Normally when one thinks of aphrodisiacs, the foods that come to mind are oysters and caviar and champagne and chocolate. Now it seems we can add curry to the list. Just Eat, a British takeaway company, has ranked takeout foods according to the number of ( reputedly) aphrodisiac ingredients that they contain. Here are the top five and the active ingredients in each.
# 1 : Thai Green Curry– Cardamom, ginseng, garlic, ginger,basil,lemongrass and asparagus.
#2 : Indian ( meat or vegetable) Kurma– a creamy curry with coconut, garlic,ginger,chili and almonds
#3 : Pizza– tomatoes and toppings of , onions, basil, garlic, olives.
#4 : Seafood laksa– A spicy coconut based noodle soup with shrimp
#5 : Mole poblano– a Mexican sauce used with turkey or chicken and containing chili, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, and chocolate.
The ‘ active’ ingredients in the entrees listed above have long had the reputation of being an aid to romance. For instance, in certain Eastern religions, the use of onions and garlic is proscribed because they supposedly awaken the baser instincts. The Chinese have long used powdered ginseng to improve virility. By the way the American variety is supposed to be the most efficacious and commands a better price ! I also remember reading a novel set in New Orléans in which one of the characters reminisces about surreptitiously sprinkling red pepper on the dance floor , the expectation being that it would rise up and inflame the passions of the normally straight-laced Catholic girls. Throughout the ages, spices in general have been considered an aid to passion.
What do I think of the list ? Well, it’s entertaining and it is an effort to spur sales of takeout food but I hardly think these foods will have the desired effect. Maybe quite the opposite. Indian curries and pizza are heavy on the stomach and are more likely to make you drowsy than pep you up. Green Thai curry is a little lighter but will probably have the same effect. Laksa and Mole poblano , ditto. ( BTW, it looks as if the British have a wider variety of take-out food than we do. I’m jealous.) Besides, what happens if the curry is not tasty ? Will the presence of ‘those’ ingredients offset the taste of the curry or will the latter kill off any thought of romance ?
What do you think ?