It’s long been believed that certain foods have the power to make people, shall we say, affectionate. In some cases there’s legend or lore behind aphrodisiac foods, in others, there’s scientific evidence showing that the food contains certain nutrients that can help put you in the mood.
Whether real or imagined, it’s fun to include these mood-boosting foods in your menu for occasions like date night, Valentine’s day or special anniversary dinners. Of course, having the right tools with which to serve and prepare them can help ensure that you hare time to focus on your meal…and your partner.
Oysters are probably the best-known aphrodisiac food, and a few years ago, scientists discovered that they really do contain certain amino acids that can boost sex hormones. The reward is hard-won, however, as anyone who's ever shucked oysters can tell you. The Oyster Knife Set from Trudeau aims to make preparing oysters a little easier and less painful, with a bevel-edged, stainless knife and a clamp holder to protect your hand while holding the oyster securely in place.
How to Serve: On crushed ice, with a squeeze of lemon and some horseradish, or in Oysters Rockefeller
Maybe it's the suggestive shape, or maybe it's the hormone-boosting nutrients, but asparagus is definitely a sexy food. If your spears won't fit into your pot without bending, you'll definitely find this tall asparagus pot handy. It's made of enamel on steel, with a tempered-glass lid rimmed with steel. It comes with a basket that fits into the pot, and a handle makes it easy to remove your spears when they're finished.
How to Serve: Portobello and Asparagus Crepes with Creamy Parmesan Sauce. Or simply cooked and drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with flaky sea salt.
Some say that the plethora of tiny seeds give strawberries their status as a fertility symbol. And if you enjoy eating strawberries (alone or a deux) this adorable strawberry knife from Kuhn Rikon is a must-have. Shaped like a pocketknife, it's got a huller on one end and a little paring knife on the other.
How to Serve: In Strawberry-Mint Parfaits
Chocolate contains certain chemicals, say scientists, that stimulate and arouse. Not to mention, who's not in a good mood when they're eating chocolate? This mini fondue set from Staub is perfect for chocolate fondue (or, if your tastes run more savory, for cheese fondue). Made of enameled cast iron, it's heated with a tea light underneath and comes with four wooden-handled forks... but of course, you'll only need two.
How to Serve: Melt good-quality chocolate in a saucepan or double boiler, and add heavy cream (about half as much cream by weight as chocolate). Add a tablespoon or two of liqueur like amaretto or frangelico, if desired. Transfer the melted chocolate to the fondue pot and serve with fruits (perhaps other aphrodisiacs like strawberries or bananas?), pieces of pound cake, and other dippables.
No doubt it's the feeling of luxury and the sensuous eating experience that earns caviar its aphrodisiac reputation. But to really make the experience special, you have to have the right gear. Not just any spoon will do - a mother-of-pearl spoon is traditional, since it is nonreactive and will not affect the delicate flavor of the caviar. For a serving vessel for the caviar, nest a small glass bowl in a larger bowl filled with crushed ice.
How to Serve: Make up a batch of silver dollar-sized Savory Corn Pancakes, top with creme fraiche and a small dollop of caviar. Garnish with a bit of fresh chive, if desired.