Love FoodsHistory is rife with the human pursuit of aphrodisiacs in many forms. Scientific tests have proven that some aromas can cause a greater effect on the body than the actual ingestion of foods. Here are some common foods of love used through the ages.
• Alcohol: lowers inhibitions and increases confidence; however, over-indulgence has a sedative effect not conducive to a romantic tryst.
• Asparagus: three courses of asparagus were served to 19th century bridegrooms due to its reputed aphrodisiac powers.
• Banana: due not only to its shape, but also its creamy, lush texture, some studies show its enzyme bromelain enhances male performance.
• Caviar: is high in zinc, which stimulates the formation of testosterone, maintaining male functionality.
• Champagne: viewed as the "drink of love," moderate quantities lower inhibitions and cause a warm glow in the body.
• 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.
• Figs: seasonal crops were celebrated by ancient Greeks in a frenzied copulation ritual.
• Ginseng: increases desire for physical contact.
• Perfumes: made of natural foodstuffs such as almond, vanilla, and other herbs and spices act as a pheromone to communicate emotions by smell.
• Puffer Fish: considered both a delicacy and an aphrodisiac in Japan. If the poisonous gland is not properly removed, the tiniest taste is deadly. The flirt with death is said to give a sexual thrill. Not recommended.
• Oysters: Some oysters repeatedly change their sex from male to female and back, giving rise to claims that the oyster lets one experience the the masculine and feminine sides of love.
• Radish: considered a divine aphrodisiac by Egyptian pharoahs, most likely because its spicy taste stimulated the palate.
• 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.
More About Valentine's Foods and Valentine's Day Recipes• Valentine History - Food
• Set the Mood for Your Romantic Meal
• Recipes for Love - Valentine's Day Recipes
• Cookbooks for Lovers
© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.