Valentine’s Day is upon us, and if you’re looking to create a big romantic affair without having to book a reservation months in advance or spend ridiculous amounts of money on a prix fixe menu no one wants to eat, the best way to do it is serve your Valentine some delicious aphrodisiacs.
Aphrodisiacs — food, drinks, or drugs that create sexual excitement — have been around for thousands of years, and almost every one of them has been banned at some point for their supposed lust-inducing properties. Garlic is still forbidden at some Buddhist monasteries.
Historically, aphrodisiacs earned their designation by resembling (in the case of bananas, for instance) certain unmentionable physical features, or because they were naturally plentiful, like the seeds in a pomegranate, and thus suggested fecundity. Although some homemade love potions had no scientific backing, many foods are now being proven, through scientific studies, to be real aphrodisiacs.
While you’re grocery shopping, load up on foods that are high in zinc, folic acid, and nitric oxide, which are all thought to boost your libido. Foods that boost circulation, like oysters and berries, send blood flow to all the right places in the body.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your significant other how much he or she means to you. Often thought of as a chore, the act of cooking can be a sensual act in itself — bumping into each other in the kitchen and tasting each other’s handiwork can be the start to a very romantic evening. Valentine’s Day dinners don’t have to be complicated, but they should at least be filled with lots of mood-enhancing foods.
A night that starts in the kitchen may very well end in the bedroom with these love-inducing foods.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.