Now that we’ve looked at western forms of aphrodisiacs, why don’t we look at something a little out of our comfort zone……….aphrodisiacs from other countries!
Not only do I think this is some of the most interesting stuff to read about and look at but the way these foods work as an aphrodisiac is extremely interesting as well. For some of these cultures, food does more than just give us nutrients. In Chinese culture, food is cooked the way it is and consumed in order to keep an equal balance of yin and yang.
To give you a taste of what some of these aphrodisiacs include, just read down the list (Festa):
– Balut (Southeast Asia)
– Snake essence in wine (meaning an entire snake is pickled in wine jars) (China/Vietnam)
– Testicles (found all over the world)
– Frog shakes (Peru)
– Black chicken (Southeast Asia)
– Caterpillar Fungus (China)
– Hagfish (Southeast Asia)
– Bird’s Nest Soup (China………and I’ve actually eaten this)
This may just seem like a list of foods that people can eat in order to increase their sexual performance and such but there is so much more to the process. For example, unlike in American culture, you can eat chocolate and increase your sexual performance because it has nutrients in it. However, when you eat testicles in some countries, not only does is it believed that it gives you nutrients, but it is believed also believed that you gain the potency of the sperm inside the testicle. This may seem weird in our culture but in many cultures; this is completely normal and is something that we must respect for its tradition and cultural value. But once again, are these foods something that actually gives us energy? Or is it a placebo effect again? From my personal experience with Bird’s Nest, I honestly have to say that I just felt the same after having it.
Also, I just wanted to give you something else to think about before I end this post. There is a lot of truth in that many of these aphrodisiacs have actual nutrients that can help increase our sexual pleasure/drive. For example, going back to chocolate, it has been found that chocolate actually helps release serotonin which is responsible for us feeling happy and relaxed (Ciampa). However, at the same time, you have to eat a lot of chocolate before anything like heightened sexual pleasure occurs. So, let’s really think about it, is it a placebo or real?
Ciampa , Linda. “Researchers say chocolate triggers feel-good chemicals.” CNN:Food. N.p., 14 Feb 1996. Web. 5 May 2012. <http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/indepth.food/sweets/chocolate.cravings/index.html>.
Festa , Jessica . “Unusual Aphrodisiacs from Asian Countries.” AOL Travel. N.p., 03 Mar 2012. Web. 5 May 2012. <http://www.gadling.com/2012/03/03/unusual-aphrodisiacs-from-asian-countries/>.