The Foods of Love
A Short Valentine’s Day Guide
In The Art of Love, the Roman poet Ovid offered some sage advice:
“Love will not come to you gliding through the yielding air. The fair one that suits, must be sought. The best way of seeking and pursuing the beloved, it seems to me, must be with the wonders of food and drink.”
Seems so to me, too.
Thomas Wolfe felt that “there is no spectacle on earth more appealing than a woman cooking dinner for someone she loves.”
Or, one is obliged to add, a man cooking dinner for someone he loves.
A Prelude to Love
If the Valentine’s dinner is devised as a prelude to love, then we must include some foods with a reputation for being aphrodisiacs. Many are those that, at one time or another, have been thought of as a powerful spur to love that contain nutrients and chemical compounds that are amenable to amorous ambitions.
Topping the list are oysters.
Author of the raunchy, Satyricon, Gaius Petronius declared them a “peerless aphrodisiac.”
The list, however, is long.
There are seductive sea urchins, libidinal lobsters, suggestive asparagus, cucumbers, and bananas, ravishing red cherries and strawberries, the passionate papaya, avocados and fresh figs.
Not to mention the notorious fruit of Edenic temptation — the apple (but maybe it was the pomegranate).
No slacker among the stalwarts of seduction is chocolate in any manifestation — a truffle, enrobing a strawberry, a sauce, or as cocoa rubbed on a steak.
No one will deny the potency of champagne as a prelude to amour, but some say the true love potion is amaretto. How about Champagne and amaretto?