The Foods of Love

Holidays, Ingredient, Valentine's Day
on June 5, 2012
Mark Boughton Photography

Whether you believe in aphrodisiacs or not, whether you believe in true love or not, you will always feel good when you spend time cooking for someone you care about.

So to get you started, here's a list of well-known aphrodisiacs (we'll skip the rhino horn, ginseng and other strange plant- and animal-based chemicals):

  • Seasonings: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, garlic, chives, coriander, cardamom, saffron, pepper, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, vanilla.
  • Fruits and vegetables: carrots, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, okra, artichokes, garlic, arugula, avocado, celery, leeks, onions, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, truffles, watercress, figs.
  • "Feel the love" foods: licorice, honey, chocolate, oysters, salmon, black beans, pine nuts, oats.

Now that you know which foods to include in your Valentine's Day dishes, here are two simple ways to use them. These dishes are sure to impress the object of your desire. Music and wine selections are up to you, although I highly recommend a white viognier or bottle of bubbly for the latter.