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Foodie Foreplayby Sarah Gleim | Jezebel magazine | February 5, 2011
We know Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating you and your honey. But how can you really spice up your evening and set the mood for a sexy, well, all-nighter? By eating the right dinner, of course–and we’re not talking about a romantic candlelit table for two. Legend has it, these flirty foods are steeped with the goods to get your libido going. So, eighty-six the dozen roses this year and order a dozen oysters instead. These foods are delicious ways to start your V-Day foreplay.
Steamy and Raw
Everybody knows oysters are considered an aphrodisiac and that eating them increases libido. But did you know the Romans actually considered these succulent bivalves a sexy food as far back as the second century? And there actually may be some evidence behind what makes the oyster so erotic: its high zinc content improves a man’s sex drive. And one of our favorite things about oysters is they can be prepared in so many different ways–or served raw and on the half shell like the cold water oysters with Champagne mignonette at Ray’s Restaurants. But we can’t think of a hotter dish to dine on than the flash-fried oysters with pickled chiles at Serpas. Ray’s has multiple locations, raysrestaurants.com; Serpas True Food, 659 Auburn Ave., 404.688.0040.
The Aztecs were on to something when they associated the luscious avocado with sexuality–just take a look at those curves! Legend says that Catholic priests in Spain found the avocado so obscene, they actually forbid it. Thankfully, it’s abundant on menus all over town and in all types of dishes, right down to simple guacamole. The carpaccio de poulpes with avocado at Anis Café & Bistro and the Ahi tuna crudo over avocado at Park’s Edge are both delectable. Anis Café & Bistro, 2974 Grandview Ave., 404.233.9889 or anisbistro.com; Park’s Edge, 913 Bernina Ave., 404.584.7275 or parksedgeatl.com.
OK, sushi may not be traditionally known as an aphrodisiac, but we think it’s so sexy we simply couldn’t keep it off our list. It’s raw and spicy, and some sushi chefs create plate presentations that are as striking as they are scrumptious. Plus, it’s served with a side of pickled ginger, which is considered an aphrodisiac known to increase circulation in the, um, erogenous zones. And while there’s sushi all over this town, we’re huge fans of Genki, where you can feed your sweetheart racy rolls like the Dynamite, Dancing Eel and our fave, the Sunshine. Genki has multiple locations, genkiatl.com.
Figs are thought to be one of the oldest fruits and one of Cleopatra’s favorites. Ancient Greeks even considered them sacred because they believed figs brought love and fertility. Of course, figs are in peak season during the summer, so they’re not on too many menus in town right now, but we’ve found two dishes that are super-stimulating: Spice Market’s roasted black mission figs with Chinese honey and port and Bacchanalia’s fig and cheese dish. Order either dish, and see what happens. Spice Market, 188 14th St. NE, 404.724.2550 or spicemarketatlanta.com; Bacchanalia, 1198 Howell Mill Road, 404.365.0410 or starprovisions.com.
Truffles are one of the most esteemed ingredients in the food world. They’re rare and delectable, and some believe their musky aroma emulates male pheromones. Both white and black truffles have been considered aphrodisiacs since ancient times, but it’s the black truffle that is the more “potent” of the two. And if you’re looking to overload on these libido-loving tubers, the black truffle pizza at Market Buckhead is about as risqué as it gets. Market Buckhead, 3377 Peachtree Road, 404.523.3600 or marketbuckhead.com
There’s one obvious reason the banana is included on our list: its shape. But this velvety fruit is also rich in potassium and B vitamins, which are thought to be essential for sex hormone production, plus minerals and enzymes that enhance the male libido. And if those aren’t reasons enough to share a few bites of banana with your better half, the bananas and honey almond biscotti with chocolate dipping sauce dessert at The Farmhouse at Serenbe and Haven’s old-fashioned banana pudding surely are. The Farmhouse at Serenbe, Hutcheson Ferry Road, Palmetto, 770.463.2622 or serenbefarmhouse.com; Haven, 1441 Dresden Drive, 404.969.0700 or havenrestaurant.com.
Food of the Gods
Chocolate has always been synonymous with love and romance. The Mayans, who discovered the cacao tree, actually worshipped chocolate and referred to it as the “food of the gods.” Now we know chocolate contains “feel-good” chemicals, including PEA (phenylethylamine), which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of our brains after we eat it. So to reach that state of euphoria via chocolate, we say go straight for the hard stuff–chocolate truffles. Some of the best are served nightly at Restaurant Eugene and daily at Alon’s Bakery, where dark and milk chocolate cube truffles are pure ganache coated with cocoa powder. Restaurant Eugene, 2277 Peachtree Road, 404.355.0321 or restauranteugene.com; Alon’s Bakery has multiple locations, alons.com.