Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guide to Aphrodisiacs: Oysters as Aphrodisiacs

Already during the time of the Roman Empire oysters enjoyed a randy reputation, which only increased over the ages. During the "Golden Century" in the Netherlands (the 17th century) oysters were the symbol, the very incarnation of an aphrodisiac.

Is this reputation based on physiological facts? Well, oysters are low in fat and high in minerals, and thus a quite healthy food. Phosphorus, iodine and zinc can do a lot of good, especially zinc, which is said to increase both sperm and testosterone production as well as the secretion of a vaginal lubricant.

On the other hand... According to Norman Lewis in his book "Aphrodisiacs I Have Known", a group of male pearl-divers on the island of Kamaran (off the Arabian coast) get most of their nourishment from oysters -- and have very low sex drives.

However, Casanova is said to have been a firm believer in oysters, eating 50 of them raw every morning in the bath together with the lady he fancied at that moment.

Ilene Polansky, the owner of the oyster bar "Maestro S.V.P." in Montreal, Canada, reports that Roman emperors paid for them by their weight in gold. When Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love, sprang forth from the sea on an oyster shell and promptly gave birth to Eros, a working aphrodisiac was born.

Ilene recommends oysters au naturel, best served simply with crushed ice and seaweed. Fresh lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce are both good accompaniments. There are two classes of sauce to be served with oysters. The first is mignonette sauce with shallots and red wine vinegar and the second is a chili sauce. Wines that go well with oysters are, e.g. such as a Chardonnay, whether it be Australian, Chilean, French or Californian. A tall glass of dry Spanish sherry is also perfect.

As the owner of the oyster bar, Ilene's favourite oyster drink is the "Maestro S.V.P. oyster shooter": Take an oyster, put it in a shot glass, add a little cocktail sauce, fresh horseradish and jalapeno vodka. You then drink it like a shooter. It is a very refreshing treat.

Normally, oysters are eaten raw, but Gordon Hamersley, the owner and executive chef of the Boston restaurant Hamersley's, suggests a topping of sea urchin roe (which he asserts is a well-known aphrodisiac) and caviar to amplify the effects.

Erik Blauberg of American Renaissance proposes serving the oysters with a cucumber, lime and dill dressing.

No comments: