Love on a Plate: Aphrodisiacs

In the culinary world there’s a term to describe lovers of food – they’re called gourmets. And of course there exists a Latin term to describe foods that evoke one’s appetite for love – they’re called aphrodisiacs and they have been in use for thousands of years, first as love potions, now as delicacies. They are a part of our culture, even though they’re not nearly as talked about as the good gourmets are.

One of the most notorious natural aphrodisiacs, oysters are high in zinc (which is an important component of human sperm) and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility – no wonder that Casanova used to breakfast on 50 raw oysters a day. A team of American and Italian researchers had found that oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones. According to the study, it’s best to consume oysters in the springtime, when the molluscs themselves are breeding.

Chocolate is another well-known, though more popular pleasure-inducer: it’s a sensual food item, from its taste to its aroma, meanwhile dark chocolate has also been shown to cause a spike in people’s dopamine level. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of well-being, the perfect combination for getting you and your partner into the mood!

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The connection between figs and sexuality goes back as far as the time of Adam and Eve: they used its leaves to cover their private parts, symbolizing modesty, while the ripe fruit’s seeds represent fertility (cut it in half, and you’ll see another reason figs are considered aphrodisiacs). High in amino acids, potassium (responsible for delivering muscle strength) and antioxidants, figs are known to boost your sexual stamina and increase your libido at the same time.

Not only foods can stimulate your sexual appetite, but seasonings as well. Gourmets and nymphomaniacs both agree that ingredients and spices are equally important if you want to get horny by the end of the dinner. Garlic is basically an elixir: it’s good against illnesses and it also works wonders for your libido. Fortunately, one of the staple ingredients of Hungarian cuisine is garlic! If you’re not a fan of its tear-jerkingly strong scent, then we’re gonna let you in on a secret: heat it up or dip it into honey (another arouser of senses), and voilá – the scent is gone! By the way, honey also gives an amazing boost to your libido.

Ginger is the next ingredient in the row of wonder drugs that’s not only effective against the common cold but that is also a perfect aphrodisiac in itself. Nutmeg and cinnamon have more of a beneficial effect on the ladies. Contrary to popular belief, cinnamon is a universal spice that suits meat-based dishes as well as it’s a perfect match for chocolate.

Aphrodisiacs are nature’s way to help you enjoy your time on Earth: they spice you up and make you hot, so now that you’re familiar with the basics, double your and your lover’s pleasures by cooking up!