The science behind aphrodisiac foods is sketchy at best, but that doesn’t mean restaurants in Atlanta aren’t turning up the sexy on some of their rumored love-inducing foods this Valentine’s Day.
According to registered dietician Elaine Magee, aphrodisiacs are any foods that aim to stimulate the “love senses” of sight, smell, taste and touch.
“No food has been scientifically proven to stimulate the human sex organs. But foods and the act of eating can suggest sex to the mind, which in turn can help stimulate desire in the body,” Magee writes in a post for Web MD. “It certainly doesn’t hurt to stack the sexual odds in your favor by enjoying foods you and your partner find sensual.”
Most aphrodisiacs’ sexual powers arose from their shape — if it looks like a sex organ, it increases desire — or the senses they inspire. For example, hot or spicy foods like chile peppers were thought to lead to heated passion, Magee said.
Chile pepper: No Más! Cantina
Being a Mexican cantina, No Más! is no stranger to the chile pepper, which causes physiological responses similar to those experienced during sex, according to the science website HowStuffWorks.
The chile peppers offered include poblanos, red chile, jalapeño and more. Almost every dish contains some variety, said Melody Voirin, executive chef and director of operations.
“The chipotle chocolate cheesecake, it actually mixes in two aphrodisiacs, the chipotle pepper and chocolate. We have a Mayan mocha as well, which is an espresso drink made with chocolate and chile de árbol,” Voirin said. “Chipotle pepper is a smoked
February 3, 2017
jalapeño, and it takes on a new form. Lots of time it’s put in adobo sauce. The chile de árbol is a dried red chile pepper, very spicy and pretty small,”
Voirin’s favorite chile pepper dish is one of the first she created at No Más!. It’s a pollo relleno, grilled chicken breast stuffed with poblano peppers and Chihuahua cheese, drizzled with a tangy green salsa and served atop fragrant cilantro mashed potatoes.
For Valentine’s Day, she invites Atlantans to tantalize their taste buds with a tequila tasting and pairing, featuring several dishes with chile peppers. No Más! Cantina is located at 180 Walker Street, Atlanta. For reservations: 404-574-5678
“I personally find chocolate, this is going to sound very weird, very sexual because it melts. The fact that it is solid when it is in your hand, and then when you put it in your mouth, it melts, I think that kind of captivates the senses of humans,” said Jocelyn Gragg, owner of new Chamblee chocolate company Jardí.
Researchers found chocolate contains “feel good” chemicals like seratonin, which occur naturally in the human body and are released during times of love, happiness and passion, according to HowStuffWorks. In addition to those supposed aphrodisiac qualities, dark chocolate also contains antioxidants.
Gragg just introduced her 2017 Valentine’s chocolate collection — four sumptuous morsels to delight the tongue. The “Silly Love Songs” include Burning Love, a dark chocolate shell filled with milk chocolate ganache, dried Japanese chile peppers and fresh Serrano peppers; the white chocolate Bleeding Love, which features a blood orange caramel; bananas foster-filled Flaming Love;
By DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN
Top: New Atlanta chocolatier Jocelyn Gragg created a collection of melt-in-your-mouth treats named after love songs for this Valentine’s Day. (Courtesy photo). Above: The pollo relleno, chicken stuffed with cheese and aphrodisiac chile pepper, is a favorite of No Más! Cantina executive chef Melody Voirin. (Photo courtesy Saldivia Jones Photography). and the traditional chocolate cherry cordial, Forever Love.
“I love blood orange and they’re trending right now. We put that one in a heart-shaped mold so when you bite into it, it looks like the heart is bleeding,” Gragg said. “We make bananas foster in-house … then we puree the bananas foster into white chocolate.” Jardí chocolates are available at Atlanta- area boutique retailers and restaurants. To order straight from the source, visit www.jardichocolates.com.
Oysters: The Optimist
Oysters’ rumored aphrodisiac qualities likely come from their resemblance to female genitalia, though research recently found the animals contain D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate, two chemicals