After all the fancy-schmancy trappings of Valentine’s, all I really want is… Meiji Black chocolate! People close to me know that I prefer entrees to desserts anytime, but this one I can’t resist. I like it because it’s simple, uncomplicated, not overwhelmingly black or sweet and priced very affordably in our local convenience store.Of course I couldn’t quite forget the divine block of Royce chocolate I tasted back in Tokyo. Japanese chocolates simply does it for me when reawakening my taste buds for the delightfully indulgent.
But I digress. In the course of looking for an appropriate V-Day post, I found this old article of mine on the powerful properties of certain aphrodisiacs.
Chocolates, it says, contain over 400 different chemicals, including caffeine and phenyllethylamine, the chemical property which arouses the same feelings when we are in love. Legend has it that the Aztecs of Mexico were the “first chocoholics.” Montezuma reportedly drank 50 cups of cocoa before entering his harem of several hundred women.
Oysters are reputed to have very high aphrodisiac properties. Casanova was said to have eaten 50 of them raw every morning.
Anybody who has been to Chinatown must surely have heard of Soup No. 5 whose secret ingredients are legend among men who want to increase their virility.
In some parts of Asia, snake blood is served as a rare delicacy. The snake tail is pierced and the customer sucks blood from it for a few minutes to boost a flagging libido.
Other kinds of animal genitalia prized as stimulants are seal penises, camel’s humps, eels, dove brains, tigers’ whiskers, goose tongues, goose liver and the musk glands of a deer, among others.
Tomatoes, called the love apples by the French, are deemed by some as a seductive food. Carrots, with its phallic shape and sweet flavor, was reportedly used to seduce lovers by Middle Eastern royalty. In the Arab world, an asparagus is first boiled in water, then fried briefly in fat and sprinkled with condiments to provide a powerful aphrodisiac. Celery stalks, whether eaten raw, boiled or braised, is another stimulant. And women, according to a Chicago research, can be turned on by the simple scent of cucumbers.
Among the upper crust of society, caviar – taken by the spoonful with chilled vodka or champagne – is a preferred stimulant. And strawberries, dipped in whipped cream, can inflame one’s desire in more ways than one.