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Sunday, 14 February, 1999, 19:17 GMT
Cupboard love
Valentine's night and you and the object of your desire are staying in. If you want to help the course of true love, add some fire to your cuisine. Use aphrodisiacs.

Before you start panicking about where to find some Spanish fly at such a late hour, consider that many of these so-called love potions are lurking in your larder.

Here are just a few:

  • Almonds: a symbol of love and fertility and full of vitamins to boost flagging energy.

  • Aubergines: the Kama Sutra recommends them but not necessarily for eating.

  • Avocados: full of vitamins with a sensual texture and are especially good when pureed for massage purposes.

  • Bananas: all the aphrodisiac qualities are reportedly in the skin. To get the best from your bananas find a recipe for baking them, not forgetting to scrape out the inside of the skins when serving.

  • Celery: contains a pheromone (an arousing smell) and is known as a stimulant by herbalists. It has a wonderful arousing aroma which gives an instant sensation of warmth.

  • Chocolate: contains a chemical called phenylethylamine which occurs naturally in the brain and is supposed to make us feel emotionally aroused.

  • Figs: have a tradition as an erotic food, full of vitamins and minerals when dried.

  • Garlic (and onion): unless you are both eating either of these, they could be a recipe for disaster. But they are supposed to be good for your love life.

  • Ginger: great uplifting smell and most favoured by the Chinese.

  • Nuts: contain manganese which is reportedly a stimulant.

  • Olives: considered as a symbol of fertility and purity by the ancient Greeks.

  • Oysters: not so easy to come by but the most notorious of aphrodisiacs. It could be the zinc but the act of serving them up could be enough in itself.

  • Rocket: used in love potions by the ancients. Full of iron for stamina.

  • Saffron: supposed to make you happy and energetic.

  • Shrimps: like oysters, are high in male fertility boosting zinc

  • Strawberries: sensuous to see, smell and taste and especially good dropped in champagne.

  • Tomatoes: the French used to call it 'la pomme d'amour' the apple of love.

  • Truffles: rather inaccessible but reputedly worth the money and effort. It's the pheromones that do it.

  • Vanilla: smells and tastes divine so no need to say more.
Links to more Valentine stories are at the foot of the page.


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