"Tidbits are to the table what kisses are to lovers: a delicate demonstration of what is to come later, when you slip into something more comfortable." Isabelle Allende, Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
Aphrodisiacs (the term is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sensuality) are longtime believed to stimulate romance and heighten sexual desire.Some are delivered in hormones, like testosterone and melatonin, but the most delectable aphrodisiacs come in the form of foods.
Bivalves, asparagus spears, and chocolate are among the items most famously lauded for their enhanced effect on paramours. Here are three recipes which play on those amorous ingredients, courtesy of D-vine Bistro & Wine Bar.
Scallop Canapés with Caviar
As legend has it, Aphrodite was carried to earth in the shell of a scallop. Bivalves, like oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops, have been believed to have aphrodisiac qualities since the time of ancient Greece. Here they are served on toasted baguette and topped with luxurious caviar.
12 toasted 1-inch baguette rounds
12 cooked u-10 sized scallops
12 teaspoons of Beluga or good Russian caviar
Frisee leaves for garnish
1. Spread the toasted bread rounds with chive mayonnaise.
2. Place scallops atop bread rounds.
3. Top with caviar and garnish with frisee.
Chilled Asparagus with Dijon Sherry Vinaigrette
Many aphrodisiacs have gained their reputation as a stimulant due to their similarity in shape or appearance to erogenous zones. Asparagus, however, is also rich in vitamin E – a vitamin necessary for a healthy libido. We suggest you forego the fork here; fingers are the perfect implement for nibbling on these spears.
1 pound asparagus
½ clove garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tablespoon sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 roasted red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips.
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
2. Trim asparagus and place in boiling water until just tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain immediately and shock in ice bath for 5 minutes to stop cooking.
3. Using a food processor or blender, puree garlic, shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard. Slowly add olive oil and grape seed oil. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Drain asparagus and dry on paper towels. Serve on a plate with bell pepper strips, drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.
Ghiradelli Chocolate Cobbler
Chocolate is the quintessential lovers’ treat and contains a stimulant called phenethlylamine, considered by some scientists to be the ‘love chemical’. This dessert is indulgent; make sure to indulge the mood by spoon feeding your lover.
8 whole eggs
1 pound butter
1 pound Ghiradelli chocolate chips
4 cups white sugar
12 ounces all-purpose flour
1. Melt butter and chocolate in microwave or on the stove. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Whisk eggs and sugar to velvety ribbons.
3. Temper chocolate and eggs, then slowly whisk in flour a few ounces at time.
4. Butter eight 6-oz ramekins and pour chocolate mixture into individual ramekins.
5. Place ramekins on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven fro 30-35 minutes.
6. When finished, let cool, then top with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel or fresh berries.
We highly suggest you add your own atmospheric ingredients to the recipe for romance. Try a dose of candlelight, one to two hours of soft music, a bottle of wine, and a generous pinch of whimsy.