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Happy-Gourmand

Guide to aphrodisiac foods

What better month than February to focus on aphrodisiac foods? Being the month of love, I thought I'd get you started with a bit of history and some ideas, just in case you need a kick-start for your Valentine's Day celebrations...

Apple – Of course, the historical implication of the fruit from the Garden of Eden makes this an obvious choice. Some say it has the shape of a heart when cut open, which is suggestive. They are also a great energy food, a factor that might come in handy if you need a bit of a boost. And hey, if you don't find your libido lifting after biting into a juicy red apple, then at least you'll be healthy.

Bacon – (Did you think I was going to say "banana" for B? That was far too obvious.) OK, so this entry isn't so much a healthy one, but you can't argue about many people's passion for pork, and especially bacon. I know of folks who call themselves vegetarians, but with the caveat that they refuse to give up bacon. Carnivorous passion could certainly be called primal, right?

Caviar, Champagne, Chocolate – well, there is a running theme here, isn't there? The romance created by these items is long known to set the mood, and that is half the battle in most situations. If your partner doesn't like these things, then set out what they do like – maybe it's bacon (wink wink).

You get the idea, don't you? Some foods through history have been linked to sensual aromas, tastes or textures, or suggestive shapes. Some raise body temperature (like chiles), others spark mental or physical reactions that arouse us or make us feel loved (like the zinc in oysters). Any, or all, of these factors can help you to set your own scene for romance. 

In today's age, we seem to need all the help we can get in making quality time work, so why not try a new idea? Here are a few more foods that might strike your fancy...

Marshmallow – Originally, this sticky treat was made from mallow root, and it has a long history of being used as a medicinal herb, curing all kinds of ails, including impotence, apparently. Today's recipe doesn't use the root but sweet and sticky creates its own mood, wouldn't you agree?

Shrimp – Many cultures have stories of the alluring qualities of this crustacean (other shellfish also qualify – remember Jessica Biel eating lobster in "Flashdance"?) There is scientific background here as well: the iodine in shrimp is essential to our metabolism, and a low iodine level is linked to low sex drive. So, go ahead – have another one (I’m winking again).

Watermelon – The colour red is a good start, and juicy foods are sexy to eat. If you practice, spitting the seeds can be sexy too! Again, there is a scientific basis to include the quintessential fruit of summer – it contains a phytonutrient called citrulline that helps to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra. Now don't get too excited, the citrulline is mostly in the rind. Research is of course underway to create a "souped-up" version but no luck yet.

Perhaps the concept of having the quality time is what you need to create a romantic evening... no TV, no cellphones, no kids wanting your attention. But since we are so unused to life without distractions at least the food will help to calm everyone's nerves and break the ice.

Bon Appetit! And here’s to love and romance in every month of the year.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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