Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, she was born when Cronus cut off Ouranos’ genitals and threw them into the sea, and from the aphros (sea foam) arose Aphrodite. This was long before science had invented in vitro fertilization, so you can’t really blame them for this rather barbaric form of procreation.
One of the things we love to do at Beekman 1802 is look at things from the past and try to figure the thought process behind them. We most commonly this with old farm and household equipment and old recipes, but given the modern celebrations that go along with Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d turn our attention to aphrodisiacs.
The ability to stimulate desire is an old quest fueled by our individual insecurities. In the absence of molecular science, people often drew more basic assumptions about what natural elements could stoke the libidinous flames and they generally fell into one of three categories.
1. Foods that make you tingle
Wine and other alcoholic beverages have long been tried as aphrodisiacs but one should not confuse the lowering of inhibitions with the rising of desire
2. Foods that make you warm
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne were among the most common spices thought to arouse things other than the appetite
3. Foods with suggestive shapes
Oysters, figs, strawberries, asparagus and whole vanilla beans along with other more blatantly phallic objects like rhinoceros horns and deer antlers
While none of these have ever been scientifically proven, we still like to think that there are simple things one can do to stimulate desire, but perhaps we are hopeless romantics
How about drawing the perfect bath? Need some help? Click here
Need a swig of Love Potion No. 9? Click here
Share with us what gets your blood flowing (no scientific measurements necessary)