Caribbean Aphrodisiacs
by Paris Permenter and John Bigley

Looking to spice up your romantic getaway? Throughout the Caribbean, you'll find aphrodisiacs sold in markets and roadside stands. Usually said to be "for the man," these potions are said to be powerful enough to "make your man as strong as a bull." You'll have to judge for yourself.

·Mannish water. Made from goat's head, mannish water is sometimes called power water. A real rarity on restaurant menus, usually mannish water is bought at a roadside stand where you might have it with roasted yam. This spicy soup is made with goat head (some cooks include tripe and feet as well), garlic, escallion, cho-cho, green bananas, Scotch bonnet peppers, and spinners. White rum is an optional ingredient.

·Irish Moss. One of the most unusual drinks in the Caribbean is Irish Moss, made from a seaweed extract. Reported to be a health drink as well as an aphrodisiac, this drink is typically sold "for the man." Definitely an acquired taste.

·Cowcod soup. Another one of those infamous Jamaican aphrodisiacs, cowcod soup is usually sold at roadside stands and includes bananas, pepper and white rum.

·Bois Bandé. Most popular in St. Lucia, this tree is used to produce a potent liqueur that some swear by. In the Castries market, you can purchase the bark and use it to prepare a "special" tea.

·Conch. You're probably familiar with this mollusk because of its shell: a beautiful pink curl nearly a foot long that, when blown by those in the know, can become an island bullhorn. The shell covers a huge piece of white meat with a rubbery texture. Many islanders swear by its aphrodisiac qualities; even if it doesn't work, conch is so tasty it's well worth a try.

Ready to try your luck? Here are a few conch recipes designed to bring the loving feeling of the islands to your home. Conch is available in most specialty markets and large seafood shops.

Conch Fritters

3 medium conch, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups water
3 hot peppers or to taste
2 tablespoons thyme
4 cups flour
4 tablespoons baking powder
Oil for frying

Mix all ingredients except oil. Mix thoroughly and let stand 10 to 20 minutes. Heat oil in deep fryer. Scoop batter in full teaspoons, drop into hot oil. Fry until brown.

Cracked Conch

2-3 medium conch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
Oil for frying

Prepare conch. Cut in half and flatten with meat mallet. Marinate in lemon juice; refrigerate for a half hour. Remove conch from lemon juice and dip into beaten eggs then dredge in flour. Fry in skillet or deep fryer until golden brown.

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Husband and wife team Paris Permenter and John Bigley have authored over 20 guidebooks and also edit the FREE Lovetripper.com a romantic travel magazine featuring worldwide destinations.

Copyright Paris Permenter and John Bigley

 

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