Flowers? Stuffed animals? Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates? Why not surprise your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day with a Cupid’s menu centered on aphrodisiac foods that can be found locally thanks to our Arizona farmers!
In one culture or another, and at one time or another, practically all types of foods and spices have been imbued with aphrodisiac qualities. Whether it was the food’s shape, taste, chemical properties or its relationship to nature, certain foods have been elevated to romance-inducing status.
- Strawberries have been the topic of folklore, art and poetry since 200BC. It’s thought that the large number of seeds on the berry symbolized fertility. They have been portrayed as a symbol of sensuality and earthly desires
- To reap the benefits of strawberries, we suggest a Valentine’s favorite – chocolate covered strawberries. Buy some high quality dark melting chocolate, fresh strawberries and dip your own as a way to top off a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner.
- Tomatoes – also known as the love apple – are thought to be the perfect fruit to hand-feed to your spouse. The succulent flesh from a ripe tomato along with its texture and sweet flavor make it a favorite.
- Squash and sweet potatoes: You probably never considered adding these two vegetables to your romantic dinner table, but maybe you should. Squash seeds contain protein, fatty oils and vitamin E – ingredients important to healthy sexuality. Why not whip up a batch of sweet potatoes baked with marshmallows or baked sweet potatoes topped with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Squash can be prepared in any number of ways. Check the recipes available from Arizona farmers on Fill Your Plate.
- Honey: Because of its sticky, runny, butter-texture and its deliciously sweet taste, honey is as much a sensual experience as it is a delicious indulgence. Arizona grown honey is available year ‘round at one of our many farmers markets, fruit and vegetable stands and grocery stores.
- Basil: Is thought to promote health, prosperity and fertility. Eating one leaf a day is also thought to enhance your sex life! Fortunately, basil grows easily in Arizona and can be purchased any time of year.
- Chili pepper: This spicy ingredient show ups in the usual places but also in unusual ones – chocolate bars and coffee drinks! The combination of the sweet and spicy combination of the pepper and chocolate are also thought to reduce anxiety. The capsicum in cayenne pepper plays a large role in blood circulation and dilates the blood vessels. This allows for increased blood flow throughout the system – especially in all the major organs.
- Garlic: You might not consider garlic to be in the aphrodisiac category but it is considered one of the “spicy” foods too so it makes the list.
There are myriad of recipes you can choose from on Fill Your Plate that can incorporate the foods mentioned above. Also, once you choose your menu, don’t forget to pair it with one of the many delicious wines from Arizona vintners.
Regardless of how you and your spouse decide to spend Valentine’s Day, keep in mind that there is a plethora of Arizona-grown fruits, vegetables and wines to choose. Whether you’re preparing a romantic meal at home or visiting any of the restaurants that serve locally grown produce and meats, enjoy this romantic day!