Certain foods are known for their aphrodisiac qualities, which means making the person eating these foods feel amorous. This is due to how the brain perceives certain foods, and to their chemical and nutritional properties. Here’s a list of some of them.
Foods of Love?
Named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite, since ancient times certain foods have been known for their aphrodisiac qualities. We have come to understand these scientifically and culturally.
Certain foods can have a direct effect on the body’s nervous system and endocrine (hormone) system, and can trigger physical reactions that affect sexual feelings and performance.
Why aphrodisiac foods?
For brain scientists, food and sex are generally closely linked via the limbic system of the brain, which controls emotional activity generally. Anthropologists, who study human culture, see social significance in our cooking and eating habits. Certain UK dating, eating, and cooking activities are thought to translate into ways of proving our abilities as a mate, so the ability to pay the bill in a restaurant, or to cook a romantic dinner becomes important to relationship success.
Which aphrodisiac foods are right for your relationship?
It may be stating the obvious but personal preference plays a part. Pleasure is such an important part of our relationship with food that if you are trying to create a romantic mood there is no point in trying to feed your partner something they don’t like! Check out the chat on dating sites for professionals for more, but here are some tips:
Oysters were known to the Romans as an aphrodisiac. Oysters are high in protein and certain minerals which can aid fertility. Famously oysters don’t need cooking, so there is more time for getting to know one another on a date. But, oysters can be an acquired taste and therefore they are a bit of a risk on an early date.
Winkles are a cheaper alternative to oysters and have similar nutritional qualities. They are among that group of foods, resembling snails, which the Romans believed to be aphrodisiac because of their resemblance to male genitalia.
A better bet for a starter that requires minimal preparation are the slim, sensual spears of asparagus. Lightly steamed and smothered in melted butter asparagus is perfect as finger food to feed one another on an intimate date.
Still on savouries, the tomato is sometimes also known as the ‘love apple’, and is believed by some to have been the foodstuff that caused all those problems in the garden of Eden. Add garlic, another aphrodisiac, for the perfect saucy pasta.
Cinnamon can be a satisfying ingredient in savoury and sweet dishes. It makes various appearances in the old testament as a fragrant ingredient to add spice to a love life. It is also an ingredient in Mexican wedding cakes.
In medieval times, lovers on their ‘honeymoon’ drank mead to sweeten their marriage. And honey is often combined with almonds, another aphrodisiac food, in desserts in various cultures, including sticky Greek baklava.
Food of the gods, and almost certain to get you ‘brownie points’, chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect neurotransmitters in the brain. Chocolate and wine are a favourite combination for foodie lovers.
Don’t forget music ‘the food of love’ – definitely an essential ingredient for a romantic dinner.
Published in: Cooking