Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the focus immediately turns to love and desire.  Food is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!   When you go out for a romantic dinner or cook a special meal for the love of your life be sure to add natural aphrodisiacs like oysters and chocolates.

According to Wikipedia, an aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. This class of food is named for Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty.    Ancient Roman women ate foods like celery and oysters because they believed it would increase their desire for sex.  Other aphrodisiacs include figs, champagne, blackberries, carrots, endive, and olives.

Some foods are called aphrodisiacs merely because they look like certain private parts, such as phallic-shaped plants, calling into play sympathetic magic, wherein the food’s corresponding color or appearance calls to mind certain sexual characteristics.  By the way, there is little scientific proof that aphrodisiacs work.  What they have discovered so far indicates you would have to eat massive quantities for minimal advantage or they are more like a placebo.

Aphrodisiacs are not to be confused with Love foods.  According to folklore, foods like beets, cherries, chocolate, and all desserts are love inducing foods and link as far back as ancient Greece. These foods are said to attract another and induce love, hence the advice “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?”  Chemically speaking, some of these are known to produce endorphins, which is a natural mood elevator.

Whether you share a heart-shaped box of chocolates with your loved one or make a heart-shaped meatloaf, the love you put into your food and your Valentine’s Day gesture are the best ways to create an atmosphere of romance with that special someone.