Casanova's Love-Inducing Oysters
Casanova lived by it, and old wives tales swore by it—oysters will fan your fires of love. Is there any truth to the cliché claim that oysters are natural aphrodisiacs?
The Greeks are attributed with discovering the link between food and sex drive, named after the goddess of love herself, Aphrodite. About a century later, the Romans added oysters to the list of aphrodisiacs.
Using lots of high-tech and fancy equipment, American and Italian scientists teamed up in 2005 to find out the truth behind the myth.
To the surprise of many, scientists found that yes, oysters contain essential minerals and vitamins that are linked to a healthy libido. Zinc is the main active ingredient, followed by two unusual amino acids—D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA)—that result in the increased production of testosterone in males and progesterone in females.
Scientists know that oysters contain higher quantities of these unique amino acids in the spring, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The study did not indicate how many oysters one would need to eat before feeling a noticeable difference, so go ahead and order a few dozen.
Other explanations are at work. Many describe eating raw oysters as a sensual experience with their crisp briny taste and silky texture.
Whether for the amino acids, fresh briny taste, or adventurous experience, we persist in our undying love for oysters.
Order in and shuck the night away.