My yummy Valentine

This year, supermarkets and food companies have taken that old adage to heart about the way to a man's heart (or a woman's for that matter) being through the stomach.

Lovers and wannabe lovers can tantalise their true love's taste buds with everything from His'n'Hers Tarts to Valentine's yoghurt and even Valentine's baguettes.

But the prize for sheer front must go to Tesco for their "Love Sausage" which, they claim, is packed with natural aphrodisiacs - it comes in a special presentation box with a new version of that old rhyme: "Roses are red, violets are blue, I want to share my love sausage with you!"

The extra large sausages (pounds 2.19 for a pack of four) include root ginger, oyster sauce and ginseng and are meant to be shared, according to Janet Smith from Tesco.

"For the greatest effect," she says, "I suggest a candle-lit dinner table, champagne chilled to perfection, wait until the wave of romance reaches its peak and quietly go into the kitchen and produce your love sausage."

If, after that, you feel you still need dessert, Asda's "His 'n' Hers Tarts" (99p) are heart-shaped tarts, a strawberry one for him and a chocolate one for her, although in keeping with the spirit of the evening, you could always share. Also on offer from Asda is "True Love Ice Cream", vanilla flavour with passionfruit sauce and pink chocolate hearts (pounds 1.89 for 500ml) and Valentine's strawberry and passionfruit yoghurt (27p).

For something more substantial, M&S have large heart-shaped cakes emblazoned with "For my Valentine" (pounds 3.99 for Madeira, pounds 4.99 for chocolate), but if the message you want to send out is a bit more risque try South Bank bakery Konditor & Cook (0171-261 0456). According to general manager Mark Ryan their "horny gingerbread men" are selling like hotcakes. The men, who resemble the Cerne Abbas Giant, have "stylised bits and bobs in a kitsch but tasteful kind of way", says Mark. (The men sell for pounds 1.95 and 30p goes to the charity Food Chain.)

The shop at 22 Cornwall Street SE1 also sells what have become known as "magic cakes", small cakes with suggestive messages on them. "We call them that," says Mark, "because we get people who buy one on a Friday to leave on someone's desk and then they come back in on Monday trembling and aching all over. They have an unbelievable effect!"

An alternative to Valentine's Day champagne is Cupid's Ale. This English ale (Asda pounds 1.49 for 500ml) has a slightly red hue due to the added ginseng, reputed to boost energy and vitality. It may be just what you need tonight.

The Foods of Love

Whether foods can indeed be aphrodisiac is open to debate (one imagines it depends very much on who you're sharing them with) but chefs and food manufacturers are now adding all sorts of ingredients to our meals in the name of St Valentine.

Rhino Horn: This was an old favourite on Valentine's night until people realised that the rhino might not be benefiting much from it.

Ginseng: Now cropping up in everything from beer to sausages. Known traditionally as "man root" due to its distinctive shape.

Oysters: Oysters have always been linked to love; no Roman orgy was complete without them and Casanova is supposed to have consumed 60 a day. There are, however, scientific reasons for the link. Oysters are high in zinc which improves male fertility. They also contain dolpamine which "provokes sexual interest", according to oyster expert Shirley Line.

Figs: They've always had a reputation for being erotic thanks to Adam and Eve, and in some countries figs are thrown (gently one hopes) at newlyweds as a fertility rite.

Asparagus: Because of its shape and the rather sensual way we eat it, asparagus has always been linked with sex. The famous herbalist Culpeper once wrote that it "stirreth up bodily lust in man or woman".

Caviar: There is no scientific proof that caviar is an aphrodisiac but it is mentioned in connection with seduction in everything from Russian poetry to Persian stories. Maybe the link could simply be its cost which makes people think "Wow, if they've spent that much on me they must care!".

Passionfruit: Although it'll probably be on every dessert menu tonight it wasn't actually named after the rumpy-pumpy kind of passion. The fruit gets its name from the flowers which apparently resemble the instruments of the crucifixion.

Suggested Topics
News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

    Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

    Early Years Educator

    £68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

    Nursery Nurse

    £69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

    Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

    £117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam