I'd been looking around the house for weeks for my old copy of this book. There are a lot of things I'm looking for these days, in fact. This one was easy to replace, the other things, not so much. I ordered it used from Amazon and it arrived in perfect hardcover condition for the less than the price I paid for the paperback when it was first released as such.
It is a delicious book full of stories, autobiographical detail, myths, lore, poetry, recipes and sweet little paintings about food and its connection to anything and everything erotic and human.
I will share with you an excerpt from the introduction. (I could not find the painting Allende chose for this section, so I substituted with one by Frida Kahlo. Further note: I saw the painting up-close and personal at Tate Modern in 2005. One of the highlights of my museum going adventures.)
The fiftieth year of our life is like
the last hour of dusk,
when the sun has set and done turns
naturally toward reflection.
In my case, however, dusk incites me to sin,
and perhaps for that reason,
in my fiftieth year I find myself reflecting
on my relationship
with food and eroticism; the weaknesses
of the flesh that most tempt me are not, alas,
those I have practiced most.