Throughout history, foods have been valued for their aphrodisiac effect—sea urchins, oysters, lobsters, octopus, celery, chocolate even turtle eggs. Sweet ingredients, such as chocolate, honey and figs have been linked with satisfying more than just a sweet tooth, while herbs, spices and seasonings, such as rocket, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper have been regarded as provocative.
Take bananas. They resemble the male appendage and more importantly contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is metabolized into serotonin (the molecule of happiness). Eating bananas stimulates the release of dopamine, the body’s impulse and reward pleasure hormone. Add to this the natural sugar content of sucrose, glucose and fructose, which provide energy, and you have the recipe for a long and enjoyable evening.
Less appetizing that bananas, Noni is a rather unpleasant tasting fruit that has been hailed as a ‘cure all’ for everything including a lagging libido. Try mixing with another fruit juice, such as grape, to make it more palatable.
Then there is the bois bande. There are three species of this tree: Roupala montana, Richeria grandis and Parinari campestris, all of which grow on various islands. When the bark is infused and added to tea or rum, it is believed to have some of the well-documented side effects of Viagra. It has been known to cause priapism – an erection lasting more than 6 hours!
Worldwide, women prefer chocolate as their edible ‘aphros’ of choice! Cocoa contains PEA (Phenylethylamine), a chemical which occurs naturally in the body when you’re in love. Some women have admitted that a bar of chocolate is often better than a night of love.
If you’d rather a hearty soup, Cow cod soup, Mannish water and King cock soup are all reputed to have lasting benefits for a gentleman’s libido. They are made with the bits of the relevant male animal to increase testosterone. Cow cod soup includes bull testicles cooked with sweet potato, seasoning, and pumpkin. Mannish water has all manner of the rams’ offal plus the feet and head, combined with ground provisions and cooked into a soupy stew often served to a groom at his wedding feast. King cock soup is made with rooster and lots of seasoning and ground provisions, rumored to perk things up.
Iguanas are another animal cooked into a soup, especially the male with its unusual double penis. The female and her eggs are consumed as a cure for impotence.
Sea Moss Tonic is one of the most popular sexual and health tonics throughout the Caribbean. It is made with seaweed, gum arabic, cinnamon, vanilla, linseed, milk and honey. Some people add a shot of white rum. Soursop Tonic, made with soursop juice, lime and sugar, is believed to thicken sperm and make it more potent. Finally, Roots Tonic, which incorporates four main roots: Strong Back root (Radic Morindae Officinalis) Chainy root (Smilax balbisiana), Sarsaparilla root (Smilax officinalis) and Brial-wis (Smilax sp). The roots are boiled up with water then diluted and mixed with honey and vanilla.
Aphrodisiacs and potions are exciting and enticing, but anything eaten in the right atmosphere with the right person can put you in the right mood. A recipe for an evening of passion would be a candlelit dinner, say several dozen oysters, delivered to your yard, bois bande if you dare, and a cocktail made with aged rum.