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Culinary Aphrodisiacs

Feb 7, 2013

We’ve partnered with a handful of friends around the web for a full-bodied look at all the things that generally make you hungry, thirsty or both! This week, Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal of Immaculate Infatuation answer the Valentine’s Day question on everyone’s mind…
Greetings people of Austin FOOD & WINE Festival. Stang and Steinthal here – we run the New York City-based dining website and iPhone app known as Immaculate Infatuation. We might be a NYC based entity, but we’ve got deep love in our hearts for Austin. As a matter of fact, we dedicated our annual event, Turkey Leg Ball, to the great Texas capital this year. We brought Foreign & Domestic, one of our favorite Austin restaurants, to New York to showcase their food to more than 600 enthusiastic Turkey Leg Ballers last November. We’ll be contributing a series of columns as we lead up to the the big Fest in April, so make sure to check back here often. Being that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, our first item of business is sex…and what kind of food you can eat to increase your chances of actually getting some of it on Valentine’s Day this year. Forget about roses, what your partner really wants is a dozen oysters and a huge bowl of guacamole. Here are some of our favorite dietary romance enhancers and a couple of our favorite restaurants to experience them in.
Oysters
One of the most well-known aphrodisiacs, oysters are a can’t miss way to get your partner all kinds of frisky. It’s weird when you think about it, because oysters aren’t exactly the “sexiest” of foods. But they are delicious, and contain high amounts of rare amino acids that cause an increased level of sex hormones in the body. The more oysters you eat, the hornier you get. It’s science. Unfortunately, shucking oysters at home is both messy and extremely dangerous, so the best way to properly test this scientific theory is to do so in a restaurant.

Some of our favorite places to indulge include:

NYC:

Maison Premiere

Austin:

Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

Avocado
La Condesa guacamole
Surprise! Avocado is one of the most potent and stimulating foods you can possibly eat. Initially, people associated avocados with sex because they grow in pairs and hang low like a fella’s…pair. But, upon further inspection, it turns out that they’re scientifically proven to increase sex drive. Avocados contain beta carotene, magnesium, and vitamin E, all of which are among the many nutrients that can stimulate your nether regions. And as any good Texan knows, the sexiest avocado-based dish is obviously guacamole. Order up a big bowl of the green stuff with a few margaritas, and good things are bound to happen.

A few of our favorite guacamole stops:

NYC:

Empellon Cocina

Austin:

La Condesa

Blowfish
Courtesy of The Guardian
In case you weren’t already aware, you should know that chowing down on some blowfish is about as risky as it gets. Not only is it one of the most dangerous fish to consume (it can contain extremely high levels of a poison called tetrodotoxin), but it’s also commonly considered an edible aphrodisiac. So it’s entirely possible that you could get highly aroused and then die just from eating a piece of it. Here’s to hoping you or your partner find life threatening illness super sexy. To serve blowfish (also known as fugu), chefs typically have a special license certifying that they’ve been properly trained to remove the deadly parts and only serve the fatty flesh. In this country, you’ll usually only see it on the menu at high end sushi restaurants. If it’s there, we order it. You should too.*

disclaimer – in no way are we condoning dangerous/sexy behavior.

Restaurants where we’ve gotten our fugu on:

NYC:

15 East

Austin:

Uchi

Truffles
Courtesy of The Urban Grocer
We did a lot of research for this piece (we Googled “aphrodisiacs”) and have come to the conclusion that there’s no scientific evidence that links truffles to excessive sexual stimulation. We’re pretty sure people just get turned on by expensive sh*t. However, truffles do have a seductive aroma and contain high levels of protein, so you should have plenty of stamina for the nights’ activities.

Our favorite truffle destinations:

NYC:

Babbo

Austin:

Olivia

Chocolate
Courtesy of Foodista
Sure, the claim that chocolate is an aphrodisiac might be an old wives tale (it is), but if you and your date are sharing chocolate for dessert, the chances are good that you’ll be sharing saliva in other ways in no time. After all, the stuff does contain tryptophan, which is part of the chemical that makes up serotonin. Serotonin = feeling good and feeling good = sexy time. Again, it’s science.

NYC:

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

Austin:

Foreign & Domestic

For a weekly dose of Chris and Andrew, check out their Friday Fives feature — five picks from Infatuation-approved personalities, every Friday.

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