Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is the traditional holiday of lovers. From cupid’s arrow to candy hearts to candlelit dinners, there’s just something about this time of year that brings out the swoon-worthy side in all of us.
Wait, did someone just say “candlelit dinner?” From drippy candles to sappy music, there’s just something magical about fine dining with the person you love. And such a dinner wouldn’t be complete without a few romantic foods. You know what we mean. Chocolate-dipped strawberries and pink champagne?
The Austin Artisan frequently puts together romantic dinners for various occasions, from Valentine’s Day dinners to anniversaries to weddings (of course). From figs to oysters, chocolate to cheese fondue, we often toil over options for hors d’oeuvres and main courses. Recently, we got curious. Which of these romantic foods are the most popular?
We took to the internet to find out. First, we gathered the most commonly mentioned romantic foods from various top 10 articles. We removed the less obvious choices such as whipped cream, spaghetti, and artichokes (if you have ever considered artichoke your romantic go-to, we apologize). Then we took a peek at search data to see which of these foods Americans loved to Google the most.
So without further ado, this is our quasi-scientific, totally nerdy guide to the top 10 romantic foods you were curious about. Crave them, long for them, and of course, add them to your Valentine’s Day menu. They pair perfectly with cupid.
The Top 10 Romantic Foods You Loved to Ask Google About
#10: Chili pepper (60,500 Monthly Searches)
Not to be confused with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whom you probably don’t find incredibly romantic (but more power to you if you do!), chili peppers are commonly listed as a top food to inspire those lovey-dovey feelings. And more than 60,000 of you search for more information on these punchy-red little chilis every month. Perhaps chili peppers are so romantic because they contain capsaicin, a spicy little compound that makes your tongue feel pleasantly tingly, which creates an adrenaline rush. Time to spice things up a little?
#9: Truffles (165,000 Monthly Searches)
When it comes to truffles, there are two kinds: the chocolate kind and the mushroom kind. Chocolate might be the reigning romantic food (actually, it isn’t as you are soon to find out), but we’re going to give truffles their due. Truffles are a very rare kind of mushroom, so rare in fact, that “truffle hunting” is an actual thing complete with expert trackers and purebred Lagotto Romagnolo dogs to sniff them out. All of this hard work pays off. The rarest of truffle varieties can cost thousands of dollars per pound! In addition to being extremely rare, truffles are also considered an aphrodisiac. According to this Stanford study, truffles emit pheromones that attract the female species. So, instead of giving her a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day this year, try… a box of mushrooms?
#8: Oyster (201,000 Monthly Searches)
At more than 200,000 searches per month, oysters come in at our number 8 spot on our countdown. They are also one of the more divisive foods on this romantic foods list, as oysters are something you either love or hate.
In the early 19th century, oysters weren’t considered quite the delicacy they are nowadays, and the working class ate them regularly. Over time, thriving supplies were made more scarce by demand and changes to the natural environment, which drove up prices. But why are oysters considered a romantic food? It turns out that oysters have long been considered an aphrodisiac. They are rich in amino acids that can elevate testosterone levels.
#7: Pomegranate (246,000 Monthly Searches)
Pomegranate was the ancient Greeks’ symbol for Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and has long been associated with longevity, good health, and romance. About 246,000 of you look up pomegranate each month, and why not? There’s a lot to love about this gorgeous fruit, from its distinctive tart flavor to its vibrant coloring and outstanding antioxidant properties.
#6: Caviar (301,000 Monthly Searches)
Who would have ever thought fish eggs would be synonymous with romance? Yet caviar has been a fine-dining food for the upper crust for centuries. Casanova was said to eat spoonfuls of it when he wasn’t busy indulging in one of his storied love affairs. Made from sturgeon eggs, the finest caviar is typically silver or gold in color. The finest are farmed in the wild, straight out of the Caspian sea. Have you been curious to try caviar but scared to? We love including it in our prepared meal plans from time to time and are even incorporating it into our special Valentine’s Day menu.
#5: Strawberry (368,000 Monthly Searches)
Romantically red and deliciously juicy, these tart little berries even look like little hearts, which makes them the perfect accent for Valentine’s Day dinners, date-nights, and hand-feeding tantalizing bites to your honeybun. The ancient Romans considered strawberries the symbol of Venus, goddess of love (perhaps because of all of those little seeds that just shrieked of fertility). Strawberries are the fruity favorite on this list, with over 368,000 searches each month!
#4: Chocolate (368,000 Monthly Searches)
Tied with strawberries at number 3, chocolate needs no introduction. From artisan chocolates to a storied history in the ancient culinary arts, chocolate is the food we can all agree on. Chocolate is the most popular sweet treat worldwide. According to the World Cocoa Foundation, we consume more than 4.5 million tons of cocoa each year. Perhaps this is because chocolate contains a stimulant similar to the chemical released in the brain when you fall in love. No wonder it comes in so high on this list!
#3: Fig (450,000 Monthly Searches)
The fig tree comes in at number 3 on our round-up, with over 450,000 monthly searches. The fig has an incredible history in literature, arts, religion, and world history that could entertain a trivia fanatic for hours on end. Just to name a few, though: Buddha sat under a fig tree when he achieved enlightenment. Fig is the third tree mentioned in the Bible. Romulus and Remus, the mythological founders of Rome, were found under a fig tree. Cleopatra reportedly adored figs. Needless to say, figs are associated with a bounty of fascinating stories, not the least of which has been their huge role in traditions surrounding fertility. And if your lovebug wants flowers for Valentine’s Day, you could give them a bouquet of figs, which are (technically speaking) flowers, not fruit.
#2: Honey (1,000,000 Monthly Searches)
With over 1,000,000 searches by you bee-charmers each month, honey comes in at number two on The Austin Artisan’s romantic foods round-up. Honey is the sweet golden nectar of the gods, and it has a longstanding reputation for romance. It is often offered at weddings as a symbol of sweetness for the new union. Hippocrates, the famed Greek physician, considered honey a remedy for disorders of the… ahem… romantic variety. Besides boasting a wealth of health benefits, honey is just downright delicious. But the top and final romantic food on our list is almost as sweet and certainly just as divine…
#1: Wine (1,500,000 Monthly Searches)
We know, we know. Technically speaking, wine is a beverage, not food, but we hope you won’t hold that against us. Wine is one of the most potent aphrodisiacs in existence and has more than earned its place in the top spot on this romantic foods ranking. Studies show that one to two glasses of red vino has quite the swoon effect on women in particular. Combine red wine and chocolate? That packs a powerful punch, indeed!
That’s it for our round-up of romantic foods. We’ve done the research, and we are ready to cook up a private dinner just for you and your favorite lovebug. If you live in Austin or the surrounding area, we would love to bring a luxurious fine-dining experience that incorporates many of these foods straight into your home. For more information or to make a booking, call Michael at (512)436-2401.
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