Struggling to plan a romantic dinner for your love?
Look to foods traditionally considered an aphrodisiac and take a cue from the Italians!
Here are ten ideas for foods to turn up the heat on your night!
- Oysters have a reputation for romance, love, and fertility. I love them raw on the half shell, but they can also be grilled or baked, with or without sauce and stuffing
- Honey is itself a symbol of procreation. Birds and bees sound familiar? Italy produces rich, luscious honey that varies in flavor, depending on the plants of each particular region. My personal favorite is Chestnut honey, which I adore drizzled over a freshly split fig. (See number 3)
- Figs were introduced to us by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The ripe fruit with seeds represents fertility and the fig leaf brings us modesty.
- Arugula was documented as an aphrodisiac in the first century A.D., perhaps due to its peppery taste. (Combine it with a little champagne vinegar and numbers 5, 6, and 7 for a delicious salad to entice your taste buds and spark the romance.)
- Pomegranate seeds are a beautiful red, like one’s heart, and brim with antioxidants, which support blood flow. The soft flesh of the berries and crunchy interior can also represent the feminine curves of a woman, which shield the fire inside her.
- Pine Nuts, featured in many Italian dishes, are high in zinc, which is an energizer (think healthy sex drive), and also an aphrodisiac.
- Olive Oil is full of antioxidants, as well as the healthy fats, which promote blood flow, a healthy heart, and hormone production. It is an integral component of the healthy Mediterranean diet.
- Saffron, a known aphrodisiac, pairs beautifully with Arborio rice to create a sensuous and decadent risotto, rich both in flavor and color. This risotto packs a double whammy when topped with number 9.
- Truffles, with their musky fragrance and decadent flavor, have long been considered an aphrodisiac. Although the availability of fresh truffles is limited and their cost is sky-high, a light drizzle of truffle-infused olive oil, while still expensive, is a wonderful alternative.
- Chocolate is sensual, dark and rich in flavor and aroma. Dark chocolate causes a rise in dopamine, which fosters feelings of pleasure. There are so many ways to use chocolate: shavings for snacking, oozy molten chocolate cake, silky chocolate mousse, or hand-fed chunks of chocolate by a fire. Wow! The list could go on and on. If you’re in a pinch for time, another alternative is to buy a couple of pieces of rich, Italian chocolate. One choice for this is Baci, which means kisses, made by Perugina in Perugia, Italy for nearly a century.
I’ve done my part to light the fire of romance—the rest is up to you!