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.