Recently I have been reading Louise Dixon's The Cooks' Book for the Cook Who's Best at Everything. She has all sorts of helpful cooking hints, but also provides some interesting food facts. She even has a chapter about all the foods associated with romance and love. Some are obvious, but others might come as a surprise.
If you have an anniversary coming up, or want to impress your next date, instead of going out to a restaurant, why not cook them a delicious meal made with the top ten foods of love?
It will come as no surprise that chocolate is first on the list. With a melting point below body temperature, it melts in the mouth, creating a very sensual experience. I also consider it to be a legal happy drug, because it contains serotonin and dopamine, which acts as an analgesic. Monasteries even banned it in the fifteenth century, believing it would arouse the monks. You can serve it as a desert, hot chocolate drink, or use cacao nibs or paste in a savoury dish.
Because oysters have a similar appearance to the female genitalia, people used to believe it increased the sexual drive. Even if it is not true, they are a good source of vitamins, and make a refreshing starter. Their expense also proves to your partner that she's worth the money.
Not necessarily the first food that comes to mind when thinking about romance, asparagus contains folic acid and potassium for the 'feel good' factor. They make brilliant dipping vegetables when raw, or can be grilled and served with fish or meat.
Fennel was used by the ancient Egyptians as an aphrodisiac because it produces oestrogen. Fennel can be used as a way to give extra flavour to a meal.
The colour of passion, strawberries are sweet and delicious in any dessert, but particularly with cream. Or why not feed each other strawberries by hand? The numerous seeds are associated with fertility.
The phallic shape of a banana is the main reason why it is associated with love, but it also contains potassium, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals that increase the libido.
Eggs are the beginning of life, and thus a symbol of fertility. If you want to be extravagant, why not serve caviar?
Since Adam and Eve covered up their privates with fig leaves, figs have been considered an erotic fruit. So in other words, forever. Figs go well in salads, dressed with a dash of balsamic vinegar.
Image from Wikipedia
Since 500 BC, honey has been considered a powerful aphrodisiac. It is a sweet nectar traditionally drunk at weddings. Baste it over ham, pour it over yoghurt, or add it to a cake. The more golden and runny, the more sensuous it is.