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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Giacomo Casanova

The Italian Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)  in his prime achieved the reputation as the world’s greatest lover. He used half lemon rinds as a cervical cap and the acidic juice as a potent spremicide.

A gourmet, the reputation of oysters and truffles as aphrodisiacs are largely down to Casanova. He recommended eating 50 oysters for breakfast.

Between his amorous adventures Casanova would often make a detour to taste fine food such as Leipzig’s skewered larks. He once invented a special vinegar to season hard-boiled eggs.

Casanova traveled with a custom-made portable bath made for two.

In 1757 Casonova introduced the lottery to France, convincing Louis XV it would raise funds for a military academy. After taking a percentage of the profit for himself, the invention made him a millionaire.

In 1760 Casanova arrived in London and set himself up in a house at Pall Mall. He hired a black servant who could speak Italian and installed an enigmatic woman called Pauline in the house.

In 1784, the  tired and dejected 59-year-old Casanova accepted the offer of Count Josef Karl Emmanuel Von Waldstein to work as a librarian at the Count's castle in Dux, where Casanova lived out the rest of his days.

According to his friend, the Prince de Ligne, Casanova's last words were: "I have lived as a philosopher, and die as a Christian."

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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