The Top 5 Unexpected Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs

There is no magic potion for love. Unless you count bourbon.
Let's make this clear: There is no magic pill that will make your lover aroused or attracted to you. That said, many foods are scientifically or historically reported to, um . . . get the juices flowing, if you will.

Some edibles are well-known, bona fide aphrodisiacs. Oysters, chocolate, and caviar have all been proven to get you in the mood. And of course if those fail, you always have alcohol. A glass of wine or other boozy concoction lowers inhibitions, eases shyness, and increases libido in women. Bottoms up!

Outside of the obvious aphrodisiacs, however, some other edibles are reputed to increase sexual desire. These aren't particularly exotic--in fact, you may even have some of these Top 5 Unexpected Aphrodisiacs in your kitchen cupboard:

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Asparagus. The phallic appearance of asparagus is perhaps the reason it has long been believed an aphrodisiac. Asparagus' high levels of folic acid are said to boost histamine production necessary to reach climax. In French, asperge is a slang word for penis, and in 19th-century France, asparagus was served to men prior to their weddings to boost performance. Asparagus looks like a flaccid penis if overcooked, so serve it lightly steamed, or even pickled, to maintain its erect appearance.

Mustard. Strong, pungent, even spicy mustard can cause a rise in adrenalin and improve circulation. This increased blood flow is believed to stimulate the sex glands and increase desire. Mustard was banned in monasteries, for fear it could lead the monks down the path to temptation. That's proof enough for me! Slather some hot Chinese mustard, Dijon, or even Beaver mustard onto a wiener and you'll be primed and ready to go. Beaver mustard . . . it's from Oregon.

Truffles. Rare--and expensive--white and black truffles have a musky aroma that stimulates the senses, while consuming them is believed to sensitize the skin to touch. The Romans and Greeks considered truffles an aphrodisiac. You don't have to break the bank for truffles, though, since truffle oil is an easy and affordable way to add the flavor and aroma of truffles to any dish. Of course, some women are also aroused by the rare and expensive, so you may need to pony up for the real thing.

Almonds. Many nuts are known aphrodisiacs. Almonds have long been a symbol of fertility, and their aroma is believed to arouse women. In the Bible, Samson romanced Delilah with the sweetly aromatic branches of the almond tree. While not scientifically proven, you can't go wrong with a mouthful of nuts for a little foreplay.

Garlic. Despite its odiferous reputation, garlic has long been believed to increase sexual desire. In ancient Greek, garlic was eaten daily and believed to contribute to sexual potency. Garlic includes allicin, which is known to increase blood flow. For God's sake, don't eat it raw! Roast up a head of garlic until it is caramelized and sweet. It will be soft and spreadable . . . hopefully not the only soft and spreadable thing you'll be enjoying that evening.
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