Holidays are for celebration, and my kinds of celebration always involve some kind of… heat. The Southern hemisphere is pregnant with blistering days and shady sweat-warm nights. White cotton canopies hang over my bed, the sheets will be soaked with water soon, to be carried dripping over the Persian carpets, and draped over the restless bodies that pace through these purple hot nights. The nights can reach 90 F and white noise of the ceiling fans does little to help this black come over us. You will be astonished by the white stars, the different constellations, the sugar-silt sand by the lagoons. The lilac and magnolias, honey suckle, weeping fig and wretched endless sky tip upside the sensation of being pressed to a dusty ground. The sky is so limitless here – no wonder we have become so restless.
I thought, in this atmosphere of love and heat, I would share an “Aphrodisiac Attack” House-Warming Invitation I made for a party I once hosted with my friends. I guess you can tell I like words, and I like se- *cough* love… We had an amazing time this night, and no, it did not dissolve into an orgy. We had a very orgasmic cake (let’s just call it “feminine” and divine) and dishes filled with many of the foods listed below. I had a great time filling the house with lilies and pungently scented flowers from Fox Studio’s organic markets, and generally creating warmth for our house-warming. I plan on having an “Aphrodisiac Attack” Encore one day… You will all be invited! Feel the love, it burns from the inside out.
So, for my northern hemisphere friends: Some ways to raise the heat in your cold snowy realms. For me, well, this list details my food intake for the length of these summer holidays. My man arrives on Thursday from an ice storm in Texas. I better pace myself, or he will be aflame in the airport when I wrap myself around him again.
APHRODISIAC: any of various forms of stimulation thought to arouse sexual excitement. Aphrodisiacs may be classified in two principal groups: (1) psycho-physiological (visual, tactile, olfactory, aural) and (2) internal (stemming from food, alcoholic drinks, drugs, love potions, medical preparations).
Aniseed: A very popular aphrodisiac with many culinary uses. It has been used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and the Romans, who believed aniseed had special powers. Sucking on the seeds is said to increase your desire.
Asparagus: Given it’s phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food.
Almond: A symbol of fertility throughout the ages. The aroma is thought to induce passion in a female.
Arugula or “rocket” seed has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. This ingredient was added to grated orchid bulbs and parsnips and also combined with pine nuts and pistachios.
Avocado: The Aztecs called the avocado tree “Ahuacuatl which translated means “testicle tree”. The ancients thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male’s testicles.
Bananas: The banana flower has a marvelous phallic shape and is partially responsible for popularity of the banana as an aphrodisiac food. An Islamic myth tells the tale that after Adam and Eve succumbed to the “Apple” they started covering their “nudity” with banana leaves rather than fig. From a more practical standpoint bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, necessities for sex hormone production.
Basil (sweet basil): Is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well being for body and mind.
Broccoli Rabe (And Other Mustard Greens): The ground seeds of various plants in the brassica family were believed to increase virility. In the case of broccoli rabe its more likely a myth created to get people to eat this bitter vegetable.
Caviar: Fish eggs contain a large amount of beneficial vitamins. They are rich in phosphorus and are very nourishing to nerve cells. Their apparent aphrodisiac powers are reinforced by vodka.
Chocolate: The Aztecs referred to chocolate “nourishment of the Gods”. Chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect neurotransmitters in the brain and a related substance to caffeine called theobromine. Chocolate contains more antioxidant (cancer preventing enzymes) than does red wine. The secret for passion is to combine the two.
Carrots: Another good reason to eat carrots–believed to be a stimulant to the male. The phallus shaped carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction. High vitamins and beta-carotene. Perhaps a justification for a piece of carrot cake?
Coffee: Caffeine is a well-know stimulant but remember, too much and it becomes a depressant. Serve small amounts of rich dark coffee: coffee stimulates both the body and the mind.
Coriander: The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history.
Cilantro: was also know to be used as an “appetite” stimulant.
Fennel: In the 1930’s fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens. Use of fennel as an aphrodisiac dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as “libido enhancement”.
Figs: An open fig is thought to emulate the female sex organs and traditionally thought of as sexual stimulant. A man breaking open a fig and eating it in front of his lover is a powerful erotic act.
Garlic : The ‘heat’ in garlic is said to stir sexual desires.
Ginger : Ginger root raw, cooked or crystallized is a stimulant to the circulatory system.
Ginseng: The word “ginseng” means “man root.” So it’s likely that ginseng gained its popularity as a sexually enhancing herb via its similarity to the male, umm, organ. While it is true that the root has a mild stimulating effect, like caffeine, there is no solid evidence that ginseng has an effect on human sexuality. But what the heck, increase your energy and your sex life will follow suit.
Honey : Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. Lovers on their “Honeymoon” drank mead and it was thought to “sweeten” the marriage.
Liquorice (licorice) : The Chinese have used licorice for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The essence of the Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) plant, glycrrhizin, is 50 time sweeter than sugar. Chewing on bits of licorice root is said to enhance love and lust. It is particularly stimulating to woman.
Mustard: Believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire.
Musk: Believe it or not, many experts believe that musk closely resembles the smell of testosterone (human pheromones), the male sex hormone. Now if you smell it and like it, that doesn’t mean you want to start playing for the other team. What you should be concerned with is her nose and what she likes. So bust out the musk and fill the room with man smell.
Nutmeg : Nutmeg was highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac. In quantity nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect.
Oysters : Oysters were documented as a aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D as mentioned in a satire by Juvenal. He described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating “giant oysters”. An additional hypotheses is that the oyster resembles the “female” genitals. In reality oysters are a very nutritious and high in protein.
Pine Nuts: Zinc is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency and pine nuts are rich in zinc. Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as Medieval times.
Pineapple : Rich in vitamin C and and is used in the homeopathic treatment for impotence.
Raspberries and Strawberries : Perfect foods for hand feeding your lover. “Both invite love and are described in erotic literature as fruit nipples” Both are high in vitamin C.
Spices: Chili, curry and all those sweat inducing foods are believed to have aphrodisiacal effects because they produce results much like sex would.
Truffles : The Greeks and the Romans considered the rare Truffle to be an aphrodisiac. The musky scent is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch.
Vanilla : The scent and flavor of vanilla is believed to increase lust. According to the Australian Orchid Society, “Old Totonac lore has it that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness.” Because of its sweet, welcoming odor, it has a euphoric effect and can be used at will. If consumed, vanilla combats sexual debilitation and improves upon the central nervous system. Its odor implicitly acts upon sexual stimulation in both men and women.
Wasabi (Horseradish): While some people believe that sushi has aphrodisiacal effects all on its own, my Japanese friends let me in on a little secret. Apparently, that green stuff that comes with it ( Wasabi or horseradish) is what’ll really get your twig and berries ripe and ready.
Wine : A glass or two of wine can greatly enhance a romantic interlude. Wine relaxes and helps to stimulate our senses. Drinking wine can be an erotic experience. A moderate amount of wine has been said to “arouse” but much more than that amount with have the reverse affect.
[For reference, all aphrodisiac information has been taken from this source]
Okay, off to enjoy a carrot, coriander & avocado salad with an entree of caviar blinis, a half dozen natural oysters with tabasco, and a glass of wine… with figs and honey. Where is my MAN!?