Sweets for my Sweet


Many moons ago, in the time of Greek gods and goddesses, love was personified in the form of the lovely Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the Olympian goddess of beauty, love, pleasure and procreation. She was said to be astonishingly beautiful and was usually attended by the winged god, Eros. Above all, she “excited passion in the hearts of gods and men, and by this power ruled over all the living creation.” No wonder then, that the agents of desire – aphrodisiacs – are named for this frequently naked beauty!

Passion and desire are emotions with strong links to another vital need – consumption. After all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so what better target for Aphrodite?

Navigating these sensual culinary wonders aren’t as straight forward as you might think. Not all aphrodisiacs are to be consumed literally; though scientific tests have demonstrated that some aromas can cause a greater effect on the body than the actual ingestion of foods, most writings on the subject are little more than unscientific compilations of traditional or folkloric material. So here’s a breakdown of those you feast on and those you don’t.

SweetsformySweet_Circle1Almond: The almond has been a symbol of fertility throughout the ages: The aroma is thought to induce passion in a female. Almonds are a versatile seed; try serving Marzipan (almond paste) in the shapes of fruits for a special after-dinner treat.
SweetsformySweet_Circle2Asparagus: three courses of asparagus were served to 19th century bridegrooms due to its reputed aphrodisiac powers. Asparagus is delicious, regardless of whether it is actually effective as a love-boost, so grill up some buttered spears, and sprinkle on a little sea salt and get chomping!
SweetsformySweet_Circle3Banana: we’ll skip the obvious and go straight to the science: some studies show the enzyme bromelain – contained within the banana – enhances male performance.
SweetsformySweet_Circle10Champagne: viewed as the “drink of love,” moderate quantities lower inhibitions and cause a warm glow in the body. Pair with some fresh fruit, such as peaches or strawberries, for a romantic end to a romantic evening.
SweetsformySweet_Circle9Chocolate: contains both a sedative which relaxes and lowers inhibitions, and a stimulant to increase activity and the desire for physical contact. Women don’t usually need a reason to eat chocolate – barring allergies, it is the most popular item of choice amongst the fairer sex.
SweetsformySweet_Circle8Ginger root: raw, cooked or crystallized, ginger is a stimulant to the circulatory system. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger will result in something spicy later!
SweetsformySweet_Circle7Honey: True romance. According to the site, many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey, and lovers on their Honeymoon drank mead as it was thought to “sweeten” the marriage.
SweetsformySweet_Circle6Lavender: In 1998 and 2006, studies by Alan Hirsch of The Smell & Taste Treatment Research Foundation, revealed that men were most aroused (40% more blood flow) by the smell of lavender. As an essential oil, the lavender aroma can be quite subtle and yet will linger when heated up a few hours before a romantic evening indoors.
SweetsformySweet_Circle5Oysters: Some oysters repeatedly change their sex from male to female and back, giving rise to claims that the oyster lets one experience the masculine and feminine sides of love. Whatever, they are delicious! Bake them wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with salt, pepper and paprika.
SweetsformySweet_Circle4Vanilla: The scent and flavor of vanilla is believed to increase lust. According to the Australian Orchid Society, “Old Totonac lore has it that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness.” That plant was vanilla.

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