Bring on the romance with aphrodisiacs
"Foods as aphrodisiacs have prominently been noted throughout history in all cultures of the world," says Chef Patrick Finney, CEC, national culinary director of American Culinary Institute. "There's
something about the luscious flavors and intoxicating aromas of certain foods that simulates both mind and body. My experience as a chef has proven what our ancestors knew centuries ago - certain
foods have the power to stir up and evoke people's emotions."
Sensual foods create sensuous moods
Foods that create sensuous moods reportedly include natural chemicals that enhance certain emotions, but it could also be the power of the mind. Very often it is just the sharing of sensuous foods
with your lover that makes them so special. Whether any truly amorous reactions occur with foods is purely speculative, but that does not mean it cannot help set the ambiance for romance.
Get in the mood romantic foods
While most people think of champagne, strawberries and oysters as foods that lend themselves to amorous moods, the American Culinary Institute offers the following suggestions for additional "mood
foods" that can be found at the local supermarket to help enjoy Valentine's Day.
Chocolate: Of course, chocolate is infamous for being a powerful food, and even the Aztecs referred to chocolate as "nourishment of the Gods." Chocolate contains phenylethylamine,
or PEA, which is the same chemical (similar to amphetamine) released by the brain when people fall in love, producing a euphoric, dreamy feeling.
Coffee: Just the aroma of coffee itself can perk up the senses. Serve it up for your special someone in a demitasse cup to create a special love buzz.
Hummus: Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, were believed to have had aphrodisiac properties in history, and it was noted the Romans often fed chickpeas to their prized
stallions. Put a Mediterranean twist on Valentine's Day and dip bits of pita bread in hummus and hand feed your lover a provocative appetizer.
Ice cream: What could be more indulgent and romantic than lovers spoon-feeding each other vanilla ice cream in bed? The scent of vanilla alone will bring the aura of romance to the
room, however, most rich and decadent ice creams will bring bliss to taste buds.
Nuts: Almonds and walnuts have, in the past, been a symbol of fertility. Ancient Romans used them in fertility ceremonies and threw walnuts instead of rice at newlyweds.
Prunes: Did you know prunes are considered an aphrodisiac? Legend has it that Eros, the Greek God of love, dipped his arrow in prune juice for extra effect before taking aim on his
love targets. Serve a goblet of the silky smooth prune juice as your secret love potion this Valentine's day.
Seafood: Everyone knows that oysters are considered an aphrodisiac, but other kinds of seafood can stir up those amorous feelings as well. Shrimp can be a very romantic food; hand
feed them to your lover dribbled with a luscious cocktail sauce to help seduce your lover.
Romantic recipes for Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day dinner for two
Sexy Valentine's Day food
Vanilla Aphrodisiac Smoothie