Food is one of the most potent arrows in Cupid’s quiver.
While actual scientific cause-and-effect evidence may be lacking, the power of suggestion imbues certain foods with the ability to enflame the heart of the object of your passion with overwhelming desire, leading ultimately to surrender—in other words, love.
If only it were that simple.
The history of St. Valentine’s Day and the foods associated with it stretch back thousands of years, but concentrate around the Middle Ages and the prevailing views of romantic love of that time. Through the ages, a number of people named Valentine have been in love or fostered love in some way. The St. Valentine we celebrate was a physician and Christian martyr who was executed on Feb. 14 about 300 A.D. by Roman Emperor Claudius II.
Today, St. Valentine’s Day means big retail. Cupid’s arrows hit a $17 billion target last year. About $3.5 billion of that was spent going out to dinner. That’s higher than 2011, yet lower than what is predicted for 2013.
What’s Hot? What’s Not?
The most popular gifts are cards and candy. The least popular are gift cards with only 13% of consumers owning up to giving such a lackluster demonstration of what is supposed to be an expression of love and affection.
The higher desire to inspire the fire of passion by preparing or presenting various foods of love largely have to do with their shape or texture—bananas and oysters, for example.
That Tingling Feeling
On the other hand, some chemical compounds within certain foods stimulate specific physical reactions. The question is: Is it love? Not so much. They are simply signs on the road to love—stimulations that mimic feelings associated with love..
For example, chiles turn up the heat within causing a sense of excitement and perspiration, the zinc in caviar is said to be a natural male enhancer, chocolate produces a state of relaxation and euphoria, and radishes were considered aphrodisiacs in ancient Egypt. The affects of such aromas as almond and vanilla are similar to the effect of pheromones.
Any and all of these affects are amplified when accompanied by true manifestations of love. No gift cards allowed.
What are you giving your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? What’s the best Valentine’s Day gift you’ve ever received? The worst?