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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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


ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent