Every Day is a Food Day

Aphrodisiacs: Foods That Put us in The Mood!!

February 14, 2022 Van Valin Productions & YumDay Season 3 Episode 25
Every Day is a Food Day
Aphrodisiacs: Foods That Put us in The Mood!!
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back, Listeners and (food) Lovers! Cue the love songs, because romance (or something like it) is in the air as we kick off Season 3 talking about Aphrodisiac Foods! In this episode, Lia Ballentine, our Chef-Creator, digs into the most popular Valentine’s Day foods, including a sexy pasta dish that looks suspiciously like a “noodle ring,” why steak is considered more romantic than pork or poultry, and how boxes of chocolate became such an in-demand Valentine’s Day gift. Plus, she reveals the terrible truth: “Friends” has been lying to us about lobsters for years. In the Deep Dish, our Foodlosopher Anna Van Valin asks the all-important question: is there really such a thing as an aphrodisiac food? She gives us an epic list of foods around the world considered aphrodisiacs and explores the reasons why we think these foods get us in the mood. She also warns us about dangerous supplements you might spot next to bodega cash registers, and tells us why the FDA does NOT want us to eat oysters. (If you love oysters, we’re sorry in advance.) Welcome to Season 3! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Join Anna's podcasting tips list and snag her freebie: "Top 5 Mistakes Podcasters Make Before They Launch: How to avoid making them (and how to fix it if you already have."

More info from the show:

  • Watch the infamous clip of Phoebe Buffay lying to us about lobsters. 
  • Read what marine biologist Curt Brown has to say about why lobsters are f-boys here.
  • Enjoy this short story/brochure/one-act-play from the FDA about a man named Carlos who learns about the dangers of eating raw oysters. It’s dramatic!

Connect with us!

  • Want to support our women and BIPOC-created independent podcast? Buy us a coffee!
  • For more great content about the stories & foods we talk about on the show (plus a peek BTS) follow us at @FoodDayPod on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook or check out our webpage.
  • Join our mailing list for extra content and to keep up with all the exciting things we have planned for this season.

0:00:01.2 Anna Van Valin: There was actually a study of aromas and arousal, In 2014, the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago, Illinois did a study called "Human Male Sexual Response to Olfactory Stimuli". They actually had men put on masks with 30 different scents and then measured their arousals.




0:00:24.5 Lia Ballentine: I just had this visual of what the lab looked like, and it is eyes wide shut...


0:00:28.0 Anna Van Valin: Plus Mad-Max, a little Clockwork Orange in there.


0:00:31.1 LB: Yeah.


0:00:36.2 LB: Hi everyone. Welcome back to Every Day is a Food Day, a show about the stories, scandals, history and holidays behind your favorite foods.




0:01:01.4 LB: I'm Lia Ballentine, a chef creator.


0:01:03.7 AV: And I'm Anna Van Valin, your resident Foodlosopher.


0:01:07.2 LB: It's Valentine's Day, and we're feeling romantic.


0:01:10.2 AV: Dim the lights and light a candle, because this episode is all about aphrodisiac food. First up, Lia is gonna tell us about the crucial role food plays in Valentine's Day, what Phoebe Buffay from Friends has been lying to us about all along, and how chocolates ended up in those heart-shaped boxes. As a wise man once said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, every piece is a potential disappointment". Wait, is that right?


0:01:37.0 LB: Close enough. Then Anna's gonna step into her Foodlosopher lab coat and ask the question, "Are any of these foods actually aphrodisiacs"? She'll tell us why we think these foods get us in the mood, why the FDA does not want you to eat oysters, and the silent killers lurking next to bodega cash registers, male enhancement supplements.


0:01:57.2 AV: For more great content about the foods and stories you hear about today, check out the links at our show notes, connect with us on social media at @fooddaypod, and join our mailing list. Be sure to follow the show wherever you get your podcast and help us get the word out by leaving a rating and review.




0:02:16.9 LB: Hey everyone.


0:02:18.5 AV: Hello.


0:02:18.9 LB: It's 2022. And we're gonna make you some new episodes.


0:02:23.5 AV: This is so exciting. We're in season three, amazing.


0:02:25.5 LB: Season fricking three? Amazing. I'm so happy. I mean, we did start this show two years ago because we were like, "You know what, everybody's having a tough time, we gotta make something just for this time, this short, brief period where things are so difficult".


0:02:43.2 AV: Yeah, let's brighten people's days, and then we'll get through this together in a few months, everything will be better.


0:02:49.5 LB: Narrator, it wasn't.




0:02:52.0 LB: Here we are, 2022. Some things are a little bit better. I think about Mitch McConnell a lot less.


0:02:57.8 AV: Oh yeah, way less.


0:02:58.9 LB: Than I did two years ago when we started. That's nice.


0:03:01.9 AV: Blessed.


0:03:04.0 LB: Blessed, hashtag #blessed.


0:03:06.4 AV: Hashtag #blessed.


0:03:07.5 LB: But yeah, we're doing something a little bit different, I guess it's similar to when we did the poisonous food. Which was so fun.


0:03:14.5 AV: That was, and scary.


0:03:16.0 LB: And scary. When is poison awareness week?


0:03:19.2 AV: It's coming up in March, it's a spring time tradition.


0:03:22.9 LB: Alright, everybody get ready. I just can't wait to see the Children's Art Fair again.


MUSIC: That's a Callback!


0:03:27.6 LB: Today we're talking about aphrodisiac food, romantic food.


0:03:34.7 AV: Sexy foods.


0:03:35.5 LB: Hide the kids, everyone.


0:03:36.8 AV: That's right, hide the kids.


0:03:37.2 LB: This is an explicit episode, in case you didn't notice, with the little 'E' next to the title.


0:03:42.6 AV: I actually checked that box. We probably should've checked it for a few more episodes in the past. We're gonna talk about sexy stuff, oysters. I'm gonna ruin oysters for all of you.


0:03:54.0 LB: Oh no, I love oysters.


0:03:55.1 AV: I know, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, we've ruined so many foods for people.


0:04:00.7 LB: Anna, don't.


0:04:01.7 AV: But we figured, everyone's feeling so romantic right now.


0:04:04.2 LB: It is that time of year. Valentine's Day. Is Valentine's Day a big deal for you, Lia?


0:04:09.0 AV: Ballentine's Day is. [chuckle]


0:04:12.5 LB: I see what you did there.


0:04:13.0 AV: That's the day where people just feed me mashed potatoes.




0:04:18.6 AV: Just out of a heart-shaped bowl.


0:04:20.4 LB: I would love that.


0:04:21.1 AV: Beautiful.


0:04:21.7 LB: But Valentine's Day, it's sweet. Every day is like Valentine's Day.


0:04:29.2 LB: What about you, Anna? How's V-Day for you?


0:04:31.2 AV: Every day is V-Day for me. Van Valin day, Van Valintine's Day. Oh, it happened. It's cute. These days, not so much because... So we've got Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve, New Year's, our anniversary is February 1st. So by the time we get to February 14th, we're kinda like, "Love ya.". We're a little bit celebrated out.


0:04:57.9 LB: I can see that.


0:04:58.8 AV: But I do like to do... It's a little something special, I think last year we got a kit that was whiskey and chocolate pairings.


0:05:06.6 LB: Ooh, that sounds really good.


0:05:08.6 AV: Yeah, so it was really fun, 'cause then we... There was a Compartes box. And then a bunch of different whiskeys and whiskey cocktails, and then you would try the different cocktails with the chocolate, and there were little tutorials.


0:05:20.7 LB: Little tasty notes.


0:05:21.0 AV: Whoever the whiskey sommelier was like, "There's notes of Amber and farm soil". And you're like, "Sure, it's whiskey".


0:05:30.7 LB: Yeah, I taste that leather, of course I do.


0:05:34.2 AV: Tobacco and cinnamon. [chuckle]


0:05:37.1 LB: So I have an interesting Valentine's Day story for you.


0:05:40.8 AV: Ooh, I wanna hear it.


0:05:41.9 LB: And every time Valentine's Day comes around, it's a reminder of my very first paying job as a kid. [chuckle]


0:05:48.3 AV: Okay.


0:05:48.8 LB: So, did I ever tell you, Anna? That my first job was in a legit candy factory?


0:05:54.8 AV: No.


0:05:55.8 LB: Imagine, just little teenager Lia.


0:05:58.3 AV: Full Lucy and Ethel candy factory?


0:06:01.4 LB: Yes.


0:06:01.7 AV: Oh my god.


0:06:02.7 LB: So there is this place in my hometown, and it's literally called, "The Candy Factory". And they needed seasonal workers for Valentine's Day to prepare for the rush, and my job was to dip strawberries in chocolate for hours, non-stop. And it was awesome.


0:06:20.6 AV: Whoa. How old were you?


0:06:21.7 LB: I think I was only, like, 15.


0:06:24.1 AV: Oh, that's sus.


0:06:26.4 LB: Well, I went to the catholic school and Sister Jeanine knew that I was a good worker, and she told me about this job opportunity. She probably got some sort of pay cut from it.


0:06:36.3 AV: She got a commission.


0:06:37.7 LB: Yeah. She got a commission. And I was like, "This sounds great. I would love to get a job and work and get a paycheck." And so I signed up, and I became a strawberry dipper. And I would just dip strawberries in chocolate and then make like the little tuxedo-looking strawberries dipped in chocolate.


0:06:54.7 AV: Wait, by hand? Was there a machine? Was this like... Were you doing it by the dozen or one by one?


0:07:00.7 LB: I was dipping them by hand, one by one. So we'd get a bunch of strawberries, and then there was basically kind of like a chocolate fountain that just had the chocolate sauce there. And I would dip them, put them on a tray, dip them, stick them on a tray. And then, when they were ready, box them up into their little strawberry chocolate box sets.


0:07:16.7 AV: That's so fun.


0:07:17.9 LB: But if there was a strawberry that was gnarly looking, I got to keep it. I got to eat it.


0:07:25.1 AV: Did you just mess up every third strawberry?


0:07:26.8 LB: It was so great.


0:07:27.0 AV: You were just like, "This one's gnarly."


0:07:28.5 LB: I was like, "This one looks ugly. I'll just have it."


0:07:31.8 AV: It's like when I worked at Starbucks in college. We'd be like, "This muffin is missing a chunk. Can't sell it. It's mine now."


0:07:38.7 LB: "It's mine."


0:07:40.1 AV: That's exciting. Well, what did you learn? What did you get really good at?


0:07:45.3 LB: I was pretty good at it. And there were a couple of friends of mine that also got to do this job. So it was cool. It's like me and my two friends. We got to dip strawberries all day, keep the strawberries that were imperfect. And then the local news came out and did a whole story on... They called us the candy elves that were working to do all of this production for Valentine's Day.


0:08:08.2 AV: So you got to be on TV?


0:08:09.3 LB: So I got to be on TV.


0:08:11.5 AV: I am so impressed.


0:08:13.7 LB: Yeah. This is my fondest Valentine's Day memory.


0:08:16.5 AV: I mean, this sounds like the best job ever. Was it just all downhill from the candy factory?


0:08:22.4 LB: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I remember I got my first paycheck, and I was so excited. And then that's when I learned about taxes. And my parents just laughed at me. And they're like, "Ha ha ha ha ha. [chuckle] You didn't know." And I was like, "Wait. I thought I was supposed to get this much an hour. What is this? They ripped me off." And they were like, "No."


0:08:39.4 AV: "You thought you got to keep all $7? No."


0:08:41.8 LB: Yeah, that's right. I wish it was $7. Gosh, what was it back then?


0:08:46.0 AV: I don't know.


0:08:46.9 LB: It was so piddly.


0:08:48.9 AV: So are there any foods that I think we consider aphrodisiacs... We're gonna talk later about whether they're actual aphrodisiacs or not. But that are considered aphrodisiacs that are not, to you? Are like absolute turn-offs.


0:09:04.3 LB: I don't know. I think I kind of like all of the ones that are pretty popular that we've talked about before. Oysters. I'm an oyster fan. I know you're gonna ruin oysters for me later.


0:09:13.8 AV: Ruin it.


0:09:15.0 LB: But I like them. I mean, I don't know if it puts me in the mood, but I'm definitely happy after I eat an oyster.


0:09:23.8 AV: That's half the battle.


0:09:24.3 LB: Steaks are good. I love the fruits, the strawberries, papayas. Yeah. I mean, I'm trying to think if there's any one that I don't like. I'm pretty easy to please, though.




0:09:38.8 AV: I just know because I think it's so funny that oysters are considered the number one aphrodisiac when I hate seafood. So for me, showing up with a plate of oysters is a pretty great way to guarantee that I am not going to be in the mood and I'm not gonna wanna go anywhere near you.


0:09:55.0 LB: Right? "This date is over."


0:09:56.3 AV: "This date is over." Like, "I got the message. You could have just canceled. You didn't need to bring those things near me." But it is sort of a personal preference.


0:10:06.7 LB: That's true. I mean, I don't know if mashed potatoes are on the list, but that would be one for me.


0:10:11.3 AV: They should be.


0:10:13.1 LB: That would be one for me.


0:10:15.2 AV: Yeah. But I'm excited to hear about the top Valentine's Day foods.


0:10:19.2 LB: Yeah.


0:10:19.6 AV: 'Cause food is a big part of Valentine's Day. And it's a big part of romance, right?


0:10:24.2 LB: It is. It is. What is it? The way to a man, or a woman's heart...


0:10:28.4 AV: Is through their stomach?


0:10:28.7 LB: Is through his or her stomach?


0:10:30.0 AV: Which I always thought was weird. It always reminded me of when you went to the county fair, and you put your hand into the cow's stomach. That was always weird to me. Like, "Straight through their stomach?" Won't they die?"


0:10:39.9 LB: Wait. I've never done this before. Please explain.


0:10:42.5 AV: Wait. What?


0:10:44.3 LB: Putting your hand in a cow's stomach?


0:10:46.9 AV: Yeah. So cows have four chambers in their... They have four stomachs. And there's a way to have, I don't know, an incision or something that doesn't hurt them. And you can put your... They'll give you a glove, and you can feel the four chambers in their stomach.


0:11:10.7 LB: What?


0:11:11.2 AV: Was this only the Erie County Fair and something illegal that was happening in Buffalo?


0:11:18.1 LB: I don't recall this at any of the county fairs I've been to. But that sounds crazy. That you could actually feel the four chambers. Woah.


0:11:26.7 AV: Yeah. Maybe that phrase makes more sense to people who haven't stuck their hand into a cow's stomach.


0:11:37.2 LB: Talk about a romantic adventure. "Hey hun, let's go stick our hands in a cow's stomach tonight."


0:11:44.7 AV: Date night.


0:11:45.6 LB: Yeah.


0:11:46.8 AV: Alright. So what do we wanna tell the people? Follow the show.


0:11:49.8 LB: Follow us.


0:11:50.6 AV: Think of two friends who love podcasts or food or both, and send them the link. We have a link. If you wanna support the show and help us cover the cost of production, we have a buy me a coffee link on our websites. It's in the show notes as well. Follow us on the Instas.


0:12:05.1 LB: Yes. @fooddaypod.


0:12:06.7 AV: @fooddaypod on all the social meds.


0:12:09.2 LB: And Anna, what's going on with you?


0:12:10.8 AV: Oh man, so much. I'm making stuff for the people, Lia.


0:12:15.4 LB: As you need to. The people want it.


0:12:17.4 AV: I'm branching out. I'm making stuff for the people. Well specifically, I'm making stuff for the podcaster people. You know, Lia, I've been making podcasts and helping people make podcasts for like five years now.


0:12:27.6 LB: Yeah.


0:12:28.1 AV: And I love working with people and brands one-on-one on their podcasts because I really believe that everyone has something to say, and that everybody deserves to be heard. Right? And I think the podcasts are just a great way to do that. But the thing is no one taught me this. I didn't know anything about podcasts. I taught myself from how to develop a podcast, how to publish it, how to edit it. And I would really like to save as many current or aspiring podcasters the concussions and bleeding scalps and just general head injuries that I received from banging my head against the wall. To figure out how to do this podcasting thing, right. So I've started a newsletter with some podcasting tips.


0:13:13.3 LB: Yay.


0:13:13.9 AV: That you can subscribe to at https://www.annavanvalin.com, I'm launching a blog called How to Make a Podcast Worth Listening To.


0:13:21.5 LB: Yes.


0:13:22.0 AV: And I have a little freebie on my website that you can download called, The Top Five Mistakes Podcasters Make Before They Launch, how to avoid them, and how to fix it if you've already done them.


0:13:32.7 LB: Ooh guys, get at it.


0:13:34.5 AV: Yeah.


0:13:34.7 LB: This is awesome.


0:13:35.6 AV: Free y'all.


0:13:36.4 LB: I mean, there are so many mistakes that can be made, but if you get Anna's freebie, you can avoid them. No, this is so cool, Anna.


0:13:44.2 AV: Thanks.


0:13:44.8 LB: I love it.


0:13:45.5 AV: Yeah, I'm excited.


0:13:48.2 LB: And what's awesome is you have done this for big, big brands, big media companies, and also you know how to work with small scrappy brands.


0:13:56.5 AV: Yeah, 'cause it's all the same principles, right? Every podcast boils down to the storytelling, the structure, and the sound, and so that's what I like to teach people, and whether you are a massive Hollywood studio. Or a journalist, or an online food brand, or whoever you are, if you wanna tell your story in this audio medium, there's some basics.


0:14:16.6 LB: Yeah.


0:14:16.8 AV: And I wanna help you out, I wanna help you avoid those learning experiences.




0:14:23.0 LB: So what was it, go to https://www.annavanvalin.com?


0:14:25.3 AV: Yeah, just https://www.annavanvalin.com. Easy to remember, grab my little freebie, get some hot tips.


0:14:30.6 LB: And sign up for the mailing list. Lots of good tips in there.


0:14:33.2 AV: Yeah, I give good email. I give good email people.




0:14:36.6 AV: I do. You're going to enjoy it. And thanks for listening to the show. We love making it, we love making it for you, we hope you enjoy it. And to those of you who've been with us from the beginning, heroes.


0:14:47.3 LB: You rock.


0:14:48.3 AV: I assume you're all wearing capes because you are our heroes. We love you. Thank you for sticking around with us. Should we dig in to some holidays? Learn more about Valentine's Day?


0:15:00.0 LB: Yeah.


0:15:00.5 AV: Should we sink our teeth?


0:15:01.8 LB: We should sink our teeth into it.


0:15:03.6 AV: Alright, let's do it.




0:15:21.3 LB: Alright Anna, I'm super excited because... We've talked about food holidays in the past, but I think today it's kind of fun to be chatting about food and the holiday.


0:15:36.5 AV: Yeah.


0:15:37.0 LB: Which is Valentine's Day.


0:15:38.3 AV: We're kind of reverse engineering it.


0:15:39.9 LB: Yeah.


0:15:39.9 AV: We started with the holiday and then we're talking about a the food.


0:15:44.2 LB: I know we were talking about aphrodisiac foods and... Guys, there's not a National Aphrodisiac Food Day yet.


0:15:49.6 AV: Yet.


0:15:50.1 LB: Maybe this is one we need to launch ourselves, but Valentine's Day is kind of the aphrodisiac food day, if there's gonna be any day during the year, right, but Valentine's Day, food is absolutely important. I mean, is it really Valentine's Day if you don't get candy or chocolate?


0:16:06.9 AV: No.


0:16:07.6 LB: Or a romantic dinner and some wine? No.


0:16:10.1 AV: I don't think so.


0:16:11.0 LB: No.


0:16:11.6 AV: That's just a day.


0:16:12.6 LB: Yeah, it's just a day. Sure there are flowers and cards, but if that's all you got, uh-uh, I'm sorry, this relationship is not going to last.


0:16:19.8 AV: You could get chocolate anywhere, guys. Well take the Friday chocolate. We don't care.


0:16:24.6 LB: I'll do some Friday Chocolate. Friday snacks.


0:16:27.1 AV: Yeah.


0:16:27.3 LB: I'm down for that.


0:16:27.9 AV: Russell Stover knows what's up.




0:16:31.1 LB: So Anna do you know the Wirecutter?


0:16:33.6 AV: Of course.


0:16:34.2 LB: A publication of the New York Times... Yeah, every like consumer good I own...


0:16:38.1 AV: Pretty much.


0:16:38.6 LB: Has been vetted by the Wirecutter.


0:16:40.6 AV: Pretty much.


0:16:41.4 LB: Yeah, so last year, they actually published this curated list of the best gifts to give for Valentine's day. There are 50 items on there, and when you look through it 16 of them were all food and drink related. So again, it makes sense like food and drink are pretty important on Valentine's Day, and a few of these food and drink gifts that caught my eye were those Haribo Gummy Bears. [chuckle]


0:17:04.1 AV: I guess that's like German Haribo Gummy bears?


0:17:06.9 LB: Yeah. The German Haribo Gummy Bears and Sour Patch Kids.


0:17:10.4 AV: Really?


0:17:11.0 LB: So those were on the list, and maybe it's just our generation, that's like nostalgic, we're like, "Oh, how sweet, you got me Sour Patch Kids." Another thing was the SodaStream, which, "Hey, that is the gift that keeps on giving."


0:17:24.7 AV: There's one right behind me, we have two in this house.


0:17:27.4 LB: Yeah. You've got two. We're SodaStream people. You're a bubble water person.


0:17:30.8 AV: Like yes.


0:17:31.4 LB: So I was like, "Wirecutter has got it right... " And then there were other things like little food kits, they had Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheesemaking Kit.


0:17:38.2 AV: Nice.


0:17:38.6 LB: All kinds of little gifts like that. So if the Wirecutter is saying like, "Hey, food and drink gifts are where it's at," then you gotta believe them.


0:17:45.7 AV: Yeah. I don't know if those are sexy, but those are fun, it would make somebody happy.


0:17:49.2 LB: Yeah, that's right. Totally make them happy. But I guess like the whole thing with Valentine's Day, when you really celebrate it, is at the dinner... The dinner is where it's at. And I guess pre-COVID times, Valentine's Day was definitely the busiest day for restaurants.


0:18:03.1 AV: Yeah, I can see that.


0:18:04.2 LB: So, getting reservations was always tough... People try to book it in advance or move your Valentine's day to another day, if you really wanted to eat at that high-end restaurant. So it's all about the dinner. It's like a time to show off to your partner too, I guess, especially if you're in a new relationship, right?


0:18:20.4 AV: Yeah.


0:18:20.6 LB: You'd wanna take your partner out to some fancy place, or show off amazing cooking skills. It's your time to shine, if you take this seriously.


0:18:29.0 AV: It's also how you can tell if someone that you are worried thinks that you're more than friends, actually does think that you're more than friends. I once had a guy friend who was also single, was like, "Hey, let's have dinner, it's Valentine's Day," we're both single, and he was like, "Oh, okay," and then he showed up in a suit with dozen roses. And he took me to a Michelin Star restaurant and I was like...


0:18:50.3 LB: Oh no.


0:18:50.8 AV: Oh no.




0:18:53.3 LB: Like "I thought it was just like Cicis pizza."


0:18:55.3 AV: Yeah, man, I thought we're going to CPK, right?




0:19:00.1 AV: Oh no.


0:19:00.8 LB: But instead, the maitre'd is there.


0:19:04.7 AV: Yeah, it's a good litmus test.


0:19:06.7 LB: Well, it's interesting because you're saying that when this person showed up and then they took you to a Michelin Star restaurant... Everyone is Googling what restaurants to go to for Valentine's Day, and apparently the top search is for Italian restaurants.


0:19:17.4 AV: Oh, okay.


0:19:18.2 LB: Followed by French and Spanish restaurants, and... Maybe I can see that people wanna do the whole Italian restaurant thing because it has a Lady and the Tramp sort of vibe.


0:19:27.8 AV: Totally.


0:19:29.5 LB: The spaghetti is super, super romantic, but if you look up recipes for Valentine's Day, usually at the top of the list is some sort of pasta dish, some kind of linguine, you've got all kinds of fettuccines, carbonaras... And when I was Googling other popular Valentine's Day pasta dishes, I found an interesting one from Food Network.


0:19:49.1 AV: Okay.


0:19:49.6 LB: And that was for a heart-shaped lasagna bundt.


0:19:53.3 AV: Wait a minute.


0:19:53.9 LB: So picture that in your head.


0:19:55.0 AV: Wait a minute.


0:19:55.9 LB: A lasagna bundt.


0:19:57.1 AV: This sounds familiar.


0:20:00.6 LB: Guys, it's a noodle ring.


0:20:01.1 AV: It's a freaking noodle ring. [laughter] A noodle ring by any other name.


0:20:05.6 LB: Exactly.


0:20:06.4 AV: Would look is weird. So what do you like layer the lasagna into the bundt cake or something?


0:20:12.5 LB: Yeah, so you find a little heart shape bundt mold and then you just build your lasagna layers in it.


0:20:18.5 AV: Okay.


0:20:19.3 LB: So for any of you who listen to our noodle ring episode and saw our noodle ring pictures, just so you know [chuckle], that's probably some of the most romantic food you could get out there.


0:20:29.6 AV: Well, yours did look more appealing and romantic than mine [chuckle], sticking with my brand, foodlosopher.


0:20:36.4 LB: Well then, beyond pasta, the other popular dish, of course, is like the steak dinner. BBC Good Food said that one of their most popular recipes during Valentine's Day is steak with peppercorn sauce with the side of potatoes by the way. You have to have the au gratin potato.


0:20:52.3 AV: Absolutely.


0:20:53.2 LB: But I guess the steak dinner too is another way to show off like how fancy you are you know, you got your fillet, you got your wagyu. You've got an expensive Tomahawk steak. I don't know who eats a Tomahawk for Valentines. I would that would be good.


0:21:04.5 AV: I don't know a few things are getting sexy afterwards.


0:21:06.6 LB: Yeah [laughter]


0:21:06.7 AV: I think things are getting nappy afterwards.


0:21:09.2 LB: Yeah you know like, you start unbuttoning your you know, your pants and then go to bed. But I found this really interesting article from a publication called Beef magazine.


0:21:20.3 AV: I'm sorry, what?


0:21:21.6 LB: Beef magazine.


0:21:22.8 AV: Beef? And this is, it's about the food.


0:21:25.8 LB: Yeah, it's about beef. It is actually the cattle industries who they say they're authoritative source for business management and production information.


0:21:34.9 AV: I love this.


0:21:36.3 LB: Yeah.


0:21:37.1 AV: Do they have center folds [laughter]


0:21:41.0 LB: Look at this cut.


0:21:44.9 AV: This is looking bessy.


0:21:45.0 LB: But on their online magazine, they had an interesting article called "Valentine's Day is beef's time to shine." Yeah and it was written by a woman named Amanda Radke in 2017. And she is a rancher. And the whole article was talking about using Valentine's Day as the perfect time to promote beef sales. Talking about how steak is a little more romantic than chicken and pork, so this was like a great time to really bump those sales up. And the article linked to another piece that I thought was just as interesting and in it it mentioned that February also happens to be American Heart Health Month.


0:22:21.2 AV: Oh no.


0:22:22.5 LB: Yeah. I know, so there's a little conflict here because during this month where you have Valentine's Day and great steak dinners. There's also heart health month and people are also just getting into their whole New Year's resolution thing and trying to... I hear people avoiding red meat. So for beef, it's like sales might have slipped a little bit since the New Year. So Valentine's day is your time to try to bump that up.


0:22:45.5 AV: Oh.


0:22:45.9 LB: And start getting people ready and prepared and build that momentum so that by Memorial Day, we're all beef all the time, making a barbecue, making a brisket. So steaks are one of the top choices for Valentine's Day dinner but during February, there is a little bit of a beef council versus heart council battle going on.


0:23:06.3 AV: A beef, beef?


0:23:07.9 LB: A beef, beef... I love that. So we just talked about all the turf and now we're gonna get to the surf. So sea food. Another popular food item for Valentines Day, particularly lobster. One reason why people say lobster is perfect for Valentine's Day is because this lobster expert/genius named Phoebe Buffay from Friends.


0:23:30.7 AV: Legend.


0:23:31.4 LB: Said that lobsters mate for life.


[CLIP] "Friends"


0:23:33.5 Phoebe: Hang in there, it's gonna happen.


0:23:36.5 Ross: Okay, now how do you know that?


0:23:38.7 Phoebe: Because she's your lobster. [laughter]


0:23:43.3 Chandler: Oh, she's going somewhere.


0:23:45.0 Phoebe: Come on you guys, it's a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life. And you know what, you can actually see old lobster couples walking around their tank, you know, holding claws, like.




0:24:00.7 AV: Wait so that's not really true?


0:24:02.4 LB: No.


0:24:02.7 AV: What?


0:24:03.0 LB: It's not true.


0:24:04.1 AV: The whole, "she's his lobster" thing is not real?


0:24:07.7 LB: It's not real and we know it's not real because Kurt Brown, a marine biologist from Maine spoke to E news to tell us that Friends has been lying to us [chuckle]


0:24:17.2 AV: I can't believe Phoebe Buffay was wrong about something.


0:24:19.9 LB: Yeah, she was totally wrong. So according to Kurt Brown, the marine biologist, he said that lobsters by nature are not monogamous and do not pair for life and in fact, a dominant male lobster will actually mate with multiple females during encounters that last days to weeks.


0:24:38.9 AV: So lobsters are F boys?


0:24:41.6 LB: Yes, they are.


0:24:42.3 AV: What is there left to believe in Lia?


0:24:44.9 LB: I know. So Phoebe was wrong. Friends lied to us. When someone says he's her lobster, they're saying, he's messing with her heart. He's an F boy.


0:24:54.7 AV: Yeah, move on.


0:24:55.4 LB: He's an F boy. I'm glad that Kurt Brown cleared that up.


0:25:00.1 AV: Yeah.


0:25:00.1 AV: I love that he went on E news to dispute this.


0:25:01.4 AV: Absolutely.


0:25:02.2 LB: Although maybe then the appropriate response is to catch one in a net and rip it up and dip it in butter.


0:25:07.7 AV: That's true. It makes me feel pretty good about what I'm eating then.


0:25:11.6 LB: You're saving some lady lobsters some heartache. That's a dark...


0:25:15.6 AV: You are.


0:25:16.9 LB: It is really dark.


0:25:18.3 AV: That's dark. [laughter]


0:25:19.5 LB: If you don't want lobsters now, because now you know they don't mate for life, there are other seafood dishes like oysters. You'll talk about that in the Deep Dish Anna.


0:25:27.0 AV: I will.


0:25:27.2 LB: So I won't get into it there. But something else that's been happening is that sushi has become a more and more popular food for Valentine's Day. I was saying at the beginning that Google searches for restaurants are always pinging in the Italian restaurant, French restaurant space. Well, apparently more people are looking for sushi restaurants because sushi is a more popular place for friends to go, so it has a more platonic vibe.


0:25:50.6 AV: Oh, okay.


0:25:51.3 LB: Than does the Italian restaurant or the French restaurant.


0:25:53.9 AV: So like less pressure for things to get super romantic or sexual?


0:26:00.4 LB: Exactly. So it's a little cozier but friendlier versus you know, the little intimate Italian restaurant with the pastas and steaks and all of that. So sushi is gaining popularity and you know, some sushi restaurants too are getting kind of gimmicky about it with heart-shaped rolls and all that stuff. I'll take it. I'll eat the sushi roll.


0:26:18.4 AV: But of course, one of the most important parts of the Valentine's date dinner is the dessert. And when it comes to the dessert, you gotta have chocolate.


0:26:25.5 LB: Gotta have it.


0:26:26.3 AV: Chocolate is just like the most important part of this celebration, I think and it's important for so many other celebrations, not just Valentine's Day.


0:26:34.7 LB: I was just gonna say, chocolate has really inserted itself in many holidays like Easter?


0:26:40.4 AV: Yes.


0:26:40.7 LB: Gotta have the chocolate eggs.


0:26:42.1 AV: Totally.


0:26:42.5 LB: Christmas? Chocolate everywhere. Yeah.


0:26:45.0 AV: Yeah. So Chocolate is poly holiday. Polyholidoris... Poly. It's an integral part of many holidays.


0:26:55.3 LB: I love it. So historians are saying that the connection between chocolate and love goes back to the Mayans who used to brew to cocoa beans and then use it as a gift from the gods in marriage ceremonies. But it wasn't until the 1860's that we start to see chocolate and Valentine's day become a thing. And the reason that happened was in 1861, there was an English candy maker named Richard Cadbury, does the name sound familiar? Who started to put chocolate in little heart-shaped boxes...


0:27:25.7 AV: I knew it.


0:27:26.3 LB: And sell those for Valentine's Day.


0:27:29.3 AV: I knew it, I told you.




0:27:30.5 AV: I was thinking, why is chocolate associated with Valentine's Day? And I had this whole image like the pork controversy. The bacon conspiracy, where like Mr. Hallmark and Mr. Hershey, ended up at a hotel in Orlando...




0:27:44.8 LB: Yes.


0:27:45.6 AV: At a conference. And hashed an idea. I totally buy it.




0:27:49.9 LB: You called it.


0:27:51.2 AV: I totally buy it.


0:27:52.7 LB: It's true. So Richard Cadbury is the son of John Cadbury, who founded the Cadbury cocoa and chocolate company. And when Richard took over the family business, he's like, I gotta sell this, I gotta sell the chocolate.


0:28:05.5 AV: Gotta move this chocolate.


0:28:06.6 LB: Like we have to move this stuff and oh, I have an idea. What if I put chocolates in a little box shaped like a heart and then decorate it with tiny little cupids and tiny little roses and... Boom, it was a hit.


0:28:19.1 AV: I believe it. I think that part of the reason why that works so well is... It's easy.


0:28:23.8 LB: Yeah.


0:28:24.0 AV: Right.


0:28:24.2 LB: It is.


0:28:24.2 AV: It's an easy win. Almost everybody loves chocolate. You've made it romantic by putting it in a cute box...


0:28:29.9 LB: Yep.


0:28:30.5 AV: And now people are like, Oh, I don't have to think too hard.


0:28:33.4 LB: Exactly.


0:28:34.1 AV: I got a win right here.


0:28:35.6 LB: It's gonna be good. Who's gonna hate this? No one.


0:28:38.7 AV: Right.


0:28:39.4 LB: You can share.


0:28:40.0 AV: Chocolate's like pizza. Even some not great Chocolate is still great.




0:28:43.4 LB: Exactly.


0:28:45.1 LB: It's still chocolate.




0:28:46.1 AV: Just don't fill it with nasty stuff, man. Don't put pistachios in there. Come on.




0:28:51.0 AV: Coconut stop it.


0:28:53.3 LB: I'll trade...




0:28:54.2 AV: We have the chocolate boxes, we can pick out what we want to, do a trade, but that's what's so great about it. It's full of so many chocolates, there's gonna be something that you're gonna eat from it, and Richard Cadbury figured it out, and he was like, heart-shaped box chocolates, boom we are selling this. And sure enough, that's kind of what started the whole chocolate Valentine's day trend, and here in North America, it's estimated that nearly 60 million pounds of chocolate are bought to celebrate Valentine's Day.


0:29:25.2 AV: Wow.


[CLIP] Forrest Gump


0:29:26.3 Forrest Gump: You want a chocolate? I could eat about a million and a half of these. My mama always said life was is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.




0:29:46.8 LB: So we've got pasta, stake, seafood, chocolate, and those are all part of what makes valentine's meal so romantic. So Anna I'm excited to hear you tell us like Why do people pick these foods, what makes them the food that gets us in the mood for Valentine's Day and romance and feeling sexy and flirty.


0:30:07.4 AV: I'm gonna tell you, we're gonna hear all about it in the deep dish.




0:30:25.5 AV: Alright, so we've talked about different foods that we consider romantic... Things we wanna eat on Valentine's Day. But there are some foods that people claim are aphrodisiac. The technical definition is a food, drink or drug that increases sexual arousal. So to me, that means it's something that you consume... Right. That causes sexual arousal.


0:30:52.0 LB: Yeah.


0:30:52.3 AV: A straight line from the food to bone town. Okay.


0:30:55.7 LB: That's what it sounds like to me.


0:30:57.6 AV: So I was wondering, as I was thinking about this, are they really aphrodisiacs.




0:31:02.9 AV: Is there actually a physiological, biological straight line to bone-town.


0:31:10.1 LB: Yeah, is it a real thing?


0:31:11.7 AV: Is it really thing? Because it could be a lot of things, there could be just a placebo effect of suggesting that this thing is aphrodisiac or the context you eat it in. If you are having it on a date where you wanna get lucky, it might enhance that because that's what you want to happen.


0:31:27.8 LB: Yeah.


0:31:27.8 AV: That's what's expected. Or like legends, tradition. So there's legends that like Casanova ate oysters off women's bosoms.


0:31:36.4 LB: Right.


0:31:36.9 AV: Or Cleopatra would eat oysters before she had a gentleman caller. Things like that. So is it a mix of those things? Or is it actually the food equivalent of Viagra? .


0:31:46.9 LB: Yeah.


0:31:47.0 AV: That's what I wanted to dig into a little bit today, I'm not gonna lie. I'm a little skeptical.


0:31:53.1 LB: Same I'm a little bit...


0:31:53.5 AV: I'm a little skeptical that these foods are actually aphrodisiac, but I'm a child of academics, so we are gonna do this academically and actually do our research. So that's what we're gonna talk about today.


0:32:05.2 LB: Awesome.


0:32:06.4 AV: Okay, sometimes when we want to give an example of something on the show, we will give you an epic list.


0:32:12.3 LB: Yeah.


0:32:12.6 AV: So we did this for pumpkin spice flavored things, bacon-flavored thing, where we learned that bacon lube exists.


0:32:19.3 LB: Oh god. The bacon lube.




0:32:21.2 AV: Speaking of Valentines day people, if you wanna spice it up or salt it up, maybe try that bacon lube, let us know. Actually don't.




0:32:31.9 AV: So here is an epic list of food and drinks considered aphrodisiacs according to the internet, ready? .


0:32:38.2 LB: Yes, bring it.


0:32:39.4 AV: Champagne, chocolate, oysters, cannabis, Ambergris, spinach, pumpkin seeds, red wine, watermelon, papaya, salmon, bananas, avocados, pomegranate, asparagus, chai, coffee, chilis, celery, Green M & M's, pineapple, honey, truffles, pumpkins, ginseng, cinnamon, olive oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, pistachios, saffron, figs, vanilla, arugula, coconut water, yams, cardamom, blueberries, peanuts, strawberries, walnuts, cold water fish, yohimbe and red grapes.


0:33:15.1 LB: Oh.


0:33:16.1 AV: So the better question might be, What is not considered...


0:33:18.8 LB: Yeah what is not.


0:33:19.7 AV: Aphrodisiac, because what is left?


0:33:23.2 LB: That was so weird too, because it was like a mix of everything, like all kinds of fruits, vegetables, meats, seafoods, spices.


0:33:31.4 AV: Spices, right. This is a bit of a red flag to me. They can't possibly all be... You would just be horny at every meal.


0:33:37.8 LB: Yeah. Man, that arugula salad.




0:33:41.7 AV: The only one I believe is green M & M.


0:33:43.6 LB: Because is the sexy M & M.


0:33:45.2 AV: Right.


0:33:45.5 LB: It's the sexy M & M.


0:33:47.9 AV: Yeah.


0:33:48.2 LB: Obviously.


0:33:48.7 AV: She wear heels.


0:33:49.5 LB: She has eyelashes.


0:33:51.6 AV: Sexy time.


0:33:53.7 AV: Dear listener, we taped this episode before the earth-shattering news that the green M & M will no longer be wearing sexy heels but simple sneakers. No word yet on if she continues to be an aphrodisiac, or if she will still melt in our mouths, not at our hands. Back to the show.


0:34:11.3 AV: And another thing is that... It kind of varies from culture to culture. So the list will vary, and there were a lot of things that was like in this country, this is considered aphrodisiac... Right. So less about the actual, I don't know, chemicals to it, and more just like the belief, but there were some pretty wild ones... That I'll share with you now. The first one is a durian. Do you know what a durian is? .


0:34:36.9 LB: Oh yes, I like durian, the smell is terrible but the taste is great.


0:34:41.7 AV: Durian, if you don't know, is a Malaysian super fruit that stinks, it smells so bad that it is not allowed on public transportation in Malaysia. You can't bring a durian on a bus.




0:34:55.0 AV: Which again, makes me wonder how that's sexy, but according to the article I read, there is a Malaysian saying, when the durians come down, the sarongs come off.




0:35:08.8 LB: Incredible.


0:35:09.6 AV: Which is just a great visual.




0:35:12.7 AV: Another one, Lia maybe you can enlighten us is a Filipino delicacy, which is very scary to me, called balut.


0:35:20.4 LB: Oh, balut.


0:35:22.4 AV: Balut? .


0:35:22.7 LB: Yes balut.


0:35:22.8 AV: Do you wanna kind of explain what that is? .


0:35:25.1 LB: Yeah, so it's a duck embryo.




0:35:29.0 LB: I like balut.


0:35:29.9 AV: Really? .


0:35:30.6 LB: Yeah, so it's a little egg, a duck embryo is there and then you can heat it up. And it kind of makes a broth inside, because now you've boiled it. And then when you crack off the top, you can actually sip the broth out. And it's really... It's really good.


0:35:46.2 AV: Oh man.


0:35:47.0 LB: Every now and then, you can taste a little something else but for the most part, the balut broth is great.


0:35:53.8 AV: Oh wow.


0:35:54.5 LB: Put a little salt it in, squeeze a little lemon, everything's better with salt and lemon.


0:35:58.6 AV: Have you ever heard that it is an aphrodisiac?


0:36:00.8 LB: No, I never knew that.


0:36:01.9 AV: Alright.


0:36:02.4 LB: Wow.


0:36:02.4 AV: Well, that was on the list. Another one was Jamaican cow cod soup, which is made out of bull penis. Penis soup.


0:36:12.8 LB: There you go.


0:36:13.7 AV: I mean, it seems a little too obvious... Right.


0:36:16.8 LB: Yeah, that's too... On the nose.




0:36:22.2 AV: One that we mentioned in that list was chilli peppers, and especially in Peru, this is very strongly held belief that chili peppers are an aphrodisiac, so much so that in the 1970s, the Peruvian government banned chilli sauce from prisons.


0:36:40.7 LB: What? .


0:36:41.1 AV: Banned the chilli sauce from being served with prison food 'cause they were afraid that the chilly sauce, would get the prisoner so turned on that the men would have some big house love, which was a sin.


0:36:53.0 LB: No way.


0:36:54.0 AV: Yeah, so they banned it, and I'm sure it 100% worked.


0:36:57.4 LB: The chillies wow.


0:37:00.0 AV: Another one that I have seen is Columbian leafcutter ants, aka hormigas culonas which translates to big ass ants.


0:37:10.8 LB: Are these really big ants? .


0:37:12.3 AV: Yeah if you Google them and you look at pictures of them, 'cause you know a regular ants has like the head and the thorax, and they have a huge ass...


0:37:19.8 LB: Oh, so it's literally a big ass.


0:37:23.0 AV: Literally, the ant... The back third of it is huge, big ass ants.


0:37:27.1 LB: Wow.


0:37:27.4 AV: I saw these all over Columbia, and there dudes walking around like street vendors, and they have sandwich boards, like these huge boards, and on the front it says big ass ants, natures Viagra.




0:37:41.3 AV: And they have these fanny packs filled with Ziploc bags of these dried ants...


0:37:45.9 LB: Wow.


0:37:46.8 AV: We went on walking tours and stuff, and they would always point it out and be like, It works...




0:37:50.1 AV: Big ass ants they work.


0:37:53.6 LB: Better go get some.


0:37:53.8 AV: And actually one of the nights we were in Cartagena, we went to this beautiful dinner at this beautiful restaurant that was sort of like a colonial palace, and the ants were in the garnish.


0:38:03.9 LB: Really? .


0:38:04.4 AV: Yeah, there was like a dollops of a... Yuca puré. And then on top of each dollop was a big ass...


0:38:09.1 LB: Was a big ass ant. Do you have to eat several ants to get the effects do you think... Or...


0:38:14.5 AV: I don't know.


0:38:15.5 LB: One big ass ant and...




0:38:16.8 LB: Just boom.


0:38:17.5 AV: Just right there.


0:38:18.1 LB: Yeah.


0:38:19.1 AV: Can't walk out of the restaurant.




0:38:20.5 LB: Gotta keep your napkin down.


0:38:22.9 AV: I've gotta sit here for a while.




0:38:24.5 LB: Did you eat them? .


0:38:25.5 AV: I tried one, but man, it just tastes like a little crunchy ant. You feel a little feet.


0:38:30.2 LB: Oh.


0:38:31.1 AV: Getting stuck in your teeth...


0:38:32.2 LB: Yeah.


0:38:32.9 AV: Not my jam, but I tried it.


0:38:34.3 LB: That's good.


0:38:35.1 AV: I took some pictures of those vendors, so we'll post some on...


0:38:37.9 LB: Oh yes.


0:38:38.3 AV: On our Instagram @fooddaypod. And the last one Lia? Fugu.


0:38:44.2 LB: Fugu?


0:38:45.0 AV: Fugu, pufferfish.


0:38:47.6 LB: Maybe if you survive it, it's like...




0:38:50.3 LB: I can do anything. Let's go.


0:38:53.4 AV: I have a new lease on life.




0:38:55.5 AV: Yeah, Fugu or blowfish pufferfish, which is incredibly poisonous will shut down your nervous system in a second, if it is not cooked professionally and not even professionally like by highly skilled trained chefs. Right.


0:39:11.8 LB: Right.


0:39:12.2 AV: Lia gave us a big run down on Fugu in our poisons episode, and I don't think it came up that the Japanese considered it an aphrodisiac.


0:39:19.7 LB: Yeah, I don't recall that, but I mean, I guess it makes sense, you know. It's supposed to be so luxurious tasting but then with the added danger and the risk involved, if you get to eat it, you probably feel like super good afterwards that you're still alive, first of all.


0:39:34.3 LB: Yeah, yeah.


0:39:34.7 AV: And then you're like, I'm ready.




0:39:36.3 AV: I'm ready to love on people.


0:39:39.5 LB: Hey baby...


0:39:40.1 AV: I just survived fugu.


0:39:41.2 LB: I just survive fugu, you up?




0:39:48.5 AV: Okay, we've got a big, wide range of foods that are considered aphrodisiac, so besides all those things that we posit at the beginning, the cultural, the traditional, I wanted to talk about if there were any scientific reasons that people have associated these as aphrodisiacs. And the answer is yes. I wrote a lot of these things, and I gotta tell you, there was some credibility-ish to the scientific arguments, but people were making a lot of leaps.


0:40:16.0 LB: Oh, okay.


0:40:16.9 AV: These foods were considered aphrodisiac mostly because of some of the ingredients or the chemical compounds they contain, or your physical reaction to the foods are sort of indirectly related to sex drive or arousal.


0:40:32.6 LB: Okay.


0:40:32.7 AV: Okay? So, some of them said things like, this food stimulates blood flow or it raises your heart rate, or it relaxes your nervous system. Or it's high in protein, it has vitamin B, which is for energy, those kinds of things. So no straight lines to bone town.


0:40:51.3 LB: Yeah. Seems like they're really grasping there.


0:40:53.5 AV: Right, you could also take vitamin B, when you have a hangover.


0:40:56.5 LB: Yeah.


0:40:57.0 AV: So I'll give you some examples. One was chocolate. I'll read you this explanation. Let's see if I can pronounce these chemical names, that'll be fun. The scientific explanation for the arousing effects of chocolate are found in Phenethylamine, PEA and Anandamide [laughter] I went to art school, okay guys? AEA. So PEA is the chemical that causes elevated heart rates, increased energy, euphoria, and generally any symptom corresponding to the feeling of being in love. So the PEA's cohort, the AEA is a neurotransmitter that acts on the brain in a similar fashion to THC, the same chemical found in marijuana and while chocolate won't get you stoned, the presence of AEA probably explains chocolate's ability to calm and mellow.


0:41:49.1 LB: Oh.


0:41:50.1 AV: So do you see what I'm saying?


0:41:51.4 LB: I see.


0:41:53.0 AV: They're saying there's one ingredient that creates euphoria, increases increased energy, raises your heart rate, and another one that makes you calm and mellow? And then there's oysters, which we've talked about, and the biggest reason that people think oysters are aphrodisiac is because they contain a lot of zinc and zinc is key in making testosterone, which is necessary for arousal. Chili peppers, they said that the spice raises the heart rate and a little bit of pain releases endorphins, which stimulates the nervous system.


0:42:22.5 LB: Okay.


0:42:23.3 AV: For Fugu, kind of like what you said, they were saying because of the adrenaline rush of maybe a little fear could be part of it, wakes up your nervous system and that the trace of poison that's left in the fish gives you a stinging, tingling sensation. So, again, I wanna believe, but these things seem kind of contradictory or sort of tertiary at best, right?


0:42:48.2 LB: Yeah, there is no direct line.


0:42:50.1 AV: There's no direct line. If Zinc and Vitamin B are really aphrodisiacs then shouldn't I get horny every time I take my multivitamin?


0:42:57.5 LB: Yeah, this lozenge, whoa! [laughter]


0:43:00.6 AV: Those Centrum gummies, they put something in there.


0:43:03.1 LB: Wirecutter should put that on the list. Centrum gummies.


0:43:06.5 AV: Does zinc turn into testosterone immediately? Raising your energy could mean that you wanna go exercise, you know what I mean? So like it's a little bit of a stretch. Alright, so maybe all these many articles and listicles aren't quite doing it for me so I was like, are there any actual studies, like conclusive scientific studies out there?


0:43:26.1 LB: Yeah.


0:43:27.6 AV: Not really. There aren't really any studies that show that any foods or drinks are that direct line to sexual arousal. There was a study on durians that showed that it increased libido and sperm production in rats.


0:43:41.3 LB: Oh wow.


0:43:42.9 AV: So, not quite. [laughter]


0:43:47.1 LB: Those little rats are wrong, so we're just flying off. [laughter]


0:43:51.8 AV: But, there were many fun studies that had fun results.


0:43:55.5 LB: Oh, Tell me, I want some of the fun studies.


0:43:56.8 AV: So, I was gonna share two those with you guys. One was about coffee and the elderly sex drives.


0:44:03.1 LB: Oh. Old people sex?


0:44:05.5 AV: Yeah. Well, kind of.


0:44:07.4 LB: Okay.


0:44:08.0 AV: So there was a study in the archives of Internal Medicine where they studied 744 Michigan residents over 60 about their overall health, so I don't know if 60 counts as elderly... Maybe in 1990 that's what we thought.


0:44:19.9 LB: Maybe.


0:44:20.4 AV: In that article, 62% of women who drank coffee said they were sexually active, but only 37.5% of women who did not drink coffee were sexually active.


0:44:32.7 LB: Whoa.


0:44:33.2 AV: And for the men, 59% of non-coffee drinkers reported impotence problems, but only 36% of coffee drinkers reported impotence problems.


0:44:45.8 LB: Drinking that coffee.


0:44:46.1 AV: Yeah, so the Tampa Bay News on January 19th, 1990, published an article that said, "Study shows coffee may perk up the elderly's sex lives".




0:44:55.4 AV: Which again, I think calling people who are 60, "the elderly", maybe I'm just closer to 60, every day.


0:45:00.3 LB: Yeah, I'm getting too close to 60 now, I can't think of it as elderly.


0:45:04.5 AV: I know 60 year olds who run marathons. The creators of the study did not link coffee to sex, but they had a few possible explanations for why those numbers lined up like that. One was that coffee drinkers could be in better health overall, because usually when people's health declines, they might stop drinking coffee and have reduced sex in their lives, right? Like after you have a heart attack. Both of those activities might decline. One was that coffee's a diuretic, so it might reduce issues with your urinary system, right? It cleans out the pipes.


0:45:35.4 LB: Yep.


0:45:36.0 AV: And another I thought was interesting was that people who drink coffee tend to be more liberal.


0:45:43.0 LB: That was in the study?


0:45:44.7 AV: This was one of the explanations, people who drink coffee tend to be more liberal in general, and caffeine might be considered naughty and sex is considered naughty.


0:45:55.3 LB: Oh, Okay.


0:45:55.6 AV: Wait till they hear about fruitcake.




0:45:58.1 LB: Oh my gosh, don't tell them.


0:46:00.7 AV: It's a hell of a breakfast, coffee and fruitcake.


0:46:03.4 LB: Fruitcake and coffee.


0:46:05.6 AV: But when one of the creators, Dr. Diokno was asked If coffee was actually an aphrodisiac, he said, "I don't even wanna touch that question".


0:46:13.7 LB: It's like, I know better.


0:46:17.0 AV: So no conclusion there. And then, there was actually a study of aromas and arousal. In 2014, the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago, Illinois did a study called "Human Male Sexual Response to Olfactory Stimuli. They actually had men put on masks with 30 different scents and then measured their arousals.


0:46:43.4 LB: I just had this like, visual of what the lab looked like, and it is eyes wide shut, plus Mad Max.


0:46:49.4 AV: Yeah.


0:46:49.8 AV: Yeah, a little Clockwork Orange in there.


0:46:53.3 LB: Uh-huh.


0:46:53.8 AV: Yeah. But guess what number one was?


0:46:55.7 LB: Is it bacon? Bacon smell?


0:46:58.7 AV: Pumpkin pie.


0:47:00.1 LB: Pumpkin pie?


0:47:01.1 AV: Yep. Lavender and pumpkin pie.


0:47:03.3 LB: No way.


0:47:04.1 AV: Yep. And number three was like pumpkin pie and donuts. And number nine was popcorn. So people...


0:47:11.4 LB: Wait a minute...


0:47:12.0 AV: My question is, do we have the sexiest podcast in the world?


0:47:17.6 LB: We've talked about all of these things.


0:47:19.4 AV: We've talked about all of these things.


0:47:21.4 LB: Pumpkin pie. Weird, right?


0:47:24.3 AV: But chocolate, which is supposed to be like the huge aphrodisiac...


0:47:27.9 LB: Yeah?


0:47:28.4 AV: Came in 28th.


0:47:30.3 LB: That's so low.


0:47:31.4 AV: Out of 30.


0:47:32.7 LB: Out of 30?


0:47:33.5 AV: Out of 30, yeah. Chocolate. It's like, not doing its job.


0:47:36.0 LB: No.


0:47:40.6 AV: Sure, putting pumpkin pie chunks...


0:47:40.7 LB: Yeah.


0:47:40.7 AV: You know, in a heart-shaped box. Last place was cranberry.


0:47:45.1 LB: Oh.


0:47:45.7 AV: Yeah, cranberry. Not a turn on, apparently. Well, I mean when I think of cranberry, I think of having a UTI. So, yeah.


0:47:53.0 LB: Yeah, that's just what I'm just thinking. Cranberry juice. No, it's opposite.


0:47:56.7 AV: So I'm looking at all these studies, looking for any scientific evidence, and then I saw that one. Line that stood out to me, which was the FDA's official stance is that there are no food or drink that has been proven to be aphrodisiacs.


0:48:10.1 LB: First, I love the FDA has an official stance on this.


0:48:14.7 AV: Right? That's crazy.


0:48:16.2 LB: I was like, the FDA is weighing in on this on whether pistachios will turn you on? The government cares? Shouldn't they be like out there trying to keep salad bars from killing us?


0:48:26.0 AV: Uh-huh.




0:48:29.9 LB: And second, have they been doing these smell test too, you know?


0:48:34.3 AV: Right? I was like, who else? Does the CDC have an opinion? Has Fauci weighed in? Like what, how is this a thing? And the answer is yes. So welcome to my rabbit hole.


0:48:42.3 LB: Let's go.


0:48:44.6 AV: Aphrodisiac is technically a category of drugs under the FDA, they have made official statements about it, which was in the Code of Federal Regulations, and they talk about it all the time.


0:48:56.7 LB: Ah. Who knew?


0:48:58.5 AV: Because of supplements.


0:49:00.7 LB: Mm, Okay, I see.


0:49:02.3 AV: Since 1994, under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, supplements are under the jurisdiction of the FDA, and there are supplements all over the place that promise to be male enhancement, libido, all those things. You've seen them at the gas stations, the like tiger blood, rhino horn. It's all these horns and big cats. Their official statement, which is law lot 21 CFR, paragraph 310.528: Drug products containing active ingredient offered over the counter for use of aphrodisiacs, it says there is a lack of adequate data to establish general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of any of these ingredients or any other ingredient for over-the-counter use as an aphrodisiac, labeling claims for these aphrodisiacs for over-the-counter use are either false, misleading or unsupported by scientific data. So they take a very Dana Scully approach, of like, there is no scientific evidence that this is true. However, this statement was from 1989. Which somehow, Lia, is 33 years ago.


0:50:11.0 LB: What?


0:50:12.4 AV: I know. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that, I'm sorry. I saw that and I was like, oh, it's like 23 years ago. No, it's not.


0:50:18.5 LB: At least I'm a coffee drinker.


0:50:21.8 AV: Drink that coffee, guys.


0:50:23.5 LB: Don't stop.


0:50:24.0 AV: Take those Centrum gummies. But like maybe they need to revisit that, you know? Maybe there have been some improvement since Paula Abdul was forever our girl.


0:50:34.3 LB: That's right.


0:50:35.1 AV: So like I said, where this comes up the most often is in supplements regulating supplements. Because there's all these pill out there, we'll lovingly call them the bodega boner pills. They're a little unregulated and they can be super dangerous. In fact, in April 2019, the FDA did a recall of some of these male arousal pills called Platinum 40,000. I have so many question. 40,000 what?


0:51:03.3 LB: What is the 40,000? Yeah.


0:51:04.6 AV: 40,000 what? What is platinum? And it's funny 'cause the package, they put a little image of the package, is a lady eating a strawberry.


0:51:14.5 LB: Strawberry.


0:51:15.7 AV: Full circle. Back to strawberries. 40,000 strawberries. 40,000.


0:51:21.3 LB: That's like half of what you ate last summer, right?


0:51:23.3 AV: Yeah, delicious. So these pills claim to just be natural supplements, the ingredient list is just like goji berries and stuff like that, but actually they contained a drug call sildenafil, which is the active ingredient in Viagra.


0:51:39.2 LB: Not all natural.


0:51:40.1 AV: Not all natural.


0:51:41.1 LB: They lied.


0:51:42.9 AV: Not a supplement. And the thing is, Viagra is super dangerous.


0:51:46.2 LB: Yes, there's so many warnings.


0:51:48.1 AV: There's so many warning, you can't take it, if you have cardiovascular, lung, kidney disease, heart condition, if you have seizures, you cannot drink alcohol when you're on it, like, you know, the commercials will last like 90 seconds or on just on the side effects and the warnings.


0:52:01.9 LB: Yeah.


0:52:02.2 AV: There's a reason why 'cause it messes with your heart rate and your blood flow. So if you're like on any kind of blood pressure medication or anything you cannot take it. So basically, somebody was like crushing up Viagra and mixing it with, I don't know, tumeric, and sticking it in a little capsule and selling it. It is killing people.


0:52:19.1 LB: Oh my God.


0:52:20.1 AV: The statement says, "Sildenafil is an active pharmaceutical ingredient in FDA approved product used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The presence of sildenafil in aphrodisiac capsules renders it an unapproved drug for which safety and efficacy have not been established and, therefore, is subject to recall. Consumers with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates; consumption of undeclared sildenafil along with the nitrates could result in a drop in blood pressure that is life-threatening and could result in serious adverse health consequences or death."


0:52:53.5 LB: Oh geez.


0:52:54.2 AV: People, it's this is just not worth it. Don't do it.


0:52:57.1 LB: People, it's not worth it, don't do it.


0:52:58.5 AV: I mean, there's enough problems, like just on the package, like it says one capsule last seven days. Hello? Guys, the four hour thing, like that's...


0:53:07.6 LB: You're supposed to call after four hours. Just... Seven days? It's super annoying, you're just peeing on the walls? I was like, what do you... Take a week off work? But now that we all work from home... Hey, this is...


0:53:18.0 AV: Hey.


0:53:18.4 LB: Platinum 4000's time to shine.


0:53:20.8 AV: 'Scuse me, it's Platinum 40,000.


0:53:22.5 LB: Oh 40,000, so I was off by the tens of thousands.


0:53:27.8 AV: The first thing that I thought about with the FDA caring about these bodega boner pills, I just got this image of Ruth Desmond in her trial mink weighing in on Platinum 40,000.




0:53:39.4 LB: I'd be kind of scared to see her in there talking about Platinum 40,000.


0:53:44.6 AV: She'd make you feel bad about it [laughter] Toad venom.


0:53:48.8 LB: Ruth Desmond, the real boner killer. [laughter]


0:53:53.7 AV: She'd have some real zingers [laughter] She'd drop some bombs. I think that she wouldn't say anything directly. She'd just have all kinds of euphemisms.


0:54:00.6 LB: Oh, for sure.


0:54:01.8 AV: Well sir, if you would keep your rhino horn under control, we wouldn't be here at all [laughter] She'd probably tell these guys things like, "I know you think you have a problem, but it's probably the best thing that's ever happened to your wife".


0:54:14.9 LB: Oh, signature Ruth burn [laughter]


0:54:18.5 AV: The thing is I bet she's got all kinds of secret '50s homemaker recipes that are actually... Will actually get the job done. You know what I mean?


0:54:28.6 LB: Like she's got her own Platinum 40,000.


0:54:31.1 AV: But it looks like gingerbread. You know what I'm saying? She's like, "You won't need those tiger paw pills when you try my meatloaf [chuckle]".


0:54:39.8 LB: Just go check the cupboard. [chuckle]


0:54:42.7 AV: If you don't know what we're talking about, please go back and listen to our peanut butter episode, you will hear the entire story of Ruth Desmond, the peanut butter grandma and how she fought the FDA for, what was it seven years? 11 years?


0:54:53.8 LB: 12 years.


0:54:54.7 AV: And is the reason why we've got labels on our food. So go check that out [chuckle] But it wasn't just the Platinum 40,000.


0:55:03.4 LB: Okay.


0:55:04.2 AV: They also had to issue warnings in the mid-1990s. And again in 2015 because people were selling supplement pills of a Chinese concoction thought to be an aphrodisiac called chan su under brand names like Stone and Love Stone and Black Stone and Rock Hard. Except the chan su is a topical treatment, and it contains toad venom. But people were taking it as a pill.


0:55:32.2 LB: No.


0:55:33.1 AV: So it killed people.


0:55:34.5 LB: No, no, no.


0:55:35.1 AV: They called it and put it out this warning in the mid-90s. And then it was happening again in 2015.


0:55:41.7 LB: What do you think happened between the 90s and then 2015?




0:55:44.5 AV: People got complacent.


0:55:46.1 LB: Yeah.


0:55:46.8 AV: They were not reading their FDA warnings about their Bodega Boner Pills [laughter] Bodega Boner Pills kill people. They kill.


0:55:53.8 LB: They kill.


0:55:53.9 AV: Call your doctor. Get a massage.




0:55:55.8 AV: Eat some strawberries.


0:55:58.3 LB: Just eat the strawberries.


0:56:00.6 AV: It's not actually rhino horn.




0:56:02.1 LB: Right. But toad venom was in that one.


0:56:05.6 AV: Yeah, toad venom was in it. And it was supposed to be a topical thing, well they stuck it in a pill.


0:56:10.1 LB: Oh, no.


0:56:10.5 AV: They didn't label it as toad venom. That's a little harder to sell. I think then rhino horn.


0:56:14.5 LB: Yeah. [chuckle]


0:56:15.4 AV: But then the other thing that the FDA is really worried about is eating raw oysters. The FDA does not want you to eat raw oysters. And this is where I'm gonna ruin it for you guys.


0:56:24.2 LB: Wait, but I love a fresh oyster.


0:56:28.1 AV: No, don't do it. They have a whole media kit. They have brochures, they have PSAs, they have fact versus fiction cheat sheets [chuckle] everywhere about don't eat raw oysters. Okay, because raw oysters very often are contaminated with a bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus which the CDC describes as a pathogenic bacteria of the genus Vibrio present in marine environments such as estuaries, brackish ponds, or coastal areas, a.k.a where frickin oysters grow.


0:56:58.8 LB: Yeah. [chuckle]


0:57:00.4 AV: So basically, it's in the water where oysters grow but then it gets in the oyster. So if you don't cook it, it doesn't kill the bacteria. It is a flesh-eating bacteria.


0:57:09.2 LB: Oh my god.


0:57:10.2 AV: The CDC goes on to say many people with Vibrio vulnificus infection require intensive care or limb amputations, and about one in five people with the infection die within a day or two of becoming ill.


0:57:24.2 LB: No. [chuckle]


0:57:25.2 AV: Most infections are caused from eating undercooked shellfish like oysters.


0:57:29.7 LB: And I love oysters.


0:57:30.9 AV: I am so sorry everyone [chuckle] I'm so sorry everyone, but it's not sexy.


0:57:35.4 LB: But they're so good.


0:57:36.9 AV: No. [chuckle]


0:57:37.2 LB: They're so good.


0:57:39.4 AV: I believe you but they even put out an official statement. The myth is raw oysters are an aphrodisiac and will cure a hangover. The response is there's no scientific evidence that either of these commonly held beliefs is true.


0:57:53.1 LB: It will cure a hangover because it will kill you.




0:57:56.5 AV: You'll have great sex and then they'll chop off your leg.


0:58:00.2 LB: That is so frightening.


0:58:01.6 AV: Isn't that crazy?


0:58:03.2 LB: Like I'm trying to think now of how many times I've eaten raw oysters and I guess I've just narrowly escaped death.




0:58:10.0 AV: It's pretty common to eat them raw. Right?


0:58:12.3 LB: Yeah. I went to this oyster farm and we were eating them straight from the water at the estuary.


0:58:20.4 AV: No. [laughter]


0:58:20.9 LB: Yeah.


0:58:21.6 AV: Guys gotta be smart.


0:58:22.7 LB: Oh, I mean, I like them cooked. They're still great cooked so I...


0:58:27.4 AV: Okay.


0:58:27.5 LB: That's fine.


0:58:27.9 AV: Yeah.


0:58:28.4 LB: I do love a raw oyster. But wow, that's frightening. I didn't know there was a warning, an official FDA warning about it.


0:58:35.5 AV: There's not just a warning and statements they put out a whole brochure.


0:58:39.0 LB: Oh.


0:58:39.5 AV: It's kind of a short story, a one-act play, maybe a comic book.


0:58:43.3 LB: Wait. [chuckle] A story brochure.


0:58:46.9 AV: Yes. It kinda reminded me of when you're in the Union Square Station and someone hands you one of those little comic books that say, "Jesus is coming"? .


0:58:54.1 LB: Yeah.


0:58:54.4 AV: It looks like that [chuckle] but about oysters.


0:58:57.1 AV: It's called, Carlos' Tragic and Mysterious Illness. How Carlos almost died by eating contaminated raw oysters. It goes through the story of Carlos who eats raw oysters with his bro man friends. And then his wife tries to tell him maybe it's not a good idea. And he tells her to be quiet [chuckle] And then a few days later, he gets terrible diarrhea and numb arms, he has to go to the hospital.


0:59:23.2 LB: Carlos.


0:59:24.1 AV: And then the doctor discovers that Carlos also has I think cirrhosis of the liver, it is complicated.


0:59:30.1 LB: This is so dark.


0:59:30.8 AV: It's so dark, it's also amazing. Lia, I think you and I should do like a dramatic reading.


0:59:35.4 LB: Should we do an IG live? Let's invite everyone to come to our reading.


0:59:39.6 AV: Yes. Let's do an IG live. We'll tape it, we'll shoot it out. It's like a bonus episode 'cause it's written like a play. It's like Carlos: Rosa: .


0:59:48.2 LB: Let's do it. Let's do a dramatic reading [chuckle]


0:59:50.1 AV: So excited.


0:59:51.1 LB: Playing the part of Carlos Anna Van Valin.


0:59:53.3 AV: Thank you. So are these foods really aphrodisiacs? Scientifically, is there a straight line from strawberries from chocolate to bone town? I don't think there is. But you know what, who cares [chuckle] You know what I'm saying?


1:00:10.2 LB: Yeah.


1:00:10.6 AV: If it makes you happy, if it gets you in the mood, if it's part of the experience, if it's special... Sometimes I think what can get us turned on or get us relaxed, is that something is special you don't have chocolate-covered strawberries every day.


1:00:25.1 LB: Exactly.


1:00:27.1 AV: So it's not exactly love potion number nine. Although I did read that a lot of these foods used to be ingredients that if you went to an apothecary for a fertility tonic.


1:00:37.2 LB: Oh, okay.


1:00:38.0 AV: These foods would be ingredients in them. And so then they just got associated with sex. So that could also be a thing. But, live your best life.


1:00:45.7 LB: Yeah.


1:00:46.1 AV: I know unlimited breadsticks is my love language. So that turns me on. Yeah.


1:00:50.9 LB: Oh, God. Good garlicky breadsticks.


1:00:54.2 AV: If papaya does it for you if mashed potatoes does it for you?


1:00:57.3 LB: That's right.


1:00:58.0 AV: Eat it on Valentine's Day and make it a whole thing? Really? Isn't it just be relaxed and happy and feel special?


1:01:03.7 LB: That's ultimately it? Yeah. What is the thing that makes you happy? And maybe it's... It is oysters.




1:01:10.4 AV: Maybe like fugu just knowing you're taking the risk of ending up like Carlos, that's gonna turn you on.




1:01:19.6 LB: Don't be Carlos.


1:01:20.4 AV: Don't be Carlos [chuckle] Alright. That's what I got.


1:01:25.0 LB: Love it. Well, thank you for shedding a light on aphrodisiac foods, talking us through some of the research that's out there, and then ruining oysters.


1:01:33.3 AV: Sorry.


1:01:35.7 LB: I have them cooked. It's fine.


1:01:37.0 AV: It'll be fine. Alright, everybody, we love you. And we'll talk to you soon. Ciao.


1:01:41.2 LB: Happy Valentine's Day.


1:01:43.1 AV: Happy Valentine's Day.




1:01:55.8 AV: Thank you for joining us for this episode of Every Day is a Food Day. Be sure to follow the show and catch up on past episodes wherever you get your podcasts. Connect with us on social media at @fooddaypod. Join our mailing list through our website yumday.co/podcast. And don't forget to leave us that rating and review.


1:02:11.3 LB: The clips and music you heard today were from Lady and the Tramp from Walt Disney Studios, Friends from NBC Universal, and Forrest Gump from Paramount Pictures.


1:02:20.7 AV: Every Day is a Food Day is a production of Van Valin Productions & YumDay it's produced and hosted by us Lia Ballentine and Anna Van Valin, bye. Hope you get lucky.