Elevate your Valentine’s Day With These Foods

The Lempert Report
February 13, 2023

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and if you want to make this year special there is still time and here’s some foods that will elevate your Valentine’s Day beyond the flowers, a card and that heart shaped box of chocolates; although, chocolate is a very important ingredient for the day. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend a record-breaking $25.9B on the holiday this year, a 23% increase compared to 2022. That equates to more than the $175 per person that NRF reported for 2022 sales for the holiday. Prices for just about everything for Valentine’s are up, so it’s more important than ever to spend wisely, even on this special day that celebrates love – so think about how you can make this day even more special in the kitchen! Here are 4 common foods to help make the day special – maybe.

Thousands of years ago, Egyptian priests were forbidden to eat onions. The pharaohs were concerned that the temptation for sex might become too great! One of the most celebrated aphrodisiacs, onions have been served to French newlyweds on the morning after their wedding night to restore their libidos and during the reign of the Pharaohs, so the Egyptian priests were prohibited from eating them. Onions contain the amino acid alliin, which when the onion is crushed and the plant tissue reacts, transforms it into allicin [which creates the onion aroma]. Onions also stimulate blood flow.

Ever wonder why Valentine's has become synonymous with chocolate? Well consider this: Chocolate is a source of quick energy and can even elevate some people’s moods. So start your Valentine’s dinner with a beautiful piece of chocolate. Chocolate contains two related alkaloid stimulants — theobromine and caffeine. It is also rich in PEA, or phenylethylamine, a naturally occurring compound that has effects similar to an amphetamine. While research hasn't proven that chocolate is a true aphrodisiac, many would suggest that being happier and in a better mood leads to better romance. Chocolate contains more antioxidants than red wine. The secret for passion is to combine the two. Try a glass of your favorite red wine with a bit of dark chocolate for a sensuous treat.

The ultimate aphrodisiac may just be the one that is the most surprising. Yes, GARLIC. Used for centuries in Europe and among the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Japanese, garlic was one of the most widespread aphrodisiac remedies. It is said to stimulate the secretion of gastric juices, thus aiding digestion and increasing the blood flow.  Used for centuries in Europe and among the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Japanese, garlic was one of the most widespread ancient aphrodisiac remedies. It stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, adding digestion and increases the blood flow.

The Greek god Baccus – or as some call him - Dionysus was the god of wine and the god of fertility and procreation even unfermented grapes have stimulating properties. Many of the most romantic settings throughout history include feeding a lover individual grapes — and for the most intense relationships, peeling the skin off a grape was done not to enhance the grapes’ stimulating properties — but to show how much care and concern one partner had for the other.  Restaurants often offer curated Valentine’s Day meals, which may be an enjoyable indulgence, but are often very overpriced. Get online and check before you make the reservation.

Most major cities have local listings for Valentine’s Day dinners; for example, here in Los Angeles Time Out has put together a list of the “best” spots with their prices.  While the average price of a meal out depends quite heavily on location, the National Retail Federation estimated we Americans spent about $4.3 billion on dining out on Valentine’s Day 2022.

Before you run to the store or restaurant to make this year’s Valentine’s the most romantic ever, remember that most researchers who have looked into the aphrodisiac qualities of these and other foods all agree on one thing: that our mind is the most powerful aphrodisiac.