Aphrodisiac Foods: The Oyster

Raw oysters really are aphrodisiacs say scientists

The Birth of Venus The Goddes of Beauty Sex and Fertility

"The Birth of Venus" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, c. 1879.  In myth, Venus-Aphrodite was born of sea-foam.
"The Birth of Venus" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, c. 1879. In myth, Venus-Aphrodite was born of sea-foam. | Source

Aphrodisiacs

In Greek mythology Aphrodite is the Goddess of love and beauty. In Roman mythology the equivalent is Venus. Both Goddesses symbolize erotic love and fertility. It is from Aphrodite that the word aphrodisiac comes from to make reference to any substance that increases sexual desire and enhances sexual performance.

Probably the first aphrodisiacs were those that resembled the sexual organs, thus, food that in some way looked like vaginas were reputed as being aphrodisiacs. In this list one of the most famous aphrodisiac foods are oysters for the clear resemblance to the female sexual organs.

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses

An apothecary of aphrodisiacs, from snake's blood and rhinoceros horn to the more palatable oysters, "those seductive tears of the sea, which lend themselves to slipping from mouth to mouth like a prolonged kiss ... can be purchased in bottles, but there they look like malignant tumors; in contrast, moist and turgid in their shells they suggest delicate vulvae--a prime example of food that appeals to the eye."

 

Oysters

My personal experience

Did you know that the French are the biggest consumers of oysters in the world?  I only had my first oysters when I moved to France. Here seafood and especially oysters have a privileged place on the Christmas tables.  So the time came when I couldn’t avoid any more eating an oyster.  I had seen them before but I had never dared eat them.  To be honest, I had nightmares about those creatures since I went to a seafood bar in Southern Spain where they had all sorts of live seafood still crawling or wriggling on trays waiting to be eaten.  Most of the seafood was eaten raw with just a sprinkle of lemon juice to make sure that the chosen victim was indeed alive. If the victim wriggled in its shell when the lemon juice touched it, it meant that it was fresh and ready to slide inside your mouth.

France is the primary producer of oysters in Europe and the fourth producer worldwide.  So probably it is not a surprise that the French are very keen on oysters.  After my daunting experience in Spain it took some encouragement and a few glasses of champagne before trying my first oyster a couple of years ago.  A friend had come to visit with a basket of oysters and there was no way I could refuse to eat them.  When we opened the first oyster I had the “honour” of eating it and I had no idea how to do it.  The smell of iodine was overpowering, I carefully slid it into my mouth and felt its saltiness spreading; the texture was smooth but crisp at the same time.  I loved it and immediately asked for another one.  We tried them with lemon juice, with vinegar; with shallots… they were delicious.  After that day I was simply “love struck” with oysters.  The year after, we travelled three hours to the seaside with the same friend just to sit at an oyster bar at lunch time to eat a couple of dozen fresh oysters each.  Not content with that, after a long walk on the beach, we went back to the same place for dinner to have another couple of dozen oysters each! 

Did they have an aphrodisiac power?

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.  All I can say is that at midnight we were having a “skinny dip” in the sea, despite the cold weather!

Oysters

Nutritional value:

Oysters are an excellent source of minerals. The most important being zinc (6,5 mg / 100 g). They also contain iron (twice as much as red meat), magnesium, calcium, iodine, copper, and potassium. If that wasn’t enough they are also rich in vitamins A,B,PP, C, E, D and E (antioxidant). To top things off –as if it couldn’t be better- oysters are very low in calories: 8 oysters (around 100gr.) have only 70 calories. So yes, you can actually sit and eat oysters to your heart’s content without those guilty bulges hanging outside your bikini later on, provided of course, that you eat them raw.

How to choose your oysters

In France oysters can be eaten all year round but the taste changes according to the time of the year. During their reproduction period (May to August) oysters tend to be more “milky” which is not to everyone’s taste.

If you buy oysters –at least in France- they are classified in numbers according to their size, a number 5 is the smallest one while a 0 is the bigger one.

How to keep your oysters

Keep them in a temperature not lower than 5°C but no higher than 15°C. In winter you can keep them outdoors. During the summer, the vegetable tray in your fridge is the best place to keep them. If they have not been opened, oysters can be kept a maximum of 10 days.

How to open your oysters

A good oyster should not open very easy, the shell should be in a good state and it should smell nice.

Use an “oyster knife” or if you don’t have one, a little knife with a pointed blade.

Wear a thick kitchen glove to hold the oyster and protect your hand or put a kitchen towel folded in four over your hand to protect it. There are lots of accidents related to opening oysters, so please do be careful.

Place the oyster on your hand with the “swollen” side of the shell facing down.

With the other hand grab your knife with your thumb around 1cm away from the end of the blade. Insert the knife at about 2/3 of the oyster, cut the muscle and lift the shell to separate it from the bottom shell and open the oyster.

The oyster should be eaten at the most within 3 hours of being open.

Opening An Oyster

How to open an oyster
How to open an oyster

How to eat oysters

It is recommended to open the oysters a few minutes in advance before eating them, empty the first water that you find and leave them for a few minutes to produce their “second water”. The oyster -still alive- deprived of its water will produce in about one to two minutes a purified water very rich in minerals and salts. This “second water enhances the flavour of the oyster and it means that it is ready to be tasted.

The less caloric and most tasty way to eat an oyster is raw and on its own. If you prefer, you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before eating it.

In France it is also popular to eat oysters with a little drop of shallot’s vinegar. This is the recommended way by the nutritionists as the vinegar does not destroy the vitamin E in the oyster the way the lemon does.

Oysters can also be eaten cooked in many different ways.

What wine to drink with Oysters?

It is very important to select the appropriate wine to drink with your oysters as a bad choice can not only mask the taste of the oysters but you can be wasting a good wine that is not appropriate to drink with oysters.

But choosing the best wine to drink with your oysters is a very difficult task as the choice not only depends on personal taste but also on the origin of the oysters and the way you are going to eat them. 

Ordinarily, oysters are accompanied by white wine.  The strong content of iodine in oysters makes a simple dry white wine a safe choice.  Avoid white wines that contain too much sugar or fruity accords. The most common wines associated to oysters are:

  • Muscadet.

  • Chablis.

  • Quincy, reuilly, pouilly-fumé, sancerre.

  • If your oysters are not very strong in iodine a white Bordeaux or a white Coteaux du languedoc can enhance your “oyster experience”.

Now if you are feeling luxurious or want to mix aphrodisiac food and drink you can choose a bottle of Champagne.

Get in the Mood:

The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook
The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook

If you want to get your lover in the mood, look no farther than your local supermarket. Strawberries, chocolate, asparagus--even coffee--have long been considered stimulants for the romantic appetite.

 

Are Oysters Really Aphrodisiacs?

Oysters are very rich in Zinc, a mineral that stimulates our immune system and it is also indispensable for the production and synthesis of the male hormone testosterone. Also the high content of iodine increases the production of thyroidian hormones which in turn give a boost to your sexual desire. To complete the picture, the vitamin C in the oyster helps counteract the effects of the effort during sexual encounters.

For men the oligo-elements in the oyster help the production of sperm.

Other foods that have an aphrodisiac reputation are:

1) Chocolate and coffee. Both contain substances that increase the amount of endorphins in the body.

2) Wine and champagne.

3) Spices. In France mustard has a reputation for stimulating the sexual glands.

4) Ginger, known for its vaso dilatants effects.

5) Ginseng

6) Truffes, and vanille. Both are aphrodisiacs for their scent. The truffle with its woody scent - so manly - seems to awake the senses in women. While the sweet-warm scent of vanilla awakens the senses in men.


Conclusion:

Whether oysters are aphrodisiac for their nutritional content, for their scent or for their looks it is not 100% certain. But then, why not try? Aphrodisiacs shouldn’t be tested in laboratories, they are meant to be tested in your bedroom. Oysters are delicious and easy to digest for a romantic dinner. Accompanied by a bottle of champagne and some dark chocolate for dessert they might just bring the fireworks to your bedroom; or better still, for a change, they might bring your bedroom to your dining table ;-)


The Erotic Cookbook
The Erotic Cookbook

A full guide to aphrodisiacs and where to obtain them, plus chapters devoted to aphrodisiac drinks and seduction menus. With recipes arranged from foreplay to climax

 

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Comments 20 comments

CJStone profile image

CJStone 7 years ago from Whitstable, UK

Hello Princessa, I come from Whitstable in Kent which is famous for its oysters. I usually manage a few a week, though I couldn't speak for their properties as an aphrodisiac. The traditional drink to go with them is usually Guinness. I suspect your midnight skinny dipping had as much to do with champagne as it did with oysters, but who am I to say?


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

Hi CJ, Guinness and oysters? Isn't that a bit harsh? I'll need to try that. Are you sure the oysters have no aphrodisiac effect on you? Maybe you think is all natural but it actually has to do with the oysters... But then again, maybe you are right and my "skinny dip" was to blame on the champagne... or maybe my friend ;-)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I was never much of an oyster fan, but my grandpa really liked them. He went to some place down in the South along the beach once and apparently him and his friend went to this restaurant where you could get all the oysters you could eat. I like chocolate though, so I could always use that one :).


BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

I am in a family of seafood addicts but I just cannot eat seafood myself, by that I mean shellfish, I even turn my nose up at lobster much to the dismay of the rest of the family.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Doubt the aphrodisiac effect, and would carefully lay the blame on the accompanying liquid refreshment as well as the company, and ambiance. Have had it several times as a sushi type of meal, mix wasabi and soy sauce about 50/50 and add to the oyster let stand for a minte or so and then eat it. It is quite tasty that way.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

SweetiePie : Chocolate is a good one, specially to bring back some energy after the first encounter; it can bring back the enthusiasm in the most tired of lovers. Watch out, I'll be coming back with more aphrodisiac foods ;-)

BrianS : I am sure will be able to find an appropiate aphrodisiac food for you ;-)

Just Rodney: I'll need to try my oysters with soy sauce. I must say I am not very fond of wasabi, but I am prepared to try your recipe. It might be surprisingly delicious!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

If we weren't so far away, you could come visit our country and eat lots of oysters :-)


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Princessa, you could spice it up and have a chilli chocalate sauce over your homemade vanilla ice cream.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

ripplemaker: that sounds like a great idea!

Just Rodney: I think we should have dinner toguether ;-)


King Princess profile image

King Princess 7 years ago

Mmm, now you've got me craving oysters! A full belly is the best aphrodisiac, I always say. :)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

warm heart : aphrodisiacs will always be a puzzle. Some people gets turn on just at the mention of the word aphrodsiac!

King Princess and SUNNY22 : A full tummy and the right words whispered on your ear always work :)


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Princessa, we can have dinner as soon as I hit the France, or if you want a guided tour of our wine lands in Sunny South Africa, I will arrange that dinner and then we can do a tour of these now famous vineyards.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

Now, that's an invitation I would not like to refuse...


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Good, I will keep you posted of when I am likely to get to France, you can do the same whrn you think SA is your next port of call.


warm heart 7 years ago

I don't need oyster. I accually suffer bcz I m always excited.


mdvaldosta profile image

mdvaldosta 7 years ago from Valdosta, GA

Ok I have to confess, I only clicked on the article because of the naked chick. I suppose that makes this hub an aphrodisiac?


powerspike profile image

powerspike 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

One thing i've never worked out is how to open an oyster, will give your instructions a go, thanks!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Hi Princessa

Aphrodisiac or not, this hub has educated me very well about a subject I had no knowledge of at all! OR have ever tried!. ........as yet!!..


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

Bonjour Princessa,

I loved your hub. It was entertaining, and informative. I have always shied away from oysters (I should be ashamed as I was a chef years ago) but you have peaked my curiosity. I am now quite horny...Er Uhh, Ahem.... I mean hungry.


da niqqah pj in the burque 5 years ago

Gotta love it

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