Choco­late: Jardí

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

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;


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.jardi­choco­

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

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