Is there any truth in the fact that certain foods are aphrodisiacs? If so, what kinds of foods are they? Do you have any interesting recipes that I could try? - Serena Michaelson, Jerusalem
I'm sorry to say the theory that certain foods are conducive to heightened amorous behavior may be more fable than fact. Most of the conjectures are based on the fact that certain foods contain vitamins or minerals that feed the hormones related to sexual functions. That doesn't mean to say they will boost sexual activity. Other claims have been made regarding foods resembling parts of the human body.
Here are some examples of foods thought to have aphrodisiac qualities:
* Chocolate - contains chemicals that affect neurotransmitters in the brain. The Aztecs called it the "nourishment of the gods."
* Bulb vegetables such as onions and garlic - you'd better believe it! The heat in garlic was said to stir sexual desires. Make sure both you and your partner eat it together, then the aroma will not be noticed. Onions were greatly favored by the Romans as a love stimulant. Try some onion soup!
* Almonds - a symbol of fertility throughout the ages. The almond aroma is thought to induce passion in a female.
* Fish of all kinds are supposed to have qualities that stimulate desires due to their highly beneficial mineral contents.
* Strawberries are said to be a favorite food for hand feeding your beloved.
If you'd like further reading on the subject I recommend a book by Isabel Allende called Aphrodite - the love of food and the food of love. In this book she attributes romantic insinuations on almost everything we eat. You wouldn't be able to sit down for any meal in front of the children!
One of her favorite courses is Hors d'Oeuvres. She writes "tidbits are to the table what kisses are to lovers."
Here's a simple "quickie" from her book called Salmon Temptation.
1â„2 cup of shredded sliced smoked salmon
1â„4 cup cream cheese
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. whiskey
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Potato chips/crisps or crackers for serving
A bottle of Vodka to drink it with
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Set aside for several hours to mature. Serve with the crackers and vodka. If you can get hold of some salmon caviar, that would make a good garnish.
Here's a luscious strawberry dessert:
1 kilo of strawberries washed, drained and cut in half
6 Tbsp. powder sugar (icing sugar)
2 cartons of sweet whipping cream (or parve equivalent)
9 Tbsp. of a mixture of brandy, rum and cointreau (if you don't have all that, use what you have)
Put the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle half the sugar over them and toss to cover the berries. Then add half the alcohol and place the bowl in a refrigerator for about an hour. In the meantime whisk the cream with the rest of the sugar till stiff, then flavor it with the remaining liquor. Add the cream to the chilled strawberries and mix well till every piece is well coated.
Feed each other by candlelight.