Aphrodisiacs get their name from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and have been associated with the concept of heightened desire, passion and sexual intensity through the ages. Below are ten top aphrodisiacs from the culinary world... We also suggest three creative ways to indulge in these top aphrodisiac foods!
The scent of almonds is said to stir up passion in women. Apparently, Samson even courted Delilah with the fragrant scent of almond branches!
This rich, decadent delight contains serotonin and phenylethylamine, which stimulate the pleasure-centers in the brain. Need we say more?!
Lovers drank copious amounts of mead, a fermented honey concoction, in the Medieval era. The sensuous treat was also consumed on Honeymoons, as the newlyweds believed it would 'sweeten' the marriage!
Casanova ate them by the dozens! Oysters and shellfish are high in zinc, which can aid in testosterone production, and may even fire up sex drive!
The rare, musky-scented delicacy has been said to arouse both the body and palate.
The scent and flavor that emanate from the vanilla bean have long been considered an aphrodisiac. Hence, the vanilla-scented bath bubbles and lotions for ladies!
The resemblance of an open fig to the female genitalia plays a role in its reputation as an aphrodisiac. Some believe that a man who opens a fig and eats it in front of his lover is making a wildly erotic gesture!
The phallic shape of this veggie contributes to its sensuous reputation. Incidentally, the Vegetarian Society recommends consuming asparagus three days in a row for maximum aphrodisiac effect.
9. Pine Nuts
The high zinc content helps maintain male potency. Pine nuts have been regarded as an aphrodisiac since medieval times and were often used to make love potions!
The Greeks and Romans believed that aniseed had special aphrodisiac powers. Desire is said to be increased by sucking on the seeds!
Start off a romantic dinner with a salad chock full of the aphrodisiac asparagus!
Roasted Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound slender asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 6 cups (lightly packed) arugula (about 5 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
- Whisk first 5 in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place asparagus spears on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1/4 cup vinaigrette over and turn to coat, then spread in single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast asparagus until just crisp-tender, about 12 minutes.
- Combine arugula, chives, and asparagus in large bowl. Add remaining vinaigrette and toss to coat. Transfer salad to platter; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cheese.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Here's a kicky way to enjoy some sexy, spicy oysters!
Grilled Oysters with Mango Pico de Gallo and Red Chile Horseradish
Mango Pico de Gallo Ingredients:
- 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and finely diced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 jalapeño chile, finely diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Red chile horseradish:
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
Grilled Oysters Ingredients:
- 32 oysters, such as Blue Point or Malpeque, scrubbed
Mango Pico de Gallo Directions:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- To prepare red chile horseradish:
- Stir together the ingredients in a small bowl.
Grilled Oysters Directions:
- Heat your grill to high.
- Place the oysters directly on the grates of the grill, close the cover, and cook until all of the oysters have opened, 4 to 5 minutes (discarding any that are not).
- Top each oyster with 1 teaspoon pico de gallo and 1/4 teaspoon red chile horseradish. Serve hot.
(Recipe courtesy epicurious.com)
Double your pleasure! Pine Nuts and Chocolate are both among the top ten aphrodisiacs!
Dark Chocolate and Pine Nut Crostada
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 10 ounces bittersweet (70% cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
- Blend flour, powdered sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter, yolks, and egg. Blend until moist clumps form. Knead dough into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap and chill at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
- Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Cut off all but 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang in, pressing to form double-thick sides that extend 1/4 inch above rim. Chill crust 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Bake crust 5 minutes.
- Using back of fork, press up sides of crust if slipping.
- Bake until golden, pressing up sides and piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 25 minutes longer. Cool crust completely.
- Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream to simmer in saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate; whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in honey. Pour filling into crust. Chill until set, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
- Sprinkle tart with pine nuts. Serve with whipped cream.