It’s HOT in the kitchen. Valentine’s Day; a much hyped, often loaded, celebration of love in the western calendar. In doing a bit of Food Gypsy research I unearthed a few fun food facts that could add a little heat to your table on this, or any day.
Whether you’re flying solo or duo (or trio… we don’t judge) nothing like a little something special for you and your lover or a greatly indulging yourself with a few simple ingredients.
Let’s start where you’d least expect with:
Garlic – Used for centuries in Europe and among the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Japanese, garlic was one of the most widespread ancient natural aphrodisiac remedies. It stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, aiding digestion, and increases the blood flow. The “heat” in garlic is said to stir sexual desires.
A Cesar salad never looked so good.
Basil – is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well-being for body and mind.
Pesto for everyone!
Cardamom – is an Indian spice and valued for its warming effects of on the body. It is good for the treatment of indigestion, colic, and gas. Cardamom seeds boiled with milk is a great remedy for impotence and premature ejaculation when taken together with honey.
The Kama Sutra… written in India… I’m just sayin’.
Clove – a common ingredient that produces a warm, slightly spicy scent sure to arouse and stimulate more than just your taste buds.
Also good for toothaches and deep, rich flavour.
Chili – Know for it’s ability to increase blood flow and circulation.
Can’t be a bad thing.
Jasmine – has long been known for its effects, it is considered a great cure for frigidity in women.
Not that we have that problem, but maybe that’s because we drink our jasmine tea!
Figs – the seasonal crops were celebrated by ancient Greeks in a frenzied copulation ritual.
A WHAT?! Goodness! I refrain from comment. Booking flight to Greece during fig season… further research required.
Oysters, clams & muscles – until recently, there was no scientific basis for the belief that certain mollusks were in any way effective as a libido incentive. But what recent studies have discovered is that they contain compounds that have been shown to be effective in releasing sexual hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. These compounds are D-aspartic acid and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate).
Also visually stimulating for the male gender, the tears of the sea lend themselves to slipping, mouth to mouth, like a prolonged kiss.
My… steamy in here.
Alcohol – lowers inhibitions and increases confidence; however, over-indulgence has a sedative effect not conducive to a romantic tryst.
REALLY? Never heard of such a thing (says Gypsy, with a smile and a look loaded with sarcasm).
Champagne – viewed as the ‘drink of love’, moderate quantities lower inhibitions and cause a warm glow in the body.
The bubbles tickle your nose and… other parts of the body… use with caution!
Caviar – is high in zinc, which stimulates the formation of testosterone, maintaining male functionality.
According to many studies, low levels of zinc, Vitamins A, B (complex) and C are the true cause of ED (erectile dysfunction)… caviar does more than you thought!
Truffles – probably due to its rarity and musky aroma, it has long been considered to arouse the palate and the body. To sustain his masculinity, an ancient lover in lore was said to have gorged himself to death on Alba truffles during the wedding feast.
Well… I’ll bet his bride was rather underwhelmed by the effects that night. However, truffles and in particular truffle oil, has become a favourite ingredient since my recent introduction to same at Le Cordon Bleu.
A little truffle oil drizzle over a bowl of simple mushroom risotto and… SEX IN A BOWL. *eyes roll back moment* Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Vanilla – Vanilla is sure to make you and your loved one feel warm and fuzzy inside. Researchers can’t explain the overwhelming calming effects vanilla has on people, but we know it’s a scent to make your partner feel close. Most noted effects are on men over 50 who find the smell of vanilla partially arousing.
Shall we now speculate on the popularity of vanilla pudding at the retirement home?!
And last but not least…
Chocolate – the Aztecs referred to chocolate as ‘nourishment of the Gods’, they were the first to use chocolate to seduce their mates and the tradition has continued to this day and spread across the globe. Chocolate contains both a sedative which relaxes and lowers inhibitions and a stimulant to increase activity and the desire for physical contact. It was actually banned from some monasteries centuries ago.
It also contains more antioxidants (cancer-preventing enzymes) than red wine. The secret for passion (and apparent invincibility) is to combine the two.
Mom, I’m not spoiling my dinner… I’m FIGHTING CANCER!
And what really does it for me? Well, this weekend I was hit by a serious bout of food poisoning that leveled me for two days and still has my stomach churning (complements of a local deli who has now been reminded on the value of food safety) and let me tell you, the sight of my Valentine just returned from the store with a bottle of Pepto Bismol in his hand… sexiest thing EVER.