Drawing their name from for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, aphrodisiacs promise better sex. Oysters, chocolate, and chili peppers have traditionally been part of many erotic feasts because of their perceived ability to enhance lovemaking.
There is little hard science to support the sexual effects of certain foods. Nonetheless, belief in aphrodisiacs persists due to a mountain of anecdotal and folk knowledge supporting the connection between food and sex. Despite the inability of the science community to conclusively explain them, aphrodisiacs are clearly a real thing which works for real people.
Dr. Tzvi Doron wrote: “For you, the taste or smell of the chocolate (or other food or drink) becomes inextricably linked with sex. And for all intents and purposes, that’s how your body perceives it.” Meaning that the sexual response which originates in the brain can easily be conditioned to respond to anything we consistently associate with sex, or sex with a specific partner. And there are reasons certain foods consistently top the list of aphrodisiacs.
Read on for a selection of seductive supper menus for omnivores, fish- and plant-focused eaters, filled with foods historically reputed to stimulate desire. If you’re pressed for time, there’s even some shortcut solutions for creating your erotic entrees. Bon appetit!
The Omnivore Menu (adapted from The Aphrodisiac Cookbook Volume 1)
- Bell Peppers – high in Vitamin C to aid blood circulation, which is the basis of sexual arousal.
- Cayenne – increases heart rate and aids circulation.
Cut bell peppers into julienne strips, sauté them in oil until slightly crispy, and give them a good dash of cayenne.
Remember, the seductive effect of any food is amplified when you hand feed a lover. Your fingers in their mouth strengthens the connection between food and sex. And placing a choice morsel in their mouth is literally giving them pleasure.
Indian Chicken and Almonds
- Ginger – lauded for centuries as an aphrodisiac due to its boost to the circulatory system
- Almonds – one of the oldest known aphrodisiacs, almonds are rich in Omega 3s, which are essential to sexual function
- Coriander – used in ancient Greek love potions
- Cardamom – mentioned in “Arabian Nights” as an aphrodisiac
- Saffron – shown to increase sexual desire in a Canadian study of natural aphrodisiacs
2lb. whole chicken, skinned
Juice of ¼ lemon
½ tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp cardamom seeds
¾ inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder
3 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
⅛ tsp saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp boiling water
¼ cup slivered almonds
¾ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick chicken with a fork and rub it with lemon juice.
- Grind coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle. Pull out any large pieces of husk and add ginger, salt and chili powder.
- Mash half the butter until smooth and beat the spice mixture into it. Rub this paste over the chicken. Roast it in a roasting pan for 15 minutes.
- Melt remaining butter and fry the onion in it until golden. Stir in saffron mixture, cream, and almonds.
- Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake chicken for another 45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with almond mixture.
- Remove chicken from sauce. Skim off fat. Cook sauce for 2 more minutes and pour it over the chicken.
Serve with rice or naan bread if you like.
If you’re not a cook, it’s totally legit to pick up some chicken curry, which will also contain most of these ingredients. Have some slivered almonds on hand to garnish.
Bananas in Rum Sauce
A pat of butter
A sprinkle of brown sugar
A splash of rum
A shake of coconut
- Crank the oven up to 450 degrees.
- Peel and split the banana.
- Saute it in butter, sprinkle in some brown sugar, and stir until it melts.
- Add rum. Or don’t if that’s not your thing.
- Sprinkle with coconut and pop it in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
The Seafood Menu
The links below will take you to excellent recipes by MyRecipes, The Roasted Root, and Food Network.
- Fennel – contains compounds similar to estrogen, believed to stimulate sexual desire in women.
- Onion – a traditional Ayurvedic sex tonic.
- Shrimp – high in protein and iron, which support muscles and help red blood cell production, thereby increasing stamina. Also high in zinc, which increases testosterone, and iodine, which supports the thyroid gland, making us feel energetic.
- Avocado – prized as an aphrodisiac by the Aztecs, its rich flavor and texture stimulate the release of feel-good brain chemicals.
Chocolate Fondue with Strawberries
- Chocolate – contains caffeine, a stimulant, and triggers serotonin production, which makes us feel elated.
- Strawberries – the traditional symbol of Aphrodite in ancient Rome, this heart-shaped fruit is rich in antioxidants, which promote blood flow.
The Veggie Menu
The good news for veggie eaters is that most aphrodisiac foods are plant based. Here is a vegan menu, featuring recipes inspired by The Aphrodisiac Cookbook Volume 1.
- Vitamin E – boosts production of sex hormones
- Folate and B6 – both boost arousal and orgasm.
Salt and pepper
Sauté fresh asparagus spears in olive oil until fork tender and slightly charred. Season and serve as finger food with a side of olives or crackers and hummus.
Curried Vegetables (a meatless variation on Indian Chicken and Almonds containing ginger, coriander, cardamom, saffron, and almonds)
- Follow Step 2 of the Indian Chicken recipe above. Add a crushed garlic clove and some chopped dried red chilis and grind to a paste.
- Chop an onion and fry it in olive oil. Add the paste and ¼ cup of water. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Add any seasonal vegetables you like. This recipe works with cauliflower, broccoli, snap peas, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, or anything else firm and substantial. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
Serve with yogurt or vegan yogurt on the side. Add rice or naan bread if you like.
A Finger Buffet
Serve fresh strawberries, dark chocolate chunks, and figs, the traditional refreshment of Dionysian orgies.
Mix and match these courses and ingredients to suit your taste. Serve them with something bubbly to sip. Use cloth napkins. Light candles. Play sexy music. Savor the sight of your lover enjoying the meal you’ve prepared, as a prelude to other pleasures.