Aphrodisiacs: Foods That Mean Love
When people in love say, “there just was this chemistry”, they are talking about mysterious emotional attraction to a person. But they could be talking about the food in their kitchen. In just about every culture, alchemists and chemists experimented with foods hoping to devise seductive potions and hormone formulas to provoke carnal desire, stimulate attraction, promote fertility, and perhaps most importantly cure impotence. Thanks either to those scientific efforts, or perhaps to poetic association with passion in myth and literature, particular foods eventually became known as aphrodisiacs. Sometimes this just happened because personal memories of eating that food evoked feelings warm enough to put someone in the mood. Here are a few of the most traditionally popular aphrodisiacs.
Sandra Garson is the author of Veggiyana, the Dharma of Cooking and How to Fix a Leek and Other Food From Your Farmers’ Market. As a longtime student of Tibetan Buddhism and well-known cook for Dharma centers from Maine to Mongolia, she became the first food historian to explore the Buddha’s influence on how the world now eats. This led to exploration of more religious beliefs about food.