I invented this fruit salad after reading a chapter in Iwan Bloch’s Sex Life in England (1934) entitled “Curious Sexual Instruments.” Bloch was an old-school German sexologist — indeed, he is credited for being one of the founders of that branch of study — who wrote comprehensive books on large chunks of sexual life, including a biography of the Marquis de Sade and books on prostitution, erotic literature, and sexual odors.
In “Curious Sexual Instruments,” we find not only what you would expect, but also a few paragraphs on aphrodisiacs identified by experts. A certain M. Venette, author of De la Generation de l’Homme ou Tableau de l’Amour Conjugal, singles out foods such as egg whites, “sweet strong wine,” and milk. Another gentleman named Ryan adds these to the list: fish, turtles, oysters, crabs, lobsters, eggs, artichokes, truffles, mushrooms, celery, cocoa, onions, cinnamon, pepper, apricots, strawberries and peaches.
Bloch’s third source, the pornographic novel The Amatory Experience of a Surgeon (1881), is perhaps the least credible of the lot, but I believe everyone should try once what it recommends: making your move on the ladies with a cinnamon-dusted hand.
Or you could try this fruit salad instead. Capitalize on the local peaches coming into season, and the apricots in full swing. It seems too decadent for breakfast to me, but you have your own morals. You might perhaps decide to enjoy it after eating some of the other ingredients on the list: begin with raw oysters and chilled artichokes in a truffle mayonnaise, then tuck into a bouillabaisse of fish, shellfish, celery and onions, perhaps.
Whatever you do, save some room for dessert, because this is the best fruit salad I’ve ever tasted. If they don’t like your peaches after this concoction, heaven help you.
I Really Like Your Peaches Fruit Salad
- 2 ripe peaches, cubed
- 2 ripe apricots, cubed
- strawberries in some form, either fresh (everbearing from your garden?) or frozen, chopped, or a scoop of homemade strawberry preserves or syrup
- a few shakes of cinnamon
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 2 T. “strong, sweet wine” such as Port or Madeira
- 1 pint whipping cream
Mix together all ingredients but the whipping cream. Let macerate for at least 30 minutes. Adjust sweetening by adding a bit more Port, if necessary or pleasurable.
While fruit is macerating, whip cream until very stiff, even lumpy, and add a bit of sugar while whipping. An alternative is to use slightly sweetened ricotta or crème fraîche. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of whipped cream on top and a drizzle of Port.