Chocolate, raw oysters, red hot chili peppers. What comes to mind when you hear the word “aphrodisiac”? When Elisabeth Bailey hears the word “aphrodisiac”, she thinks local – golden Nova Scotia honey, fresh mint, wild rose hips, rich arugula, and potent garlic. Elisabeth is a (local) food writer from the south shore as well as a fabulous cook. She spent this past Valentine’s Day in the north end of Halifax, teaching a group of foodies a thing or two about local fare, great food, and true love.
Arugula – Arugula or “rocket” seed has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D.
Basil (sweet basil) – Is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well-being for body and mind.
Broccoli Rabe (And Other Mustard Greens) – The ground seeds of various plants in the brassica family were believed to increase virility.
Carrots – Another good reason to eat carrots–believed to be a stimulant to the male. The phallus shaped carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction.
Coriander (Cilantro seed) – The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also known to be used as an “appetite” stimulant.
Fennel – In the 1930’s fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens. Use of fennel as an aphrodisiac dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as “libido enhancement”.
Garlic – The ‘heat’ in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you and your partner share it together!
Honey – 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. Lovers on their “Honeymoon” drank mead and it was thought to “sweeten” the marriage.
Mustard – Believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire. Prepare a tenderloin roast (filet mignon) for two with a mustard and peppercorn sauce.
Oysters – Oysters were documented as a aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D as mentioned in a satire by Juvenal. He described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating “giant oysters”. An additional hypotheses is that the oyster resembles the “female” genitals.
Raspberries and Strawberries – Perfect foods for hand feeding your lover. “Both invite love and are described in erotic literature as fruit nipples”.
Yours in food, Keltie