A quick bit of research on the interweb reveals various studies concluding that champagne can get you a wee bit giddy. Oysters have been proven to increase libido as they contain high levels of the trace mineral zinc. Chillies stimulate blood vessel dilation which is sure to get you both hot under the collar. These facts are all good, but these are foods just the starting blocks. Which foods convey the deeper feelings of love?
The key to the perfect Valentine’s Day present is in the past
Food scientist Rachel Edwards-Stuart explains that to find the food of love you must look beyond the body’s physical responses to ingredients. Our perceptions of food and flavours are influenced not just by our taste buds but by the complex workings of our nose.
The different tastes distinguished by our tongue are relatively basic compared with the hundreds of aroma molecules that are detected in our nose. Since the nerve pathways concerning smell are directly connected to the parts of the brain involved in emotion, it is a no brainer that the way something smells will have a direct impact on how we react to it emotionally.
“Environmental influences on likes and dislikes are well established,” explains Rachel, “If you eat a food that you have previously associated with a good memory then the overall perception of the flavour will be enhanced due to the input of the good memory. Similarly, if a food has previously made you sick you develop a strong emotional dislike to it.”
So essentially the food of love is any ingredient that you lover remembers with warm and fuzzy feelings.
Create a Valentine’s Day hamper full of your lover’s favourite foods
To make the perfect Valentine’s Day hamper, sneakily ask them some questions about their past and listen to memories that move them. Tales of Tunnocks teacakes and first kisses may come to light. Or perhaps the revelation that salmon always reminds them of the time you spent together in Skye.
Armed with all these ideas, pop over to Scottish Food and Hampers and create the perfect Valentine’s Day hamper. Don’t forget to add an extra special personal message too.
Lee and the Scottish Food Overseas team