From potentially lethal poisonous fish to the world’s smelliest fruit: oh, the things we'll eat for love
Gif: Tom Baker
For centuries we’ve attempted outlandish lotions and potions to get us in the mood. While some light a candle or two and cue up the Barry White, others take a different approach: a slice of cake made from the world’s smelliest fruit washed down with a glass of cobra blood. Tasty.
Let’s face it, you probably don’t want to be fed these on Valentine’s Day.
We’ve all heard this one – slurp down a dozen of these mucousy little guys and Cupid’s arrow will get your blood up. The original Casanova used to breakfast on 50 oysters – get shucking, boys!
They may smell of the seashore but they are slimy, chewy and cold.
Yes, the potentially deadly delicacy. It was all sounding very James Bond until we learned that eating this specially-prepared dish causes the mouth to feel numb and tingly. Some Japanese people say this is what gets them going but we’ll stop there …
Shark fin soup
Sharks are, you know, fierce and fast, right? While this soup may be considered an aphrodisiac in some parts of the world, the practice of finning sharks has led to the collapse of many shark species. Not really a turn on.
The durian fruit
Not only is this the world’s smelliest fruit but it's also an aphrodisiac according to those in southeast Asia who love it. The brave have been known to put it into smoothies, ice creams and cakes. However, it has been compared to smelling like sewage (lovely), so our advice is to think very carefully before serving it to your date on the big day, or any day in fact (unless you have a very reliable nose-peg at the ready).
This is cheese, but it's not your average cheese, oh no. It’s made in Sardinia and includes fly larvae (that's maggots. Yes, really). Banned in America and of questionable legality in the EU, it can also have side effects which include allergic reactions. Score!
Forget the champagne, in some parts of Asia a glass of the blood of this venomous snake is said to be as seductive as those soulful tones from Barry. Hmmm.
Bird’s nest soup
Yes, another soup. The nests (which is made from saliva by Asian swifts) are said to have aphrodisiac properties. Known to some as the "caviar of the east", the nests are carefully harvested from the walls of caves so collection is tricky (read: expensive). Roasted tomato soup instead, anyone?
Yes, you can boil those giant underwater sausage-shaped things into a delicacy. You don’t have to be a genius to work out why they have a longstanding reputation as a male performance-enhancer: just look at the thing. Ahem.