28 May 2011

The Empress of Ice Cream (Anthony Capella)

I'm not entirely sure why I enjoy Anthony Capella's writing so much. Is it the gastronomic erotica that he writes with such ease? Or is it the vulnerable characters he writes with such panache? The romances?

No, not the romances. He is not good at that.

And nut the vulnerable characters. I don't like reading about vulnerable characters. I like reading about people filled with unbelievable strength, charisma, sexiness and boldness. In short, I like my characters to be straight up Mills and Boon caricatures.


(Sort of).

But I am pretty sure it is the gastronomic erotica that draws me to Capella's novels. Take The Food of Love for example. It is set in Rome and centres around a young, talented chef cooking entrails and offal for the love of his life in the hope that she will be aroused by eating such earthy, bloody foods and find herself also in love with him.

It works.

I have my doubts.

But The Empress of Ice Cream is the focus of this review. It is Capella's latest and tells the story of a young, penniless apprentice ice cream maker who rises to glorious heights in both the courts of France and England as he makes ice cream confections for the royalty.

I have always been a bit ambivalent about ice cream. I would rather devour a cheese plate for two than eat ice cream. But now I find myself drifting into the ice cream camp. Who wouldn't be seduced with the promise of strawberry ice cream garnished with peppermint cream and topped with a sprinkling of white pepper? Or the luxury of champagne and peach ice cream? Or the unbelievably heavenly taste of white chocolate and red currants?

The romantic story was negligible and the historical events are arguable, but the sheer deliciousness of this tale cannot be questioned. If you like fluffy grastronomic stories, you will read this story with the desire to lick every page in hopes that some of the creamy dreamy loveliness will actually emanate out of the words into your mouth.

Rating: 7/10.

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