FOOD AND SEX

[ROMPINI, Omero, transl.?] La cucina dell'amore. Manuale culinario afrodisiaco per gli adulti dei due sessi.

Florence, Casa editrice Frascogna, 1910.

8vo, pp. [2, blanks], 135, [1]; a few woodcut illustrations in the text; a fine copy, printed on pink paper, bound in contemporary marbled boards.

£450

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First Italian translation (the mention of 10th edition on the title page is false), extremely rare (only 1 copy recorded worldwide, at the Biblioteca Centrale Nazionale, Florence), and in part original, of Le Sire de Baudricourt’s Le manuel culinaire aphrodisiaque, a collection of aphrodisiac recipes.

The book’s introduction promises readers that certain combinations of spices, condiments, and sauces, prepared according to special historical formulae, possess the power of physical regeneration: endowing the diner with renewed virility and youth. These dishes have – unsurprisingly – an especially restorative effect on the libido. Baudricourt is eloquent in his descriptions of the prodigious aphrodisiacs, exciting scents, and suggestive tastes contained in his book. His descriptions of the 130 recipes are perhaps almost as arousing as the meals themselves.

A second edition was published in 1926 (Catania, Tirelli) with Omero Rompini indicated as author on the title page; according to some (Biblioteca gastronomica Academia Barilla) this was a pseudonym of Romeo Prampolini, a Sicilian book seller and publisher, but this attribution appears unlikely as Prampolini was only just born in 1910.

This edition unknown to all bibliographies consulted.

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