The latter definition of aphrodisiac, as “something that increases your libido”, refers to food that may instantly put you in the mood or increase in your overall sexual desire. But, if you think ordering a dinner of oysters and champagne will improve the chances of your date coming home with you, science isn’t in your corner.
The lack of scientific evidence supporting the claims of food increasing sexual desire is, in part, due to the fact that accurately measuring libido, let alone increases in libido, is difficult and relies almost entirely on self reporting which is considered notoriously unreliable in the scientific world.
‘Aphrodisiac’ foods that fall into this category include oysters, figs, truffle, asparagus, caviar, chocolate and artichokes. If you think about this list of foods, there are two distinct themes.
All of these foods are either considered luxurious, resemble sex organs or both. Lay a phallic shaped asparagus spear next to half a fleshy fig, and your mind’s sure to drift to naughty places.
The French particularly believed in the effects of introducing asparagus into the diet, with grooms in the 19th century served three courses of the suggestively shaped vegetable the day before their weddings, al to increase their sex drive for the big night ahead.
Meanwhile, caviar and truffles are considered the creme de la creme of delicacies across the globe. Difficult and costly to procure, they are found only in the most exclusive establishments, a romantic dinner at which is sure to put anyone in the mood.