Cover Try out these aphrodisiacs on your next date night (Photo: Auguste A / Unsplash)

Because nothing is sexier than delicious food

While some foods are branded as aphrodisiacs for their chemical properties, others are anointed with the same fame for their sensuous texture, suggestive appearance, and irresistible fragrance. No matter the reason, the amorous ingredients effortlessly invite a romantic atmosphere. Whether you’re planning ahead for Valentine’s Day or simply want to surprise your loved one with a delicious meal, consider utilising these seven foods oft regarded as aphrodisiacs (recipes below, too!).

See also: Flirty Foodies: Date-Night Recipes to Cook With Your Partner

1. Chocolate

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Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs Nathana Reboucas / Unsplash
Above Photo: Nathana Reboucas / Unsplash

Chocolate has been touted as an aphrodisiac since the Aztec civilization. Although some hypothesise that its aphrodisiac qualities result from the chemicals trytophan and phenylethalamine, its effects on sexual desire are highly contested since it contains minimal quantities of the two chemicals. Alternatively, others believe that its sensual characteristics have to do with the way chocolate melts in your mouth. 

Try it in: these chocolate lava cakes, which elevates the romance factor with melted chocolate oozing out of the cake—a sensuous experience to say the least. 

See also: 12 Chocolate-Filled Recipes From 12 Famous Food Personalities

2. Saffron

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Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs Vera De / Unsplash
Above Photo: Vera De / Unsplash

Among the handful of herbs and spices scientifically proven to be aphrodisiacs, saffron is perhaps the most common (though, expensive). Crocin, the chemical compound responsible for the spice’s vibrant crimson hue, also bears numerous therapeutic benefits from antidepressant to antioxidant and aphrodisiac qualities.

Try it in: this splurge-worthy recipe for lemon-saffron salmon with dill rice. As an added benefit, salmon is rich in Omega-3, which is believed to boost the ‘happy hormone,’ dopamine.

See also: 6 Of The Most Expensive Water Brands On Earth

3. Pistachios

Apart from adding a delightful texture and warm, toasty flavours to your dishes, nuts also aid in pumping blood throughout your body. Pistachios, for example, assist in the regulation of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar, leading experts to investigate the use of pistachios in treating erectile dysfunction.

Try it in: these pistachio, rose, and white chocolate blondies. Like chocolate and pistachios, rose oil is also believed to have aphrodisiac qualities, making these desserts a notably romantic treat. After all, what’s Valentine’s Day without flowers?

See also: Natural Healing: These Essential Oils Can Help You Destress and Relax

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Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs Karolina Kolodziejcza / Unsplash
Above Photo: Karolina Kolodziejcza / Unsplash

4. Oysters

When one thinks of romantic foods, oysters immediately come into the picture. Rich in nutrients that are linked to libido and sexual function, the pristine mollusc has a sturdy reputation as an aphrodisiac. However, a large part of its sexual connotations has less to do with its nutritional makeup and more to do with the intimate experience of eating it.

Try it in: this delectable spread of oysters, prepared three ways.

See also: 5 Creative Date Ideas for Long-Distance Couples

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Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs Edoardo Cuoghi / Unsplash
Above Photo: Edoardo Cuoghi / Unsplash

5. Figs

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Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs Katja Vogt / Unsplash
Above Photo: Katja Vogt / Unsplash

Due to its appearance, aromatic scent, and unique texture, figs are also commonly considered to be aphrodisiacs. Furthermore, the delicate fruit is rich in amino acids, which increase stamina.

Try it in: this easy-to-make salad with fresh mozzarella, Jamon Serrano, and 20-minute marinated figs.

See also: Grazing Table 101: 8 Expert Tips from Karla Zulueta, Founder of Apéritif

6. Strawberries

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Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs Yulia Khlebnikova / Unsplash
Above Photo: Yulia Khlebnikova / Unsplash

Often paired with chocolate, strawberries are an essential Valentine’s Day staple—if not for its striking red colour or delicious juices, then for its historical connotations of love and romance. A symbol for Venus, the goddess of love, the heart-shaped fruit makes is an ideal edible present for that special someone.

Try it in: chewy-crisp meringue shortcakes topped with chopped hazelnuts (another nut with aphrodisiac qualities!), frozen yoghurt, and beautifully ripe strawberries.

See also: 7 Valentine's Day Gifts to Give Your SO Based on Their Love Language

7. Uni (Sea Urchin Roe)

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Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs Cody Chan / Unsplash
Above Photo: Cody Chan / Unsplash

A luxurious Japanese delicacy, sea urchin roe or uni is not actually the roe of the sea urchin, but rather the sex organ that produces said roe. Scarce and highly sought-after, the meat boasts a creamy, buttery texture that arouses a sinful gastronomic experience.

Try it in: a luscious, creamy pasta, made with simple ingredients that let the sea urchin shine.

See also: 5 Creative New Tokyo Restaurants To Dine In

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