UNUSUAL Scottish aphrodisiacs have been revealed by a new book.
Dunlop cheese, sea urchins and porridge oats all appear in the Aphrodisiac Encyclopaedia.
The book also explains the science behind why the foods boost the libido.
Dunlop cheese, made in Ayrshire from unskimmed milk owes its reputation for virility due to the unusually high levels of magnesium in the salt used in the mix.
Author Mark Douglas Hill writes that the “cheese not only boasts and all-star line up of phenylethylamine , PEA casin, histamine tryptophan and magnesium [chemicals which produce feelings of well-being] but also sweetens the saliva to make ready for a spot of smooching.”
Sea urchins are harvested for their roe, or eggs, which contain iodine, zinc phosphorous and potassium, all of which can provide a boost in the bedroom.
It also contains a chemical called anandamide which has a cannabis-like effect on the brain and, according to the 33-year-old author, produces “intense feelings of pleasure”.
The humble oat has also long been associated with libido and an extract of green oat straw frees up testosterone in both sexes.
Douglas Hill, an Edinburgh psychology graduate who also studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine, said the country’s cold weather meant there was a dearth of exotic food and that those looking to spice things up in the bedroom should use the products that are available in an imaginative manner.
“I’ve been looking at all the aphrodisiacs around the world and researching how to bring out their seductive characteristics, he said.
“Instead of just going to the supermarket and buying the foods I’ve mentioned and serving them up, I’d advise thinking carefully about the setting in which they are eaten. The approaching dark nights offer up elements of ‘hibernation’ which add a different style of sensory luxury.
“I’d try a cosy cottage on the west coast of Scotland, with a loch and no one within earshot rather than a rushed weekend away in a city hotel and then I’d try a tactile way of eating, such as using my fingers.”
Farmer and cheesmaker Ann Dorward, of West Clerken Farm in Ayrshire, has been making the Dunlop cheese for 20 years, using the traditional hand pressed method.
She said: “I’ve heard the stories and people joking about the cheese. It’s a good laugh and it makes it a bit special, but I say it’d only work for you if you wanted it to work.”
The Aphrodisiac Encyclopaedia is published on October 20 by Square Peg, Random House and is priced at £9.99.