I love dropping into ABC Radio Melbourne to chat to Clare Bowditch about romantic food.
Listen in below as we ponder heart-shaped steak and other Valentine’s delights.
Valentine’s Day comes but once a year but there’s no wrong time to have a romantic meal. Here are some tips and guidelines, plus an insight into the Romantic menu from my cookbook, Entertaining with Dani Valent.
What do you cook when you’re wooing?
Make it something that’s easy to share, not too messy, and if it’s complicated, something you have done ahead of time. I was once served a romantic dinner by a lovely man who left me alone in the candlelit dining room for an unromantically long time.
How about cooking together? There’s something scary about the dinner for two where one person is doing all the cooking and the other is doing all the being amazed. Cooking together breaks down barriers, keeps the conversation flowing and – ah yes! – you may touch fingers while rolling dumplings. What about making pasta or fortune cookies together or taking turns stirring the stir fry.
What is the worst food for romance?
Anything likely to get stuck in your teeth. I just don’t know a sexy way to pick my teeth, or to tell someone that they have spinach leftovers for later. Watch out for foods that are likely to make someone look inelegant. Ribs? Maybe not. Spaghetti with a slurpy sauce? Hmm, perhaps another time. If you’re using garlic, make sure both parties like it!
Why is Valentine’s Day the worst night to go to a restaurant?
Ask any waiter about Valentine’s Day and they’ll roll their eyes and regale you with stories of fighting couples, canoodling couples, couples that stay in the toilets for too long, couples that don’t care about dinner and just want the – ahem – after-dinner delights. There are lots of Valentine’s day marriage proposals but they don’t always go well and that can be extremely awkward.
Aphrodisiacs? Do they work?
I don’t think so but here are some options if you want to do your own scientific research.
Nutmeg: in Zanzibar they call it Viagra for women and it’s eaten in porridge on wedding mornings; in India a study showed male rats given nutmeg got a bit – um – active
Oysters: they’re rich in zinc which can apparently trigger sex hormones
Chillies: make the heart race and stimulate endorphins
Chocolate: dopamines = good times
Pomegranate: some suggest they are good for vitality and they definitely look pretty sexy
Sparrow brains, cobra blood, blowfish and baboon urine. No, I don’t think so, thank you, just a nice cuppa for me.
Looking for romantic meal inspiration?
My Thermomix book, Entertaining with Dani Valent has a complete romantic menu designed to help you entertain with ease and style. Buy it here! My Romantic hub has styling tips, links to other romantic recipes at Dani Valent Cooking and a saucy romantic music playlist. Yes, the complete experience! ❤️