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The Language of Love

by Stacy Liu 1 Feb 2012
The Language of Love

“Let’s get a cup of coffee together,” “Can I take you out for dinner sometime?”, “Want to grab a quick bite to eat?”—how many couples have had their first date at a café or restaurant?

How many hearts have been struck by Cupid’s burning arrows of love over an innocent meal? How many proposals have been seen over a romantic dinner?

An idea that transcends time and place, food has always been romantically linked with love, both of them sharing that pure act of indulgence. It really isn’t a surprise then that on Valentine’s Day food is always involved.

The act of confessing your love through confectionaries and going out for an extra romantic meal is how we tend to express our love and affection for each other. This Valentine’s Day we have a look at a few dishes that have that spark of passion and speak the language of love.

AN ‘INNOCENT’ SLICE OF PIZZA

Pizza may not initially come across as the most romantic of dishes; after all it’s a dish often shared with friends and family and it falls under the category of ‘Great foods for first dates’ for its simplicity and playfulness.

But when you think about it, pizza may not be so innocent after all and perhaps that’s why it’s one of the most common dishes eaten during the initial stages of courting.

The mere act of sharing this cheesy bread with your partner is a romantic gesture in itself. When you are in love or start to feel that spark, you want to share everything with them; pizza is then rendered the perfect dish for lovers.

It also comes across as a very flirty dish—think about it—you grab a slice, a slice of pizza which oozes with gooey cheese, eat it using your hands and lick your fingers clean after devouring it.
A tad bit messy (and perhaps a little ‘animalistic’) but isn’t love always? Did you also know that cheese is an aphrodisiac?

Pizza is already seen as a symbol of love (and peace—well, it is an easy dish to compromise), so it doesn’t really matter what toppings you choose; however, for meat lovers, the classic pepperoni pizza is always a good choice and vege-lovers can of course enjoy the olive and mushroom topped pizza.

For the best of both worlds, how about getting a half and half? Whether you choose to enjoy this dish at home or at a classy restaurant, make your pizza date more romantic by having something soothing playing in the background.

THREADS OF PASSION

A delicious string of spaghetti leading you up to a kiss is something that we all wish would happen when sharing a portion of spaghetti with our lover—unfortunately, slurping up a hefty portion of these passionate threads will most likely not end up as romanticised in Disney’s ‘Lady and the Tramp’, however the iconic scene has been burnt in our memories as something we all wish would happen to us.

Though the reality of eating any long stringed pasta might be messier than anticipated, this comfort food is often deemed romantic for its homemade simplicity yet seductive manner in which it can be enjoyed.

Spaghetti Bolognese, which has been especially romanticised over the decades, requires hours of tender loving care if cooked traditionally.

The sauce takes hours of simmering in order to bring out the rich flavours of the ingredients and because of it being time consuming to prepare, many choose to only prepare this dish on special occasions.

This of course just adds to the romantic appeal of this dish. Couple your pasta with a glass of wine to cleanse your palette and you’ve turned the heat on this romantic night up a notch.

CASANOVA’S SECRET

When you think about food with romantic connotations, oysters will almost immediately spring to mind. Symbols of passion and love, these slippery mollusks are as soft as kisses and hold the most sought after jewels of the sea.

Simply irresistible, oysters are often referenced in art and literature for their suggestive appearance and powerful properties.

Yes, oysters are aphrodisiacs and Giacomo Casanova, the Italian adventurer notorious for his womanising, is also known for eating dozens of oysters for breakfast each day—and sharing these seductive shellfish with the woman he’s courting.

No other food has a deeper association with romance than oysters do, but where did they get their claim to fame title from?

The term ‘aphrodisiac’ comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, who was born in a mysterious manner through sea foam and emerging on a shellfish. Aphrodite is mostly depicted nude in paintings to emphasise her beauty and shellfish often make frequent appearances with her. Aphrodite is also the mother of Eros whose Roman counterpart is, no other than, Cupid.

Research has shown that the myth surrounding oysters garnering powerful properties for love-making is more or less true.

Oysters are high in protein and zinc which aids the production of testosterone and they are also said to contain D-aspartic acid and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate), which compounds effective releasing of testosterone and estrogen.

Well, as the American saying goes, “eat oysters, love longer”.

Oysters are best eaten raw if you’d like to ensure that they don’t lose their magic. You may simply choose to savour the shellfish with a drizzle of lemon, though alternatively you could also enjoy the oysters in the form of sushi; a seductive serving of delicately sliced oyster on vinegar rice is not a bad idea is it?

THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT

The avocado, originating from South America, was considered a symbol of fertility by the Aztecs.

Based on the luscious, well bodied shape of the avocado and the way the fruits grow (they grow in pairs and dangle low – hence earning their ‘testicle tree’ title) they believed that the fruit held nutrients which aided sexual health.

Though the Aztecs had little proof of the fruit’s power, a study carried out in the early 2000s has shown that avocados do pack a punch. Avocados have great health benefits, such as being cholesterol free, and have more potassium than raw bananas and contain bouts of vitamin E and protein essential for that late night in.

The myth of the avocado was passed down through generations and it was considered so sexy it was almost taboo. For centuries, avocados had a reputation for being a ‘naughty’ fruit and in America many were hesitant to buy them because of that.

It was only after an advertising campaign in the 1920s denied the fruit’s aphrodisiac properties that people started to indulge in avocados. The campaign essentially ‘dispelled’ the myth by using reverse psychology and avocados became a hit.

This delicious fruit, once considered a luxury and reserved for royalty, is now frequently used in salads and sandwiches.

The smooth and creamy avocados are scrumptious with chicken and sandwiched between two slices of wholemeal bread; easy to cut down the middle and share. For something a bit more traditional, why not wrap each other a hefty portion of guacamole filled tortillas.

AH, CAVIAR!

Associated with luxury, wealth and fine dining, caviar’s high price point means that it is usually
reserved for special occasions and, of course, Valentine’s Day is one of them. Some people
generically classify ‘caviar’ as any fish roe; however, only roe harvested from sturgeons can
use the word ‘caviar’ without prefixing the name of the fish it came from (e.g. salmon caviar, trout
caviar).

Said to be another of Casanova’s vices, caviar is a symbol of fertility and new life. High in protein and low in calories, caviar is noted to restore physical power as well as increase stamina and blood flow around the body.

Caviar may be an acquired taste but this has not shattered its reputation as a great dish for couples. Romanticised for its value, eating caviar is like love; it’s a sensuous experience and it shouldn’t be rushed.

Catch the gaze of your partner’s eyes and take in a spoonful of the delicate pearls; feel the sensation of them bursting in your mouth as your tongue rolls over them and savour the rich flavours as they
pour out.

Ideally paired with a glass of bubbly champagne—and by candlelight if possible—caviar is best served at slightly cooler than room temperature.

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