MATT PRESTON In praise of sexy foods.
If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, these foods may be the way to something a bit further south. Here are my dirty dozen aphrodisiacs
I BELIEVE every day should be Valentine’s Day – we should be eating sexy food all the time. So, here’s my patented randy shopping list*. All the foods listed here have aphrodisiac properties and there are more than enough to fill your pantry each week.
Almonds: These are linked to some of the great love stories. Samson romanced Delilah with almonds (cheapskate!), Alexandre Dumas, author of The Count Of Monte Cristo, dined on almond soup every night before bedding his mistress and traditional Indian medicine says almonds awaken sexual desire.
While you are in the nuts aisle, pick up some pistachios, sesame seeds that are rich in vitamin E (a good thing when it comes to the bedroom) and pine nuts. All claim to enhance libido. Asparagus: Great 17th century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that asparagus “stirreth up bodily lust in man or woman (whatsoever some have written to the contrary)”. This may be because it is loaded with vitamin E (also known as the “sex vitamin”) which is credited by some as having estrogenic, androgenic and progesterone-like properties.
Plus asparagus is long and skinny which was the hallmark of anything sexy in the Middle Ages thanks to their doctrine of signatures. That said if it looks like a body part, it must be good for that body part. No wonder French grooms ate asparagus before their wedding night. Avocados: Aztecs thought avocados increased sexual powers in part because of the way they hung in pairs on the tree.
The Aztec name, translated from local Nahuatl, is “testicle tree”. Interestingly it has now been proved that avocados contain even more potassium than bananas and are high in vitamin E, possibly justifying those claims. Bananas: Potassium strengthens muscle contractions. ’Nuff said. The banana also benefits from the previously mentioned doctrine of signatures rule. Celery: This is a favourite of male porn stars for – how can I put this delicately – increasing volume and staying power. Celery is loaded with vitamin E, magnesium and zinc and some even claim it will make you smell sexier to women. Never worked for me but… Chillies: They get the blood pumping and heighten sensitivity as well. They are also linked to firing up the pleasure centres of the brain. Chocolate: Eating it has been linked to creating a sense of euphoria and loving. Aztec ruler Montezuma steeled himself with a cup of chocolate before retiring to his harem – possibly spiked with chilli. Figs: These have fired up passions over the generations. DH Lawrence’s famous poem, Figs, goes into exquisite detail over the sensuality of this fruit.
The “way of the fig” is also an Italian description of the road to Hell, which is far more salacious than a “road paved with good intentions” that plays on the similarity between the word for “fig” and a slang word for a woman’s “privates”.
Certainly figs stuffed with soft, white mould cheese and baked wrapped in prosciutto was always my “lucky dish”. Or should that be “get lucky” dish. Oysters: Ever since 2nd century Roman poet Juvenal made a joke about their saucy properties, oysters have been seen as libido enhancers. They are loaded with zinc, linked to testosterone production. Pineapples: Historically used as a cure for impotence, pineapple has also found bedroom fame for making everything taste better – and we mean everything… Rice: It may seem unlikely, but ancient Indian sex manual, The Kama Sutra, recommends eating a bowl of rice before bed. I suppose it’s no different than telling today’s top athletes to carb-load. Vanilla: This spice is credited with stimulating nerves and making you more sensitive to embraces. Its name also has a double meaning in Latin (you’ll have to look that up for yourself), doubling its sauciness.
Just between us, none of these work as well as love, respect and stimulation that comes from a good mind. Especially if all that is wrapped up in – as my son calls it – a “tight rig”. Just sayin’... *Remember that past performance is no indicator of future performance, that results may vary from person to person and that things can fluctuate up or down – which I suppose is the whole idea! For even more sexy foodstuffs, see the extended list at delicious.com.au