July 24, 2021

Sexiest Caribbean aphrodisiacs

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St. Lucia

St. Lucia

Light your fire: Sexiest Caribbean aphrodisiacs

By Melanie Reffes, Special for USA TODAY
Yes, it’s true that a butler-drawn rose petal-scented bath or a rum aperitif as the sun sets may get some couples in the mood, but the real deal are the natural mood-enhancers that grow on trees or wash up on the beach that really get the juices flowing. From nibbling oysters, conch and chocolate to sipping herb-infused cocktails, our list of Caribbean aphrodisiacs will launch your mojo into high gear.

Jamaica: Got your goat?

Jamaica Mannish cook pots credit (Photo: Rousseu Sisters)
It may not sound particularly appetizing unless you’re a fan of soup made with a goat head and simmered in a Dutch pot or ‘dutchie’ for many hours over an outdoor flame, but add yams, green bananas, root vegetables, potatoes and dumplings and you’ve got a love tonic known around Jamaica as “Mannish Water.” Presumably it’s so named because it’s popular with grooms on their wedding night. Packed with carbs and protein, as well as local legends, the thick soup inspired the Rolling Stones ‘ Goats Head Soup ‘ album presumably because Mick and the boys are fans. The hearty soup is ladled island-wide with especially good bowls reputed to be served at the Ultimate Jerk Centre across from the Green Grotto Caves in Discovery Bay and Faith’s Pen in Ocho Rios where Miss Cherry is delighted to extol its aphrodisiac powers.

Curacao: Take your medicine

Curacao Deena credit M Reffes (Photo: M Reffes)
Braised for three weeks in a big pot with brandy, the green leaves and roots of the island plant called “Watakeli” are Dinah Verris’ prescription for a homerun in the bedroom. On a one-woman crusade to preserve the island’s healing traditions, her “Den Paradera” is an aromatic botanical wonderland that is open for tours and classes. As the go-to herb guru and natural healer, Dinah recommends one tablespoon nightly for two weeks and then as needed. For men only, the brew heightens the libido without any (undesired) side effects. If you’re not up to steeping, straining and bottling the brew yourself, a small bottle goes for USD $25.00 in her gift shop.

St. Lucia: Sweet and sinful chocolates

St Lucia body scrub at Calabash credit Calabash (Photo: Calabash Resort)
A popular island for romance, St. Lucia is also adored for producing some of the finest chocolate in the world. Catnip for honeymooning choco-philes, dark chocolate causes a spike in dopamine which means a spike in frisky behavior. Upping the ante for couples who like to spice it up, hotels and resorts tempt wannabee lovebirds with cocoa massages and chocolate-y desserts like the Double Fudge Cake at the Calabash Cove Resort and chocolate-making classes at the deliciously named Hotel Chocolat.

Turks & Caicos Islands: Crafty conch

Turks Caicos fisherman credit M. Reffes (Photo: M. Reffes)
The word on the street is that any Turks & Caicos Casanova worth his sea salt eats at least fifty conch pistols a day, that gooey part of the conch’s anatomy that looks like a worm and is eaten raw. Full of protein, iron and calcium, the gastropod’s slimy private parts are the big draw at Da Conch Shack in the Blue Hills where couples in the mood learn how to skillfully down a few of the translucent strands. A few steps from the beachfront tables, Zab-Zab, the resident conch expert and father of eight, delicately removes the pistols from the pink shells and if you ask him nicely, he’ll pose for a photo as he explains how the islands natural fertility drug increases fertility. Stay for a Turk’s Head beer and plate of conch fritters with a dab of Sakaja — the local hot pepper sauce — as well as the view of passing pelicans.

St. Maarten: The big slice

St Maarten Bushman watermelon 1 (Photo: M. Reffes)
Admittedly not the sexiest fruit on the planet, watermelon is full of one of Cupid’s little helpers that increases circulation and relaxes blood vessels in various body parts. Although most of the plant-based amino acid called citrulline that is responsible for these beneficial effects is in the rind, there’s enough in the flesh to get your groove back. As one of a handful of farmers in the Caribbean who grow watermelons, Ras Bushman is delighted to brag about the sexy benefits of the big fruit, and offers tours of his watermelon patches along with farms on the Dutch and French sides of the dual-island nation. The funky farmer will also regale you with local lore over a big slice back in his Ital restaurant on Bush Road.

Dominica: Bark with bite

Dominica Bois Bande Bush Rum credit Rosalie Bay (Photo: David Massey/Rosalie Bay Resort)
Rife with stamina-enhancing minerals, the bark from the Bois Bande tree is Dominca’s answer to Viagra. No prescription needed, the magical medicinal loosely translated from the French words for “potency wood” is soaked in rum, brewed in tea, powdered in capsules or blended with wine. Not always eager to let the cat out of the bag, some locals prefer to keep the secret to themselves while others eagerly sell it to tourists. Sometimes called “mountain spice,” the mighty brew works immediately and remains effective for three days. Cashing in on its reputation, staff at the Rosalie Bay Resort delivers a dose at turndown and for those looking for a unique souvenir, it’s also sold in the gift shop.

Aruba: On the half shell

Aruba Ritz Carlton Raw Bar Les Crustaces (Photo: Ritz Carlton)
High in amino acids that trigger sex hormones, oysters top the list of edible aphrodisiacs. There’s even some scientific proof behind the claim: The smooth mollusks also pack a lot of zinc which is believed to spike testosterone. Just eating them can get the mind in the mood, and although a dozen on the half shell can’t turn every guy into a Romeo, couples will have fun trying. Expertly shucked at Les Crustacés at the Ritz-Carlton, the tasty treats are perfectly paired with a flute of champagne and a “Bano pa Dos” massage in a secluded spa sanctuary where couples are discreetly served a glass of bubbly and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries.

Dominican Republic: Hot mama

Dom Rep Mama juana credit M Reffes #2 (Photo: M. Reffes)
This one isn’t sipped for it’s flavor. Twigs and leaves are soaked in rum, wine and honey, to make something called ‘mamajuana or ‘el para pol,’ roughly translating to ‘lift the stick.’ First used by the Tainos, the heady brew in pretty hand-painted bottles is sold on street corners in Santo Domingo and in gift shops at the fancy resorts in Punta Cana. Deep red in color and with a taste similar to port wine, some recipes add gin to the mix while others add cinnamon, raisins, red wine, molasses and lemon juice to cut the bitterness. For maximum results, mamajuana master brewers might also add conch, octopus or the private parts of a sea turtle.

For more on this story go to: http://experience.usatoday.com/caribbean/story/best-of-caribbean/2015/02/13/sexiest-caribbean-aphrodisiacs/23374733/

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