TAWNYA MANION this article was first published on June 5, 2012)
The mere mention of the word “aphrodisiac” conjures-up images of Casanova eating oysters or Aphrodite ascending from the sea aboard a lovely seashell. History is full of stories in which people try odd exotic edibles in hopes of attracting a lover or experiencing sexual euphoria. In fact, the word, aphrodisiac, dates all the way back to the ancient Greeks, and exemplifies a deity that ancient mortals celebrated, Aphrodite, the goddess of erotic love and beauty. The Greeks associated Aphrodite with the techniques, tactics, and skills required to produce sexual desire. Her lore continues to inspire not only myself and this column, but people around the world who associate the sensation of flavor with erotic pleasure.
A foods aphrodisiac reputation evolves around a variety of different theories. The first theory consists of the claim that certain foods and drinks such as oysters and champagne have the power to strip away a person’s hesitations and self-consciousness. The second speculation asserts the power to put one in the mood for lovemaking. The third classification of an aphrodisiac incorporates the appearance of the food. Basically, if it looks like a person’s private parts then it must inspire love. For example, oysters resemble a woman and asparagus have the look of a man. Lastly, the fourth and most sound reason for aphrodisiacs consists of the health benefits a particular food item contains, whether it ameliorates the circulation in the body and rushes blood to the genitals – resulting in stronger longer lasting orgasms, or contains a vitamin or mineral that ensures the muscles contract properly during sex.
Though aphrodisiacs are based more on folklore then scientific-proof, there’s no harm in experimenting with foods and recipes to create a romantic meal. Cooking together as a couple can be an exciting form of fore-play, and the texture and smell of food can explode into a night full of passion and pleasure. This month, in “Pleasing Bacchus”, I want to explore the in-season fruit, the strawberry, and its notoriety of evoking fervor. This edible has its own lore, nutritional content, and esthetic that ignites sensuality.
The strawberry materializes in early spring to early summer. This heart shaped scarlet berry became known as an aphrodisiac due to its exposed large number of seeds, which represent fertility. The tart but remarkably sweet fruit contains a little green knob that fits perfectly between two fingers. It’s an ideal food for dipping, swirling, baking, tossing, or eating raw between parted lips. Unmistakably, strawberries aesthetic presence is the essence of its aphrodisiac power, but it’s the nutrition content that gives this fruit its potent property as a love improving passion potion. This berry contains copious amounts of vitamin C, and studies suggest that this nutriment prevents wrinkles and improves your immune system. Also, the antioxidants in strawberries act as an anti-inflammatory for the heart and blood vessels. A healthy heart is at the utmost importance for a healthy sex life. A strong ticker ensures that blood flows to the proper places during intimacy. According to a study done at Columbia University Medical
Center, the heart’s inability to pump effectively diminishes a person’s ability to physically perform sexual acts. Therefore, researchers encourage any man that has erectile dysfunction to have his doctor test him for cardiovascular disease.
Strawberries are a versatile fruit that can be eaten in a variety of recipes.
They look delightful amongst spinach leaves and pecans, then topped with poppy seed dressing. I reduce strawberry jam with balsamic vinegar and white wine, which makes a lovely sauce for Cornish hens, but the most romantic way to eat this scarlet fruit is raw with home-made whipped cream.
Whipped cream requires minimum ingredients and time. I’ve laid out the steps and constituents in the recipe below. Once you make it, you will wonder why you ever bothered buying the manufactured version. Furthermore, the taste of home-made whipped cream surpasses the plastic tube kind or the aerosol can version by a mile. So, follow these simple steps to ensure an easy, delicious, sensual dessert.
Whipped Cream Topping
Freezing cold mixing bowl and a freezing whisk
1-cup of heavy-cream
2 tbsp. confection or powered sugar (they are the same things, but just to clarify)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Put a mixing bowl and a whisk into the freezer for 15 minutes. Once the bowl and the whisk are completely freezing, pour one cup of heavy cream into the bowl and begin whisking the cream by churning your wrist in a fast circle. Continue to whisk the heavy cream for about 5 minutes. Once peaks begin to form and the whipped cream has the correct consistency (like thick foam) sprinkle the 2 tbsp. of powdered sugar into the cream. Once that is incorporated, add the vanilla extract. Serve over pie, cake, fruit, fingertips, or wherever else you are inspired to put it.