Summer approaches, and you could probably go for an icy treat. Why not try a recently rediscovered 1844 recipe for sorbet possibly designed to put you in the mood for love? All you need is some kitchen staples plus ambergris, or—if you’re out—“the glandular secretions of a muskrat.”
Feeling sexy yet?
The Telegraph reports on the find from Dresden—specifically, fished from the Saxon state archives. “There is much to suggest that it was an iced aphrodisiac,” archivist Gisela Petrasch told Bild.
The recipe calls for the whites of two eggs, the juice of two lemons, two pounds of sugar, four ounces of “delicious lozenges from the pharmacy”, and a few grains of ambergris.
For those queasy at the thought of eating the digestive by-products of a whale, the recipe lists an alternative: the glandular secretions of a muskrat.
“Mix this together in half measure with water, and cook for some time over a slow fire,” the recipe advises.
Ambergris, by the way, is an extremely valuable substance occasionally coughed up by whales, thought to be composed of their intestinal secretions.
Archivists think the recipe is the work of 19th century aristocrat August Josef Ludwig von Wackerbarth, who is also credited with the first recipe for mulled wine, a.k.a. Glühwein. “It is not known whether he came up with it himself by experimentation or learnt it from some one else,” explained Petrasch.