Aphrodisiacs are believed to arouse sexual desire. Not
surprisingly, the word aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the Greek
goddess of love, lust and sexuality. Here is a list of foods that's
sure to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day.
Avocado: The Aztecs call the avocado tree "testicle tree"
because its fruit hangs in pairs on the tree, resembling the male
Basil: The scent of basil was said to
drive men wild. Women have been known to sprinkle dry crushed basil
on their breasts to keep their husbands' eyes from wandering.
Penne with Basil Pesto
Cardamom: This aromatic spice is regarded as a
powerful aphrodisiac in certain cultures. It's supposedly
beneficial in treating impotence.
Cardamom Creme Caramel
Chocolate: The Aztec and the Mayan people
considered chocolate a luxury with aphrodisiac powers. The Aztec
emperor, Montezuma, drank 50 cups of chocolate a day to enhance his
Dark Chocolate Baked Pudding
Durian: Despite its foul-smell, this thorny
fruit is considered an aphrodisiac in Southeast Asia. There's a
saying in Indonesia: "When the durian fruit comes down, the skirts
Figs: Figs are another fruit that claims
aphrodisiac qualities based on its appearance. An open fig is
thought to look similar to female sex organs.
Sticky Fig Pudding with Candied Fresh Figs
Ginger: Ginger root has been considered an
aphrodisiac for centuries because of its scent and its ability to
stimulate the circulatory system.
Lemon Ginger Halibut
Honey: In Persia, newlyweds drank honey mead
for one moon (or month) which is where the term "honeymoon" comes
from. Others say the word "honeymoon" is from an old Viking
tradition, where newlyweds were given a month to get to know each
other. During that month, they were encouraged to drink lots of
mead, a wine made from honey.
Fresh Fig and Honey Tarts
Licorice: In ancient China, the
distinct aroma of black licorice was considered a powerful
stimulant, with powers to enhance love and lust.
Oysters: These mollusks have long had a
reputation of being aphrodisiacs. Oysters are high in both protein
and zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production which in
turn increases libido. Oysters have a slightly salty/sweet scent
which has been compared to a female pheromone. The great lover
Casanova apparently ate dozens every morning.
Oysters with Pink Grapefruit
Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are also high in zinc and
have been used for centuries to make up love potions that stimulate
Italian Pine Nut Cake
Soy: In at least one case, soy was associated
with a case of "persistent sexual arousal syndrome". A woman
consuming over a pound of soy a day became chronically aroused. Soy
Vanilla Soy Milkshake
Tomatoes: The bright red fruit that eats like a
vegetable was shunned by the Puritans due to its reputed
aphrodisiac powers. They are also known as "pomme d'amour" (French
for "apple of love") which resulted from a misunderstanding of
"pomme de' Moors."
Fresh Tomato Tarte