Chocolate, along with being one of the world’s most-loved foods, is a natural blood thinner, which helps increase blood flow to engorge certain body parts to aid in lovemaking. Oysters are high in zinc, which is a key ingredient in testosterone, which is important for sexual performance for both sexes. And honey has long been consumed by newlyweds on their “honeymoon” for fertility and sexual stamina.
Aphrodisiac foods are foods that are thought to provide unique qualities that help with fertility, sexual attraction and performance. Some of these foods have earned their reputation by looking like the body parts they are supposed to help – like asparagus.
Martha Hopkins, who co-authored “InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook,” has been studying aphrodisiac foods for years. Her book mentions many aphrodisiac foods, including figs, basil, grapes, pine nuts, ginger, salmon, avocado, chilies, artichokes, black beans, rosemary and vanilla.
“Aphrodisiacs are really about exploring the sensuality of food,” said Hopkins, 39, from Austin, Texas.
It is not just about certain
foods, explained Hopkins, noting it is also about the importance of cooking for someone else.
“When you cook a special meal for a loved one, it says, ‘I care about you. I am taking my time,’” said Hopkins.
And it’s not just about what to eat, but how much to eat, at special meals like on Valentine’s Day. Hopkins suggests eating light. The Valentine’s meal is not like Thanksgiving, when people eat so much they fall asleep.
Hopkins recounts the meal she and her boyfriend had a few nights ago. They went to an Italian restaurant for a large meal of liver pâté, pasta, bread, bread and more bread. By the time they got home they were full and tired.
By contrast, she mentions a meal of mussels cooked in a wine broth her boyfriend prepared for her.
“It was sensual,” Hopkins said. “He made it for me. We ate with our fingers and dipped our bread in the sauce.
“After dinner, we were ready.”
For the Valentine’s meal, Hopkins suggests making things ahead, so one does not get exhausted making diner.
“Think finger foods and consider buying dessert,” said Hopkins.
The idea is to make things easy. Items like fresh sliced fruit eaten with fingers can be simple and sensual.
“How about making s’mores by candle light?” suggested Hopkins. Or, get some fresh bread and Nutella.
So how do you know that you have made the right food to set the mood?
“If you are making the same pleasure sounds while eating…,” said Hopkins. “You know you are on the right track.”
For more information about aphrodisiac foods, visit intercourses.com