The word aphrodisiac carries many strong meanings: pleasure, love, beauty, desire…
all of which can be traced to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Her mysterious and dramatic life is filled with tales of love, war and deception. Yet it’s her beauty and affinity for love, pleasure and procreation that she is most remembered for. It’s no wonder during this time of year – the romantic month of February, of St. Valentine’s, of red-hot hearts and fragrant flowers, that we tie her likeness to foods that conjure her spirit.
In this month of ‘love’, we celebrate our relationships quite often through sweets, sparkling gifts, words of poetry, sips of champagne, and our favorite foods! Brevard is flourishing with erotic nooks and crannies of great eats, all of them perfect spots to take your ‘lover’ for a bite. Many of them have a long list of aphrodisiac ingredients on their menu to get you and your partner in the ‘mood’ for a little romance.
Green Turtle Market
One such location is the Green Turtle Market in Indialantic. Executive Chef and Partner Ercan Ekinci prepares an aphrodisiac-heavy menu each year for Valentine’s Day and stays on the cutting edge in all areas of food; from organic produce to fresh seafood and natural, organic, meat and poultry. He gives us the rundown on his menu of desire this year, which is loaded with aphrodisiacs, “Entrees include chili peppers in our Southwest Salmon with brown sugar, pineapple and mandarin oranges which pairs wonderfully with the rich oil of the salmon. We continuously use avocados from deli to restaurant. We offer crab and shrimp timbale with layers of California avocado. Our Yellow fin Tuna Poke features sesame seared tuna chunks, toasted macadamia nuts, green onions and grilled avocado with a power green soy citrus kale salad. Figs are featured in a sour dough crostini appetizer topped with fig spread and prosciutto. The Green Turtle’s Chocolate Earthquake dessert is a top seller in our bakery department. Also we will be featuring heart-shaped, chocolate shell crème brûlée at our Valentine’s Day dinner.”
Ercan’s personal favorite aphrodisiac is fished from the briny depths: “Oysters. I enjoy shucked Northern oysters with horseradish and shallot mignonette, crème fraiche, and caviar.” Decadent!
The Fat Snook
The Fat Snook in Cocoa Beach also has a stimulating experience in store for diners on Valentines Day. Owner Mona Foy boldly admits to inspired desires in the delicious recipes she creates: “We have always expressed an affinity toward aphrodisiacs! For the past nine years on Valentines Day, we have offered a 6 course, all aphrodisiac prixe-fix menu with wine pairings. Each course includes at least one (oftentimes more) component that is an aphrodisiac. It’s a wonderful experience and we have had guests that return year after year!”
Even though The Fat Snook’s menu is continuously changing, they do have a few staple items that stay like, cacao nib crusted Key Lime Pie, with its famous 7-inch meringue and a Seared Jumbo Scallop appetizer with banana polenta and bacon maple marmalade. It’s worth noting that both of those dishes include aphrodisiacs.
For Foy, it’s the experience of eating and sharing food that matters most: “Going out to eat and sharing food has become the standard for Valentine’s Day because we are a nation of foodies! We are excited by food and soothed by food. Food can recapture special memories with just its aroma or a taste. Who doesn’t love to have someone cook for them? That in itself is an expression of love!”
For the love of food, the beauty of food…and the pleasure of food, we celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a heavy dose of passion and desire – the very same way Aphrodite celebrated life.
About the Writer
Craig Chapman is the producer of Real Food Real Kitchens, a food media brand that is all about family, food, culture and history. To learn more about his TV series, magazine, and cookbook, visit RealFoodRealKitchens.com.