to endow it with the form and savor of her secret parts’, baking it, and offering it to the elusive lover she is trying to ensnare? Allende provides us with a number of simple and more exotic recipes designed to incite passion…she infuses them with her own witty and wise poetic magic. A recipe for pigeons requires one to ‘catch two doves and wring their necks without compassion…’ This is certainly not the first time that the function of food as much more than a mere necessity for survival has been written about…With all due respect to the other books, Allende’s Aphrodite surpasses them through its richness. This soup she has prepared is so alive. It doesn’t stop to simmer for one moment, but bubbles, boils and steams with the intensity of an erupting volcano. And why would one expect it to stop and simmer, when one of the seeds from which it germinated was a naked, sauce-streaked, tortilla-encased Antonio Banderas?

This is the most perfect soup I have ever had the pleasure of devouring. It brings me back to a very delicious, feeling, feminine place. It put my everyday worries into perspective. It satisfies at many levels. It engages, delights and entertains mouthful after delicious mouthful.”
—Julia Hebaiter, food writer