What do lentils, honey, oysters, bananas, and chocolate have in common? According to legend, they are culinary aphrodisiacs, perfect for Valentine’s Day, which falls on a Friday this year. Some of these have actually been verified by science:
Both Hippocrates and ancient Egyptians thought lentils would aid in male potency. No wonder those little legumes are still popular.
Along the same lines, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, popped out of the water on an oyster shell. Oysters also rank high in zinc, a key element in testosterone production.
Would you believe that even nutrient-rich bananas are among the foods offered to fertility gods in India? I just thought they were a great fit with peanut butter and hot fudge sundaes.
Montezuma is said to have imbibed in 50 cups of chocolate a day so he could take care of his harem. Guess Monty wasn’t concerned about calories, fat grams, or sexting.
When it comes to the restaurant industry, many capitalize on one of the biggest annual dining-out occasions in the U.S. Industry analysts say this year should be particularly beneficial since V. Day falls on a Friday and President’s Day occurs on the next Monday.
Many love-themed offers abound at this time of year. Carvel is offering a heart-shaped Chocolate Decadence cake, while Baskin-Robbins will sell Conversation Heart cakes in two sizes. Dunkin’ Donuts and Tim Hortons have sprinkle-heart shaped donuts and chocolate-iced goodies in their lineup. Salvatore’s Italian Gardens created a Chocolate Brunch menu, which they’re rolling out for the second Valentine’s Day in a row. Russell Salvatore, general manager of the venerable restaurant, said he and his sister Josette came up with the idea and figured it would be something “different and fun” for the dining public.
It's a veritable feast with a chocolate twist: French Toast with a Chocolate Maple Sauce, pastries with chocolate chips, and even a tossed Salad with Blackberry-Chocolate Vinaigrette and Chocolate Bliss Waldorf Salad, just to name a few. Other standard brunch dishes will be there for the taking too.
“The chefs all came up with the menu and added chocolate with all that we thought could work,” Russell explained. Table for two, please!