The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so goes the popular saying. Well, I think there’s a little more to attraction and love than that, but I do believe that certain foods and drinks act as aphrodisiacs for both men and women. (The word aphrodisiac, in case you’re interested, originates from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love.)
I think it would be just about impossible to write a romance novel in which characters never eat or drink. Sharing a meal together is a common way to bond. When I write a sequence in which the two protagonists have a drink or a meal together, I always give some thought to what they have. Clearly a burger and milkshake doesn’t spell romance (unless you’re writing for teenagers).
Three foods commonly cited as aphrodisiacs are oysters, honey, figs and chocolate. But over the years different cultures have had different ideas about which foods stimulate sexual desire: red bananas in Central America; lettuce in Ancient Egypt; deer penis and antlers in Taiwan and China…
Personally, chocolate wins every time. So here’s a chocolate recipe you can use to create a passionate, intimate atmosphere.
Melt-in-the-mouth Chocolate Mousse
320g (12oz) dark eating chocolate
30g (1oz) unsalted butter
pinch of salt
- Melt the chocolate, broken into small pieces, over a saucepan of hot water.
- Add the butter and stir gently until melted.
- Separate the eggs and put the whites into a large bowl.
- Add a pinch of salt and whisk to soft peaks.
- Add the egg yolks to the chocolate-and-butter mixture once it has cooled for a two to three minutes.
- Using a metal spoon, gradually fold in the egg whites.
- Spoon into serving dishes (I like to use champagne glasses) and refrigerate to set for two hours.