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March 18, 2004 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-18

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, March 18, 2004

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strawberries are
a classic
aphrodisiac, the
"Rule of Rarity"
calls for more


By Anthea Stolz
Daily Arts Writer
Food and sex are inextricably
linked. Though this comes as no
surprise to anyone who enjoys both,
we often lose sight of just how long
these two passions have been cou-
pled. This connection extends
beyond trite mood lighting, Marvin
Gaye and good red wine. As far
back as the "Kama Sutra," written
between the first: and fourth cen-
turies A.D., aphrodisiac foods have
been thought to enhance sexual per-
formance. Through the ages and
across cultures, many variations on
two basic rules governing aphro-
disiac foods have survived.
First, the Law of Similarity states
that the shape of a plant or animal

dictates its properties. Shapes of
fruits and vegetables, which are fre-
quently likened to male and female
genitalia, are especially prone to
this law. Two roots that resemble the
human body in its entirety, man-
drake and ginseng, have long been
ascribed aphrodisiac qualities.
Ginseng, in particular, is still
revered for its powers today as one
of the best foods to increase an
already healthy sexual appetite.
Unfortunately, the Chinese herb
loses some of its efficiency when
cooked. If this is a concern, fear
not: It can also be taken in supple-
ment form.
The second guiding rule, the Rule
of Rarity, describes the special sta-
tus attributed to luxurious goods
imported from afar whose scarcity

gave them an exotic allure. It is
important to remember, however,
that many foods such as potatoes
and avocados which now seem com-
monplace were once rarities.
Keeping these rules in mind, start
your meal with a little foreplay;
nothing too heavy, nothing too seri-
ous. Nuts make a great preprandial
appetizer. The high protein content
of nuts accounts for their invigorat-
ing qualities that will help prolong
and enhance sexual activity.
Almonds have always been prized in
the Near and Far East, pistachio
soup was featured in Arabic erotic
manuals and walnuts were used by
the Romans in fertility rites, thrown
at weddings much like rice is today.
Pine nuts also possess aphrodisiac
qualities, though their efficacy

increases when prepared in a dish
rather than eaten by themselves. The
most effective of these comes from
the Chilgoza Pine, which grows in
the Himalayas in a strife-ridden
region between Tibet and
Afghanistan. Don't worry, your sex
life doesn't have to suffer at the
hands of political instability -
Mexican pine nuts are readily avail-
able in the United States.
After the initially arousing
course, slowly settle into the main
course. Shaft-like vegetables such
as carrots, celery and asparagus are
obvious contenders. Be cautious
with asparagus, however - it is
said to excite men but have the
opposite effect on women.
Vegetables with a voluptuous bul-
bous shape, including tomatoes,

onions and potatoes, are reminis-
cent of the female form and adhere
to the Law of Similarity. Eggplants,
ground into a paste along with pep-
percorns, chives and pimentos, were
used as a genital stimulant. Truffles,
the most noted aphrodisiac veg-
etable, are still prized according to
the Rule of Rarity.
To further stimulate your carnal
craving, add some protein to your
shapely, vitamin-rich vegetables.
The oyster, with its incredibly sug-
gestive appearance, is the undisput-
ed king of aphrodisiacs.
Additionally, oysters are low in fat
and high in phosphorous, iodine and
zinc, which promote testosterone
production. Also from the sea,
shrimp undergo a color transforma-
tion while cooking that renders
them pink, plump and ready to be
devoured. If meat seems a more
palatable option, beef has a substan-
tial caloric base and when prepared
rare or medium rare has a lustful
look. Goat, rabbit and goose also
have stimulating properties, many
of which are tied into ancient
mythology and tradition.
After the electrifying climax of a
great meal, don't let your lover down
when it comes to dessert. Just
because you're spent doesn't mean
that he or she is. Finish off your ... uh
... meal with some fruit. Choose
between strawberries whose unmis-
takable shape is reminiscent of edi-
ble nipples, or sensual curvy peaches
or pears. For something richer, little
could be more satisfying than post-
coital chocolate. One of few aphro-
disiac foods whose ingredients have
been scientifically proven to stimu-
late certain areas of the brain, choco-
late remains a steadfast favorite.
These treats are savory options to
spice up any sexual experience. Bon

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