Feed your passion

Slip these sexy ingredients into your Valentine’s Day feast

Looking for love in all the right places this Valentine’s Day? Start in the kitchen! For centuries, people have believed that some foods have aphrodisiac qualities – arousing sexual desire through taste, texture, appearance or scent. Even if you find the idea of aphrodisiacs far-fetched, there’s no denying that pampering your sweetie with one of these savoury menus is a surefire way to heat things up. Whether you’re celebrating a fresh affair or something longer-lasting, use a few of these sexy ingredients to whip up a passionate feast for you and your loved one.

A new relationship

For the new kid on the dating block, go for a meal that’s sensual, but not too obvious!

Appetizer: Fig, Pear and Boursin Crostini
Aphrodisiacs: figs and fresh rosemary

Figs, with their plump purplish skin and fleshy seedy inside, just look provocative. But fresh rosemary is the real aphrodisiac here. Long ago, women reportedly scented their bathwater with sprigs of rosemary, hoping the pungent earthy fragrance would allure men. It’s also thought to help alleviate headaches (no more excuses!) and enhance memory.

Main course: Poached Salmon in Fragrant Coconut Broth
Aphrodisiac: chili peppers

Dr. Kellogg of cereal fame warned of the perils of too much spice, believing it to be sexually invigorating – and we don’t disagree! A little hot chili pepper goes a long way to get the blood rushing, heart pumping and face flushed.

Dessert: Fresh Berry Fool
Aphrodisiac: strawberries

Strawberries are symbols of sensuality and desire in art and literature. Their colour, shape and texture are alluringly sexy. Try this no-cook recipe, or just put out a bowl of fresh strawberries and whipped cream and nibble coyly!

Long-term love

Love, like a good bottle of port, grows better with age. Valentine’s Day is the time to decant that bottle and mix in some fresh air to reawaken its robust flavours.

Appetizer: Salsa Crisps
Aphrodisiacs: basil and avocado

According to legend, married Haitian women powdered their breasts with pulverized basil to prevent their husbands’ eyes from wandering. However, I think it’s better to eat this powerful herb, especially with avocado. The Aztecs believed avocado to be so sexually potent that village maidens were forbidden to leave the house during its harvest.

Main course: Brazilian Beef and Tomatoes
Aphrodisiac: black beans

For more than 1,000 years, eating these legumes has been thought to increase fertility. St. Jerome, a 4th century priest, forbade his nuns from eating them lest they break their vows of chastity!

Dessert: Ginger-Coconut Baked Apples
Aphrodisiacs: ginger and cinnamon

The aromas of cinnamon and ginger, especially in baked treats hot from the oven, tickle and excite the senses. Both spices are also digestive aids – which might help ease any embarrassment after eating St. Jerome’s beans!

Reinvigorate the relationship you’re in

Whether it’s a long- or short-term relationship, there are times when you just have to spice things up! Knock his socks off, if nothing else, with this fantastic romantic meal.

Appetizer: Taste-of-Asia Oysters
Aphrodisiac: oysters

According to Greek lore, Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love, rose up from the sea. Thanks to her sensual reputation, all seafood automatically has erotic connotations. Oysters often change their sex between mating seasons and are high in zinc, which may be necessary for sperm production. Besides, eating raw oysters on the half shell just looks erotic, with lots of slurping and sucking!

Main Course: Lobster and asparagus dinner
Aphrodisiacs: lobster and asparagus

This dinner for two features two powerful stimulants! Lobster, with its ties to Aphrodite and expensive price tag, is one sexy crustacean. And asparagus is thought to enhance sexual performance (just look at it!). It was reportedly an old French tradition to gorge on the green spears before your wedding night.

Dessert: Dark Chocolate Brownie Hearts
Aphrodisiac: Chocolate

Adored by millions of women the world over, chocolate is a major stimulant. It contains phenylethylamine and helps produce serotonin, two chemicals thought to induce the same emotions associated with falling in love!

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