'Erotic is using a feather,'' she said. ''Pornography is when you use the whole bird.''
This is the third snippet I've taken from the book Aphrodite - A Memoir of the Senses by Isabel Allende. If you're coming upon this series for the first time, you can click here and here for the two previous snippets.
In the recipe section on Hors d'Oeuvres Allende writes this...
Tidbits are to the table
what kisses are
to lovers: a delicate demonstration
of what is to come later,
when you slip into something more
comfortable. They are served to accompany a cocktail
or glass of white wine before moving
to the table. Or, in some cases,
when the urgency to make love
is so strong that
there is no time to lose,
they can take the place of a meal.
and includes several fine recipes. I have chose the one with figs, as I am a lover of figs. Specifically, figs bring me back to my childhood in Portugal, where fig trees are as abundant as apple trees in the Northeastern U.S. So for me, a fig is not just an item I can pick up at the grocery store for $2.50 per piece but the fruit I once picked in a friend's cultivated fig orchard in Portugal, along with my cousins, on a hot summer day in the late 90's. There were so many spoiling figs on the ground beneath each tree that our hostess insisted on getting us bags to take as many home as we wanted. I would have collected more, had I not been so busy eating them as I walked along, content to be in the moment with an abundance of my favorite fruit and the hot sunshine on my bare arms and neck. What a feeling!
I wish I'd known about this recipe then.
These tidbits lead to sin, and you always want more. The bursting figs suggest a certain urgency, and everyone appreciates the sensuality of the sweet and spicy combination.
1 scant cup (8 ounces) semi-hard white cheese,
such asgoat cheese
1 tablespoon Salsa Picante
1 large apple or grapefruit
4 large ripe figs
Cut the cheese into 1/2 inch cubes and coat in the salsa picante. Spear on cocktail picks and insert into the apple or grapefruit (I prefer the grapefruit). Place in the center of a round plate and surround with peeled and quartered figs.