Sunday, 27 January 2013

Aphrodisiac

APHRODISIAC

Noun & adjective. E18.
[Greek aphrodisiakos, from aphrodisios, from Aphrodite: 
Greek Aphrodite the goddess of love, the Grecian Venus, lit. 'foam-born', from aphros foam] 

A noun. A food, drug, etc., which stimulates sexual desire. E18.
B adjective Of the nature of an aphrodisiac; arousing sexual desire. M19.

This was certainly an interesting word to research, sneaking in to Lexicolatry at first because I like the connection between the word aphrodisiac and the supreme seductress of the Grecian heavens Aphrodite (also see the entry anaphrodisiac). However, it held my attention because I had no idea just how many foods are considered aphrodisiac! Oysters, or course; we all know that, but other tempting morsels to put fire in your ire are:

Ambergris, Aniseed, Asparagus, Almonds, Avocado, Bananas, Basil, Carrots, Celery, Chocolate, Chili, Coffee, Coriander, Figs, Garlic, Ginseng, Honey, Horny Goat Weed (!), Licorice, Nutmeg, Pine nuts, Pineapple, Raspberries, Rocket, Strawberries, Truffles, Vanilla, Watermelon, Wine

That's quite a shopping list, and one that gives you so many options that it's hard to understand why there's such a trade in the genitalia of wild and often endangered species for this exact purpose. The vegetarian option is perfectly adequate.

If you do plan on creating a special night for your loved one, might I suggest the following menu:

Starter
Honey drizzled watermelon
(served with wine)

Main
Vegetarian curry served with a rocket and horny goat weed salad
(served with wine)

Dessert
Fruit medley of banana, figs, pineapple, raspberries and strawberries, sumptuously drizzled with chocolate
(served with ... ahem ... more wine)

If that menu doesn't work, you're on your own (literally).

Sadly, my reading on this also suggests that the evidence for the efficacy of said aphrodisiacs is rather flimsy. Any such aphrodisiacal effect is more likely to be because of visual associations prompted by said foods (watermelons), their cultural connotations (oysters) or the fact that your partner is rather chuffed that, for the first time (ever), you've actually taken the time to prepare them a really good romantic meal.

It's a good job Earl Grey Tea isn't an aphrodisiac, or I wouldn't get any blogging done. 



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