Valentine’s Day is a bit of a fluffy holiday, what with its Cupid-drawn arrows flying around swirling pink hearts, lush flowers and rich chocolates being flung at a loved one, and sappy cards that don’t really embody the true beauty of love. It can all be a little overwhelming to even the most savvy of gentlemen (and lady). But we here at the market, l-o-v-e the food aspect of Valentine’s Day; it’s a clear opportunity to try your hand at a new recipe to impress, vamp up a tried-and-true favorite, or really spoil your guy or gal with decadent and delicious fare. Aphrodisiacs are at the top of the food list come lovers day and we’d be remiss if we didn’t share some of the sexy and enticing foods you can find in one stop at the Calgary Farmers’ Market.
Aphrodisiacs go way back and it’s not just about flavor, it involves the shape and texture of certain foods to arouse the mind, making them not just about taste, but also a cerebral experience. Whether or not these foods actually turn you on is still to be proven, but if it’s tasty, why not give it a try? Here are our top six.
First up: Oysters
Oysters are perhaps the most famous of aphrodisiacs; while they are visually suggestive, oysters are also high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility. Our friends over at Blu Seafood have fresh oysters on hand for you if you want to stick with the notorious aphrodisiac. Owner, Brian Plunkett, is also a trained chef so if you aren’t a fan of slurping them down raw, he can suggest just the right way to prepare them to suit the mood.
2. Chili Peppers
An exotic reputation and a bright red color, chili peppers kind of just look like love. But scientifically, they stimulate endorphins, speed up heart rate and make you sweat, which all mimic how you feel when you’re say…. hot and bothered. Gull Valley Greenhouses and The Cucumber Man are prime spots at the market to pick up some peppers to heat things up.
We’re not sure exactly how lustful an avocado is; it could be the sensuous shape or the rich, creamy flavor of the fruit that warranted it being dubbed as an aphrodisiac. But when its reputation goes as far back as the Aztecs, you can’t argue with history, right? We won’t. And neither will Cherry Pit or Blush Lane Organics, both brimming with ripe, ready-to-indulge avocados.
What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Do you have to give your love bug a heart-shaped box of mass-produced chocolates? No! In fact, we invite you to stop by Papa Chocolat to spoil your taste buds with silky smooth, unique and sensual flavors like dark cayenne or lavender cream, hand-crafted by Bernard Callebaut himself.
Birds and bees ring a bell? Sweet and sticky, honey is chalked full of healthy vitamins that are said to increase desire. In fact, the word ‘honeymoon’ got its name from mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the happy new bride and groom. We have plenty of honey to be found around the market from the delicious Alpine Wildflower Honey at Beeland, Nixon Honey at Innisfail Growers Co-op, Chinook Honey at LA CUCINA, and Saskatoon Berry Honey from the Saskatoon Berry Farm.
6. Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Nutmeg
Nothing like spicing up your love life, literally. Cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg all have ancient aphrodisiac roots spanning from Arabia to China; their warming properties really seem to heat things up if you know what we mean. Swing by The Silk Road Spice Merchant for some exotic ways to enhance a meal or that cup of tea you’re enjoying all snuggled up by the fire.
Whatever way you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, we hope it’s a lovely occasion for you and your sweetheart. And if you need a little more inspiration, check out our Valentine’s Day event and Enter to Win a Romantic Getaway to CRMR‘s Emerald Lake Lodge!