Mexican cuisine is replete with ingredients that are considered to have aphrodisiac properties, which makes easy it to create menus which transport dinner guests with a hint of the exotic and making the meal even more special and memorable. My Valentine’s Dinner menu, shown below, is designed to be presented plated (restaurant-style).
Avocados– the Aztec name for the avocado tree was Ahuacuatl, which surely refers to the shape of the fruit as it hangs on branches, as this translates as “testicle tree.” Catholic priests prohibited their consumption, finding them sexually obscene.”
Shrimp, crab or other seafood– while the aphrodisiac qualities of seafood may be exaggerated, foods that are high in zinc, like oysters (which contain a very high level of zinc) – are a known stimulant for the prostate and therefore an aphrodisiac for men in particular.
Chiles– according to the OralFix Aphrodisiac Cafe (of the New York Museum of Sex) website, which is full of tasty tidbits that are perfect as you plan your romantic evening; “The earliest record of chile pepper use comes from archaeological investigations in the Valley of Tehuacan, Mexico, and dates to about 6,500 BC. The use of chiles as an aphrodisiac was common in both Aztec and Inca cultures, and recorded by early Spanish explorers after contact in the 16th century AD.
Chocolate– The famous Aztec emperor, Montezuma was known to drink an ancient beverage called atextli. “Although few written records survive, Francisco Hernandez (1514-1587 AD), a naturalist and court physician to the King of Spain, recorded a recipe for a chocolate-based aphrodisiac … made from a thin paste of cocoa beans and maize, mixed with macaxochitl (Mexican Pepperleaf) and tlilxochitl (Vanilla)” before visit his numerous wives (according to the OralFix Aphrodisiac Cafe website). Maybe that is where the concept of the potent Latin lover originated! There is some real evidence to support the theory that the phenethylamine found in chocolate, when release in the brain may be involved in some temporary sexual attraction and arousal.
For additional holiday menus from ChefGray, see Una Señorita Gourmet, a California Culinary Experience
with shaved coconut, mango and marinated in lime juice with coconut milk
CHILLED AVOCADO SOUP
CREAM OF GREEN CHILE SOUP
CLASSIC OR KALE CAESAR
Did you know the Caesar Salad was invented in Mexico?!
QUAIL IN ROSE PETAL SAUCE
Even the name sounds romantic.
This dish, made with almonds, rose petals and tunas or prickly pear,
which is the fruit of the nopal cactus;
was made famous in Laura Esquivel’s best seller, , Like Water for Chocolate
TEQUILA-ORANGE FLAMBEED SHRIMP
A dish as spectacular as it is delicious (see photo, above),
first shrimp are sautéed in butter seasoned with orange rind with a hint of serrano chile,
then flambéed tableside with tequila añejeo
CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE FLOURLESS TORTE
topped with Candied Rose Petals