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The Top 5 Aphrodisiac Foods For This Valentine’s Day

by Hannah Abaffy   |   January 20, 2022   |  

Throughout all of recorded human history, the idea that certain foods had the power to affect us romantically has been believed and practiced. From the ancient Romans to Aztec emperors, foods were eaten to heighten amorous feelings. While these naturally occurring aphrodisiacs’ reputations may be more fiction than fact, perhaps there’s something to these bygone notions, after all, there’s no harm in trying!

So this year, instead of taking your significant other out to relive last year's Valentine’s date, why not try your hand at making a romantically themed meal at home? Whether you try just one or all five of our top recommendations, you’re sure to have a delicious meal by the end of it and a lot of interesting fodder for conversation.


While truffles have always been one of the most highly coveted foods, the reason for their popularity has changed over the centuries. Dating back to ancient Rome, truffles were not only consumed for their delicious flavor and aromatic qualities but also because they were believed to be a natural aphrodisiac. Napoleon was known to eat truffles regularly to increase his “potency." While famed writer and epicure, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, renowned for his piquant witticisms and writings on food, was quoted as saying: “The truffle is a positive aphrodisiac, and can upon occasion make women tenderer and men more apt to love.”

If it’s good enough for the likes of Napoleon, who dominated most of Europe within his lifetime, it may just do the trick. And what better time to experiment with the rumored benefits of the truffle than on Valentine’s day? Browse our gourmet assortment here!


It is perhaps nothing more than the pink flesh of the fig’s interior that has captured the imagination of authors, artists, and poets for centuries. One of literary history’s most libertine contributors: D.H. Lawrence, devotes an entire poem to this erotic fruit.

Some say the garden of Eden was the fig's original home, and it was the alluring fig and not the simple apple that tempted Eve and caused the fall of man. The original temptress, the figs rumored history as the first forbidden fruit, may be part of its allure. No matter its true origin story, we love figs in all their bewitching forms, from fresh to dried to stuffed and dipped in chocolate. There are no end of delightfully tasty ways to serve and enjoy the fig.


Chocolate has a long and abiding reputation as a potent aphrodisiac; no wonder it’s the most popular thing to eat on Valentine's day! In the days of the ancient Aztecs: their ruler, king Montezuma was said to have drunk as much as 50 cups of chocolate before heading off to his harem.

On a more scientific note, chocolate does contain phenylethylamine (PEA), and eating it results in a release of romantic hormones. Of course, on a very small scale, so minuscule in fact that it’s argued to not have much of an effect. But who knows, perhaps after 50 cups of chocolate, anything’s possible. So be sure to hold with tradition this Valentine's day and present your sweetheart and yourself with a little chocolate.


Artichokes are another on the list of age-old aphrodisiacs, possibly finding their place here because of the mythological story of Zeus and Cynara. A beautiful mortal, Cynara was courted by the god Zeus, who, after being rejected by the girl, turned the object of his affection into a thorny artichoke.

Perhaps it was this ancient story of unrequited love that helped propagate the romantic rumors about the artichoke. In all events, up until the 16th century, the powers of the artichoke were believed to be so potent that women were banned from eating them. Reserved strictly for male use, Catherine de Medici famously scandalized the courts of Italy by her open enjoyment of them. Savor a few delicious artichoke hearts or fashion them into a tasty dip for the perfect Valentine's dinner appetizer.


The oyster is potentially the most resonant love symbol in the culinary world. One of the most popular known aphrodisiacs, there is no food with a more amorous reputation. Casanova was said to have allegedly eaten 50 oysters for breakfast every day to keep him in tip-top form. The ancient Romans also looked to the bivalve for a boost. While there is no fixed consensus on how well oysters work, in the aphrodisiacal sense, there was a scientific study that found that they do contain amino acids D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) all of which help maintain a healthy libido, take from that what you will. At the very least, it’s probably safe to assume oysters are among the better food choices you can make on Valentine’s day.

So whether you stick to the classic box of chocolates or you make a delicious five-course meal complete with all our favorite aphrodisiacs, we’re certain you’ll love telling your sweetheart about the interesting history behind each of these tasty love foods.

Cooking and Recipes: Featured Gourmet Ingredients, Main Dishes
Holidays And Seasonal: Valentine's Day

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