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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Addicted To Love

Chocolate is probably the food most associate with love.  It contains both a sedative that lowers inhibitions and a stimulant that increases desire for physical contact. 
Researchers studying chocolate have found it to contain phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are both "feel good" chemicals that occur naturally in our bodies and are released by our brains when we are happy or feeling loving or passionate. [Discovery Health]

There are other foods with aphrodisiacal qualities.  Caviar. Although sexy on its own, caviar is high in zinc, which raises the levels of testosterone in men.  Caviar's salty snap feels sensual on the tongue and is an ideal  pairing with chilled bubbly champaigne, considered the drink of love.  Double love punch.

Asparagus. A Session Magazine article, written by Sanela,  states that asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, A, C, thiamin, and folic acid.  The latter is said to boost histamine production necessary for the ability to reach orgasm in both sexes.  In 19th century France, bridegrooms were served three courses of asparagus during their prenuptial dinners. 

Steamed or roasted, feeding  your partner  asparagus spears by hand is erotic and stimulating before the folic acid kick in. Sexy finger licking  food.

Bananas. Rich in vitamin B and potassium, the shape alone qualifies it as an aphrodisiac. Enough said.

Oysters.  Oysters, the quentissential love food..  If oysters are the gold standard of aphrodisiacal food, consider me a sex addict.  I love raw oysters.  Yesterday, I counted 15 photographs (on my phone) of 15 chilled oyster platters from 15 different restaurants.  Further evidence that whenever they appear on  restaurant menus, I order them. Period.  I don't devour them for their aphrodisacal qualities ( on purpose), I simply love their briny sweet taste of the ocean.  Oysters are low in fat, but high in protein, zinc, and ammino acids that increase sex hormones. Nice.  A lot has been written about oysters and what they taste like.  Depending on seasonality, location, and water temperature, some say they offer hints of melon and cucumber.  M.F.K. Fisher, prolific food writer and author of Consider The Oyster says they "...are more like the smell of rock pools at low tide than any other food in the world."  French poet, Leon-Paul Farque says eating one is " kissing the sea on the lips."


Chilled oysters on the half shell are glorious. I adore the presentaion and the ritual of eating them. It just doesn't get any better. Served perched atop chipped ice for balance to preserve their glorious liquor, raw oysters are a thing of beauty.  Whenever they arrive in front of me, I simply take a moment to gaze at them. The jeweled colors of the inner shell, glistening with pearly shades of pink, blue, and lavender, are mesmerizing.   Like delicate hands, the halved shells cup plump oysters bathed in their own juices. Lovely.

I always eat the first oyster plain.  After tipping the craggy shell to my lips, I'll pour the liquor from the shell into my mouth before sucking the oyster onto my tongue. Smaller oysters allow easier transfer from shell to tongue, like giant spoons. Larger ones with larger shells require a bit more effort. I'll slurp and suck the giant oyster from its iridescent pearly bed,  causing the juicy liqour to splat my cheeks and slowly drip before my tongue captures it.  It's an art. A beloved messy art.  I chew.  Some people don't.  I do.  A chew or  two pops the plump meat,  releasing the sweet  iron-rich liquid from the squirting flesh. .  Swallow.  Repeat. 

Simple garnishes are the best.  Lemon, hot sauce, cocktail sauce, and Saltine crackers are the   standards.  If  mignonette sauce (minced shallot, cracked pepper, vinegar) is provided, all the better.  Acidity is the key.  It cuts through the saltiness and balances the briny sweetness.

I could easily eat two dozen in one sitting.

Oysters are simply sexy to eat. They're sensual, provocative, and indulgent.

Do they unleash the spell of Aphrodite?

Perhaps, but I'm not the one to ask.

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