I swear it starts the day after Christmas. First, the red crepe paper with dangling cardboard cupids begins to snake over store aisles. The Google search page becomes inundated with advertisements for eharmony.com, and every commercial at 1 a.m. is for hot girls that want you to “call now.” And when you start lingering in CVS near the conversation hearts, you know that Valentine’s Day has officially arrived.
All this mental preparation and conditioning melts down to a single date. If you’re single and minglin’ (or ready to whack your boyfriend if he forgets the holiday), everything about this darn holiday can be a variable, except for that one delectable constant – the food of love.
I figured I would score the down-low on fancy Valentine’s Day food from a credible source. Chef George Abt – who has done everything from cooking for Vince Vaughn, to working for celebrity chef Jim Coleman’s namesake restaurant – has crafted sensual “in the mood” menus to get the blood of patrons pounding.
Abt said serving close to 500 people on the romantic evening calls for some seriously rich and decadent food. “A set, five-course meal is always very popular,” he said. “Appetizers have included lobster and jumbo lump crab cocktail with vodka relish and caviar. One of our fish course choices was a ginger-glazed lobster with fingerling potatoes and golden beets in a lobster tarragon sauce.”
If expensive seafood and hearty roasted vegetables don’t float your boat, Abt recommended a meat course, like a grilled filet topped with herbed mashed potatoes and a bourbon-whiskey sauce. The chef said lamb is usually a popular choice by couples as well.
“[For dessert] … chocolate is definitely the choice to set the mood,” the chef said. “The chocolate-dipped beignets (similar to doughnuts) with homemade coffee ice cream and Bailey’s cocoa sauce fly out of the kitchen when couples are in.”
Abt said ending a romantic meal on the right note is key to seal the night. “If it’s a grand Marnier flan or a Godiva soup, that last taste needs to be perfect,” he said.
So, you want to seduce that hot blonde down the hall? Let your fingers do the walking … to the grocery store.
Even on a tight budget, working foods with arousing effects called “aphrodisiacs” into the menu can be fun. Everything from chili peppers, almonds and honey to nutmeg-flavors, basil and figs are rumored to be aphrodisiacs.
Most scientists agree that the chemical compounds in the foods won’t jack up your libido, but sensuous feelings experienced orally during eating might make you take a second look at your date.
Try a velvety chocolate mousse, ripe bananas, tender chicken, peaches or any food that feels smooth when gliding down your throat. On the other hand, if you’re on a terribly disappointing date and are actually looking for a way out, certain foods can speed up the process.
Consume massive amounts of raw onions or garlic, making sure to breathe heavily and lick your lips in sheer faked ecstasy. Work in some mood-shattering foods like cow liver, a plethora of refried beans or roasted pigs feet – your date will be shoving you out of the car without even slowing down.
Be creative and I promise you won’t be lonely tonight.
Brianna Barry can be reached at email@example.com.