I’ve always thought of eating as a sensual experience. That scene in 9 1/2 Weeks
with Mickey Rourke feeding jalapeno peppers to a blindfolded Kim
Basinger on the kitchen floor? That’s my kind of meal. I’m also
fascinated by the idea of aphrodisiacs, or food purported to elicit
sexual desire. But science—fuddy-duddy party-pooper that it is—pretty
much killed that notion by exposing the truth behind such aphrodisiacal
folly as “Spanish Fly” and powdered rhino horn.
Cold reasonists conclude that it’s all in our heads. But isn’t that where sex starts?
Other alleged aphrodisiacs:
chocolate, asparagus, basil, chiles, coffee, strawberries, grapes,
peaches, bananas, honey, cucumbers, artichoke, black beans, oysters,
rosemary, edible flowers, pine nuts, avocado, libations, figs, a quail
egg in your beer and unbelievably, onions.
Where to get it
If it’s likely you’ll be dining out this Valentine’s Day, keep your
eye out for dishes that will contribute favorably to the rest of your
evening. Although with the right company, any meal can be provocative:
Mexican food will heat you up, Asian fare and Spanish tapas warrant
sharing, fresh seafood leaves you energized and Italian cuisine is
generally accompanied by romantic background music.
And if it’s romantic ambience you’re looking for, a beachside table
at Pacific’O (505 Front St., Lahaina, 667-4341) is where you might want
to share a plate of Shiso Spicey Tuna ($14)—fresh sashimi ahi seared
rare and served with the also aptly named Miso Honey Sauce. Or venture
up to the nook of Hali’imaile General Store (900 Hali’imaile Rd.,
572-2666) and make googoo-eyes at each other over a Brie and Grape
Quesadilla ($9) with basil pesto and sweet pea guacamole.
Single people deserve love too, and we can get it in the form of
Roy’s (4405 Honoapiilani Hwy., Kahana, 669-6999; or 303 Pi’ikea Ave.,
Kihei, 891-1120) stupendous Chocolate Souffle ($9), while sipping on a
delish Espresso Martini or glass of wine at the bar and served by
perpetually charming bartenders.
Other romantic eateries: Cafe des
Amis (Paia), Vino (Kapalua), Cafe o’Lei (Kihei), Hula Grill
(Ka’anapali), Casanova (Makawao), Sarento’s (Kihei), Lahaina Grill
rooftop, Mama’s Fish House (Kuau), Ferraro’s (Four Seasons Wailea),
Manana Garage (Kahului), A Saigon Cafe (Wailuku), Gerard’s (Lahaina)
and your house.
Getting it at home
However, if your idea of a romantic evening is one spent in bed,
nothin’ says lovin’ like a little body butter for dessert. At the Love
Shack (Kihei Kalama Village, 875-0303), you’ll also find Chocolate
Fantasy Body Topping ($14.95) or Kama Sutra Honey Dust ($27.95).
Lahaina Lingerie (129 Lahainaluna Rd., 661-3117) stocks your edible
thongs and undies, and passionfruit flavored massage oil, all
reasonably priced between $5 and $10. Or if you’re more into flavored
lubes, Paradise Spice (1010 Lower Main St., Wailuku, 249-2449) has a
large section devoted to ‘em, as well as Aphrodisiac Oils ($12.95) in
Cherries Jubilee, Raspberry Sorbet and more.
If you’d like to make a meal out of something other than your lover, I’ve also included a recipe below. Bon Apetit!
Recipe for Sexcess
Honey-drenched Figs (from Intercourses, an aphrodisiac cookbook by
Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge): “Grill eight figs over a low
heat until heated through, turning occasionally. Warm 1/4 cup honey.
Place the figs on individual serving plates, drizzle with enough honey
to lightly coat figs, and top with two tablespoons finely chopped
pecans. Warm, juicy, drippy, sticky. Ineffably decadent. Use only with
experienced lovers.” MTW