On her website The History Kitchen, Tori Avey explores the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the recipes of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Learn more about the History Kitchen.
History has woven quite a collection of folklore, mythology and superstition around the sexual nature of food. If you look hard enough, you’ll discover that pretty much every food has been touted as an aphrodisiac at one point or another in history. The connection makes sense on a certain level—eating is a primal need associated with pleasure, somewhat akin to arousal. While most of aphrodisiac mythology stems from foods with symbolic colors or shapes, certain foods do contain properties that stimulate pleasure centers in the brain. Whether or not these foods can actually enhance amorous feelings is up for debate. With the most romantic holiday of the year just around the corner, I decided to delve into the libidinous culinary lore of aphrodisiacs. I’ve included a recipe with each food item, providing a colorful menu of options for a romantic, sensual meal. Try a few and see if sparks fly for you!