Allspice: Discovered by Christopher Columbus, in Jamaica, the name “allspice” was coined by the English since the tastes combines the flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.
Native to Central America, and integral to Jamaican cooking, Allspice is mostly used to season meats and fish and along with other sweet spices in baking spice cakes and cookies. . It is also been a popular Caribbean folk remedy for centuries.
Almonds: Samson courted Delilah with fragrant almond branches and the Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm. They were important ingredients in the breads eaten by the Pharaohs of Egypt while Ancient Persians used almonds perfumed with flower petals before using them in desserts.
Apricots: appeared in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as an aphrodisiac. Grown in China for over 4,000 years, the Chinese considered them a symbol of fertility.
Apricots are the smaller relative of the peach. There are many varieties of apricot, with the skin colors ranging from pale yellow to deep burnt orange and the flesh - a golden cream color to brilliant orange.
Asafetida: This spice is widely used in India. It adds instead an intriguing bitter-sweet, slightly earthy tang, which adds richness and depth to many dishes and complements the flavors of many other Indian spices.
A couple of thousand years ago, the Greek and the Roman used asafetida in their cooking, especially for dishes like roast mutton.
Asafetida is the strongly fragrant, dried brownish resin extracted from the root of a plant found mainly in wild from the eastern Mediterranean to central Asia.
Its fragrance and flavor become much milder and pleasing to smell when heated in oil. It takes on the taste and aroma reminiscent of sautéed onion and garlic. In India, it is used especially by the people who follow Jainism and Vaishnavism, who do not eat onions or garlic, in many vegetarian and lentil dishes to both add flavor and aroma.
Asparagus: In 19th-century France, bridegrooms were served three courses of the sexy spears at their prenuptial dinner.
The ancient Egyptians cultivated it, and Romans, from Julius Caesar to Augustus, prized the wild variety. It receives rave attention in the 17th century French cookbooks. The asparagus growing beds in Northern Italy were famous during the Renaissance period.
Avocado: it was the Spanish who spread the news of the avocado's stimulating powers. It was known early on by the English living in Jamaica as an alligator pear. In some areas, it is known as the avocado pear and also the alligator pear due to the pebbly, rough exterior of one of the common types. This is a delicious fruit with a sensuous texture.
Commonly used in salads and popular guacamole dip, as well as in breads, desserts and main dishes, the avocado is regarded a vegetable. However, it is actually a fruit that tastes like a vegetable, is displayed at most markets with other typical fruits.
Beetroot: is native to the Mediterranean, said to have evolved from wild sea beet, which is a native of coastlines from India to Britain and is the predecessor of all cultivated forms of beet.
The Romans regarded the juice of the beetroot, a potent aphrodisiac, because of the presence of
Although the leaves have been eaten for centuries, it was only in the 1800’s that beetroot became popular with the French.
Beetroot is generally deep ruby red in color though other colors range from yellow, white, and even candy-striped (with red and white concentric circles) called Chioggia which is available in specialty markets.
Peppercorns: Black pepper is a widely acknowledged aphrodisiac was an extremely valuable and rare spice used as currency in past times. Numerous sailing expeditions were undertaken for finding a route to the Far East where this spice was available
Black Pepper in one form or other is used around the world to flavor both savory and sweet dishes.
Cardamom: Cardamom is an expensive spice, second only to saffron and is also known as the festive spice. It has been mentioned in the ancient texts -Arabian Nights as well as the Kama sutra as an aphrodisiac. It is said that Cleopatra used a blend of Cardamom, rose and cinnamon to entice Marc Anthony
Celery: originates from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It was considered a holy plant in classical Greece. It was worn by the winners of the Nemean Games - one of the four games of Ancient Greece - similar to bay leaves worn at the Olympic Games.
Mostly crushed celery seeds are considered potent used in breads or for salad dressing. The Romans dedicated celery to Pluto their 'God of Sex'.
Celery, has a mild acid content that gives a tart, tangy, flavor. It is sharper than a sweet pepper.
Chiles: Chile peppers are native to South and Central America. Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to come across them in the Caribbean and called them "peppers" because of their similarity in taste with the Old World Black peppers.
There are two types of peppers — bell - which is mild and chili – hot, spelt Chile, chili or chili depending on the region. Chilies come in different forms - dried chilies, chili powder pickled, and Tabasco chilies which are used in tabasco sauce.
Chocolate: is one of the undisputed kings of aphrodisiacs. The literal meaning of its name “Chocolate” translates as “food of the gods".
The cacao tree contain seeds that can be processed into chocolate. The first people who were said to have made chocolate were the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America. These people, the Mayans and Aztecs, mixed ground cacao seeds with seasonings to make a tasty, and spicy, frothy drink.
It is believed that Casonova was a great chocolate fanatic.Today, chocolate is scientifically known to contain chemicals related with love and euphoria.
Cinnamon: Native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Cinnamon was the attar used by Queen of Sheba to captivate King Solomon. Romanian traditions believe that a portion of red wine with cinnamon is favorable for women as well for men.
Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. The two varieties of cinnamon are - Chinese and Ceylon. Cinnamon from Ceylon is slightly more sweet and refined and is not readily available in local markets in North America. The cassia or the Chinese variety is less expensive and more popular in the United States.
True Cinnamon sticks or “quills” will be curled in a telescopic form, while cassia quills curl inward from both sides, like a scroll. True cinnamon is tan in color while ground cassia is a reddish brown, usually coarser in texture
The bold and spicy, sweet, warm taste of cinnamon issued in baked goods, cakes, desserts as well as in marinades, and cooking meats and stews. It is added to chocolate as a flavoring in Mexico as well as in exclusive liqueurs and bitters.
Cilantro: It is mentioned in Sanskrit text and the Bible and was one of the plants that grew in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The ancient Hebrews added it to an herb mixture used in the ritual of Passover. Spanish conquistadors introduced it to Mexico and Peru where it now commonly paired with chilies in the local cuisine.
The Chinese used the herb in love potions believing it provided immortality and it is also mentioned in the Arabian Nights as such.
This herb is also referred to as Chinese parsley and Coriander. It is actually the leaves (and stems) of the Coriander plant. Cilantro has a very lively, pungent aroma and a sharp parsley-citrus is very popular in Chinese, Indian, Arab and Latin American cooking, the leaves of the coriander plant have one of the longest recorded histories of any herb.
Date Palm: the fruit of the Date Palm is known as a date. It is considered the “Sacred Fruit for the Arabs”. The Jews ate the palm tree dates; the tree juices were fermented into wine. It was considered a symbol of grace and elegance and was often gifted by them to women. Dates mixed with milk and cinnamon is aphrodisiac
They originated around the Persian Gulf, were cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt. Arabs spread dates around South and South East Asia, northern Africa, and Spain and Italy. Spaniards brought Dates to Mexico and California.
Eggs: Bird eggs have been precious foods since prehistory. The ancient Persian and Celtic cultures celebrated the spring equinox with the gift of red-dyed eggs. The eggs were shared at a meal, and afterwards, the shells were carefully crushed, a ritual to drive away winter.
Eggs are a symbol of fertility and creation of new life since the times of ancient Greece and the Indian Kama Sutra. Another custom that originated in Germany is to hang red eggs in evergreen trees, a powerful ancient symbol of rebirth and renewal.
Fenugreek: Native to North Africa and eastern Mediterranean, fenugreek was a favorite of the Greek physician, Hippocrates, who considered it a valuable soothing herb.
Raw fenugreek seeds are very hard and have a pungent and bitter taste and a spicy aroma– roasting and grinding the seeds helps mellow the bitterness. Young fenugreek leaves and seeds taste like green peas.
Garlic: long been a staple in the Mediterranean region. Egyptians worshipped garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Garlic was very highly-prized; it was even used as currency.
While the Greeks and Egyptians, embraced garlic's alleged aphrodisiac properties, there are many sects of people who forbade the eating of garlic or entering sacred places
The bulb is made up of sections called cloves covered with a papery skin. Three major varieties are available in the US: the white-skinned strongly flavored American garlic; Mexican and Italian garlic, which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor.
Goji Berries: The Goji Plant is found mainly in the Himalayan areas. Chinese naturopath’s and experts assume Goji to be an old Chinese fruit. Chinese myths recognize the Goji as the fruit of immortality.
Indian Ayurveda recognizes Goji berry from Himalayas as a very important fruit in Medicare. Today it is known to have high levels of antioxidants that are advantageous to health and well being.
Honey: Legend has it that Cupid dipped his love arrows in honey before aiming at unsuspecting lovers.
The word aphrodisiac comes from the name of the Greek Goddess of sexual love and beauty, Aphrodite. Honey is also known as the nectar of Aphrodite. Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank mead and it was thought to sweeten the marriage. The use of honey spiced with nutmeg is also mentioned in the Kama Sutra and The Perfumed Garden.
The most characteristic mythical trust that reflects honey's special value for Greeks is because it is considered the food of the Gods of Olympus known as "ambrosia".
The flavor of honey depends upon the type of nectar gathered by the bees, and can be mild, spicy, fragrant or aromatic or even a combination. The color of the honey indicates the flavor concentration. A lighter color denotes a mild flavor while a darker color means a more robust flavor. The color can vary from near white, yellow, gold, dark brown, red or even black and the textures can be from anywhere between thin to heavy
Mangoes: Mangos originated in northeast India, north western Myanmar and Bangladesh and are mentioned in the Hindu Vedas. This exotic, fruit has a moist flesh resembling peach, papaya and apricot. Even its flavor is a combination of the three flavors , sweet and sour.
Mango groves were considered status symbols in Southeast Asia throughout much of history.
A Hindu legend tells the story of the mango tree growing from the ashes of the sun princess, who had been incinerated by an evil sorceress. The Emperor fell in love with the mango flower and subsequently its fruit. When the mango ripened and fell to the ground, the beautiful sun princess emerged. Thus, the mango has become a symbol of love in India, and a basket of mangoes is considered a gesture of friendship.
Mint: the name mint comes from the Latin word, Mentha, which in turn comes from the Greek word Minthe. Minthe was a Greek mythological nymph who was transformed into the mint plant by Pluto’s wife. It was regarded as a symbol of hospitality; it was strewn around by the Romans while welcoming their guests.
It is reported that Aristotle advised Alexander the Great not to allow his soldiers to drink mint tea during campaigns because he believed it to be an aphrodisiac.
The mint is a very popular herb: the leaves give the dishes a fresh aromatic sweet, tangy flavor with a cool aftertaste. They are used in teas, jelly’s, salads, syrups, candies, and also as a flavor or garnish for alcoholic drinks.
Nutmeg: the history of nutmeg goes back to the 1st Century as evidenced by witings of Roman philosophers, and was extremely expensive till a few hundred years ago.
This spice has been prized by Arabs, Greeks, Hindus and Romans as an aphrodisiac. In India, a combination of nutmeg, honey and a half-boiled egg is eaten. Chinese women believed that nutmeg was an aphrodisiac food and that it contributed to fertility. In Ayurveda, nutmeg is considered a stronger aphrodisiac than spices like cinnamon or ginger. Nutmeg is used both to awaken the libido.
Nutmeg is actually the seed from an evergreen tree which produces both nutmeg and mace. Nutmegs are usually sold without the mace or hard shell. The flavors of the nutmeg can be described as slightly sweet, aromatic, warm and nutty
Oysters: Ancient Greeks used to serve oysters as an incentive to drink. Romans imported them from England, placed them in salt water pools, and fattened them up by feeding them wine and pastries.
Oysters are one of the world's classic love foods. Legend has it that Casanova ate 50 raw oysters every morning. Oyster as an aphrodisiac was first appreciated by the Romans. It is said that a combination of wine and consuming of giant oysters evokes the sexual senses. It is actually the zinc in the raw oysters that increases libido. Like some fish, oysters contain omega-3 fatty acids, considered to increase one's overall well-being
Peaches: actually originated in China and were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the tenth century B.C and were a favored fruit of the emperors.
Its English name means Persian apple. The Persians brought the peach from China and passed it on to the Romans. In Queen Victoria's day, no meal was complete without a fresh peach presented in a fancy cotton napkin.
In ancient China, the juicy flesh bursting from the peach's lightly fuzzed skin was believed to hold magical properties. In Japan, blushing brides hold peach blossoms in celebration of fertility. Chinese legends attribute the peach with the power to confer immortality. The legend tells of the Peach Tree of the Gods which bloomed only once every three thousand years, yielding the fruits of eternal life granting health, virility and immortality to those who ate of the fruit.
Passion Fruit: Passion fruit was discovered by a Jesuit monk in the jungles of Brazil. It is a highly aromatic fruit to tantalize the senses and promote an overall calming effect.
The Aztecs grew the vines for many years, and the fruits were an important part of their diet. The fruit got its name from Spanish missionaries who thought the blooms resembled the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head during His crucifixion.
Pine Nuts: The eating of pine nuts dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times when they were commonly preserved in honey.
Pine nuts have been a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine at least since ancient Rome. Roman soldiers ate them as they marched into battle and at Pompeii, archaeologist’s uncovered piles of the savory seeds preserved in volcanic ash— thought to be used in mustards and sausages.
These nuts have been used as an aphrodisiac throughout the Mediterranean and the East. The Perfumed Garden - an ancient Arabic love manual, contains many references to pine nuts: "A glass of thick honey, plus 20 almonds and 100 pine nuts repeated for three nights." - is a very popular prescription for stimulating a man’s vigour. As they are rich in zinc, they are important for improving fertility.
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees; they have a soft texture and a sweet, buttery flavor. They are often lightly toasted to bring out the flavor and to add a little crunch.
Saffron: The term is derived from the Arabic word Za 'faraan, meaning "yellow." The flowers of the plant are a brilliant purple, Saffron arises from the deep orangey-yellow hue of their stamens for which Saffron is known and from which the spice itself arises. It is believed to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean-most probably around Greece, Asia Minor and Persia.
The most expensive spice on Earth, Saffron's remarkable coloring properties are as prized as its unique, bitter-honey taste. Used as both a dye and a condiment, the plant's strands must be hand-picked from the flowers, taking more than 75,000 hand-picked blossoms (each with 3 strands) to make a pound of the spice. The strands are subsequently often crushed to a fine powder with a mortar or pestle.
Tomatoes: The Tomato History has origins traced back to the early Aztecs around 700 A.D; therefore it is believed that the tomato is native to western South America and Central America. Most likely the first variety to reach Europe was yellow in color, since in Spain and Italy they were known as yellow apples or “apple of gold”.
Italy was the first to embrace and cultivate the tomato outside South America. The French referred to the tomato as pommes d'amour, or love apples, as they thought them to have stimulating aphrodisiacal properties. The British, for example, admired the tomato for its beauty, but believe that it was poisonous, as its appearance was similar to that of the wolf peach
The high acidic content of the tomato makes it a prime candidate for canning, which is one of the main reasons the tomato was canned more than any other fruit or vegetable by the end of the nineteenth century.
Vanilla: is a flavoring originally from Mexico used predominately in sweet dishes. The scent and flavor of vanilla is believed to increase lust. According to the Australian folklore has it that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Totonac is a Native Central American tribe inhabiting east central Mexico. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness."
Historically, the Aztecs used vanilla mixed with chocolate as an aphrodisiac. The Aztecs used vanilla beans as tribute to their Emperor who was believed and revered as a god. They place great value to this spice the same way they value cocoa.
Yams: The word yam comes from African words njam, nyami, or djambi, meaning "to eat". Yams are one of the oldest food plants known. They have been cultivated since 50,000 BC in Africa and Asia. Although it is uncertain from which country yams originated, Yams are one of the most popular and widely consumed foods in the world.
Yams are often mistakenly called sweet potatoes, and vice versa, but they are two different vegetables. The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine, and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato.
It is rarely found in US markets; the yam is a popular vegetable in Latin American and Caribbean markets. Choose yams with unblemished, tight, unwrinkled skins and firm flesh. True yams can generally be used in any sweet potato recipe. Yams, unlike sweet potatoes, are toxic if eaten raw, yet perfectly safe when cooked.
Artichoke: Artichoke is a plant native to southern Europe, North Africa and the Canary islands. The origin of the word "artichoke" was most likely the Arabic word al-qarshuf.
In common English, an artichoke is a big thistle plant that is native to the Mediterranean. It appears that the artichoke was first developed in Sicily, Italy.
In the 16th Century eating an artichoke would be a scandalous adventure for any woman. At that time, because the artichoke was considered an aphrodisiac, it was reserved for men only. In fact, the artichoke was denied to women and reserved for men because it. However, there are places around the world even today, where people have neither tasted nor seen the artichoke.
Cucumber: Cucumber originated in. It has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years in Western Asia, and was probably introduced to other parts of Europe by the Romans. From India, it spread to Greece (where it was called “vilwos”) and Italy (where the Romans were especially fond of the crop), and later into China.
These gourd relatives are crisp, cool, and juicy, but get only so-so marks for flavor and nutritional content. Considered aphrodisiac in nature, these cool vegetables stimulate a woman's olfactory senses, according to recent research.
Rose: is also sometimes known as the Known as the Queen of Love The rose is the world’s most preferred flower more than 35 million years old. It was named by the Greek goddess Aphrodite but created by the goddess of flowers, Chloris. Josephine, Napoleon’s wife had a vast collection of roses at the Chateau de Malmaison. T
The red rose came into Europe from China. For centuries, the color red was associated with life and thus synonymous with deep emotions. Around the world the red rose began to be worn at wedding as well as used for decoration. Eventually the red rose became the universal symbol of love and fidelity.
Today rose garners mention in art, poetry, music, in festivals, and celebrations especially on Valentines Day. “That which we call a rose; by any other name would smell as sweet?"- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 scene 2
The scent of the rose has been known to be a major ingredient in the art of seduction and has been mentioned in the Kama Sutra. It is a classic aphrodisiac for women. Cleopatra was known to have used a special blend of rose, cardamom, and cinnamon to seduce Marc Anthony.
In Sufi tradition, it stands for transcendental desire and divine love.
Besides just symbolic, the rose has a powerful pharmacological effects that can bring about feelings of love.
Rosemary: In early times, Rosemary was freely cultivated in kitchen gardens and came to represent the dominant influence of the house mistress 'Where Rosemary flourished, the woman ruled.'
The Ancients were well acquainted with the shrub, which had a reputation for strengthening the memory. On this account it became the emblem of fidelity for lovers.
A necklace made from rosemary preserves your youth and is said that it is also grown to attract elves.
Rosemary was one of the cordial herbs used to flavour ale and wine. With its powerful and captivating aroma, it is considered a powerful aphrodisiac. Women have been using its perfume for many moons to bewitch the objects of their affection.