A is for Aphrodisiac

Many foods are legendary aphrodisiacs, reputed to stimulate sexual desire and performance.

Foods with suggestive shapes, like the sturdy asparagus stalk, provide a not-so-subtle reminder to the diner of what’s on the menu after (or for) dessert.

asparagus

And many scholars believe that the Forbidden Fruit which tempted Adam and Eve was not an apple, but the voluptuous, juicy fig.

 figs                    fig leaves

Ironically, fig leaves provided a degree of modesty for the fallen couple as they headed to the exit of Eden.  Aphrodisiacs have consequences!

But are they real? The buzz-killers at the FDA say there’s no such thing as aphrodisiacs, but plenty of scientists beg to differ.  Modern research suggests that nutritional components in these foods might, in fact, enhance the sexual experience.

For centuries people have fermented honey to make mead. The term “honeymoon” comes from an ancient Persian practice, where a newly married couple would drink mead every day for a month (“honey month”) to promote a fruitful marriage.

honey [229x162]     honey month persia [345x230]

The heady brew undoubtedly loosened inhibitions, but as scientists now know, honey is also rich in B vitamins (necessary for testosterone production) and boron (aids in metabolizing estrogen).

Oysters are a classic aphrodisiac – the briny taste, the succulent texture! They also happen to be full of zinc, which aids in testosterone production and, hence, sex drive.

oysters

Bananas are such an obvious phallic symbol that they are a common prop for sex ed teachers to demonstrate how to use condoms.  No wonder they’re considered aphrodisiacal!  banana peelBut bananas also contain load of potassium, which strengthens muscles, which might help in performance quality.

Chocolate, that Valentine’s Day tradition, has a long, ancient reputation as aphrodisiac. According to legend, Montezuma would drink dozens of goblets of chocotl  every day to enhance his performance.

chocolate aztec

When explorers returned to Europe bringing chocolate from the New World, the delectable treat was banned in some monasteries because it was too decadent.

Montezuma and the monks may have been right to regard chocolate with such awe  – chocolate contains the stimulant phenylethylamine, which can boost a sense of excitement, as well as a mild sedative that relaxes inhibitions. Plus, it tastes sooooo good!chocolate heart

Still, many might scoff that ‘aphrodisiacs’ are all just delicious, rare, and/or costly foods. Never mind the potassium and phenylethylamine – who wouldn’t be more susceptible to seduction after quaffing champagne and savoring banana chunks dipped into chocolate fondue?

Yet consider the lowly carrot – despite an obvious phallic shape, carrots don’t have a reputation as a sexy food. But they are packed with  health-promoting beta carotene, which may be why the ancient Greeks and Arabs concocted carrot-based beverages to increase sex drive.

      carrots                     bugs carrot crop

Think of that, while you dutifully nibble on your Weight Watcher’s-approved snack of carrot sticks.

Or don’t. Sometimes just the act of eating with gusto – heartily and joyously – can be an aphrodisiac, no matter what kind of food it is.

         tom jones 1tom jones 2

Savor, without guilt or calorie consumption, the wordless, mutual, seduction in the famous dining scene from Tom Jones (1963)  Bon appetit!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A is also for ARLEE BIRD — Many thanks, Lee, for creating the A to Z Blog Challenge!

http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/

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18 thoughts on “A is for Aphrodisiac

  1. This was very interesting and informative. I am a cooker, too, though for this A-Z Challenge I’m doing my relationship thing. I will be back to learn more. You write well and choose interesting things to cover.

    • Thanks, Sharon! it’s fun writing about food, although it does make me hungry…”D” might have to be for “Diet” lol
      I’ll be sure to check out your A to Z on relationships

  2. Well, now I know what to serve for dinner, depending on my mood. No need to go with the clichéd headache anymore. 🙂
    Great start to the challenge. Have fun!
    BTW, fantastic reasons for your blog name.

    • I’m surprised at some of the foods considered aphrodisiacs. I’m not familiar with the Greece 2 song, I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I really enjoyed this post! I always like learning about new thing, and aphrodisiacs are always an interesting topic! I’m from the A to Z challenge by the way. Good luck!

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