Monday, 17 December 2007

Secrets of Ancient Seductresses

Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV of France, knew a thing or two. The “coupe de champagne” (French champagne glass) was moulded on her breast. To increase her own ardour, she would eat a dozen egg yolks beaten with truffles, grated chocolate and celery… or a filet of sole. To maintain her royal lover's vigour, she would make him a celery gratin, and in the morning, some cress soup to revive him after a restless night before he went off to attend to his royal duties.

Catherine the Great of Russia adored Tokaji, the wine made in Hungary from botrytised grapes. She ordered an entire Cossack detachment to be permanently stationed in Tokaji to guard the wines. When Catherine was urged to provide an heir to the throne she replied "Bring me some caviar, and tonight at supper, send me the best built of my officers."

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