Valentine Special…Aphrodisiacs and Peppered Snails

February 14th! It’s that time of the year again and love is in the air (tongue out, back in cheek). Not only is it Valentine’s, but it’s also my second bloggoversary. Yep! This means my blog – is two years old.

I am so so grateful for this path – one which chose me, and continues to choose me, one meal at a time. So, for as long as I am able to eat, I will continue to cook, write and talk about food in the “funnest” way possible. To be repeatedly recognised by CNN, Ventures Africa and people from all walks of life is an added privilege that always leaves me…erm…can you tell that I am short of words? Yes, I am.

Okay… *cuts the lone violin strings churning sob stories and…*

Fast forward to my main purpose for today…Aphrodisiacs, peppered snails and erm congo shining!

An aphrodisiac is any food, drink, or even a fruit that stimulates sexual desire or libido in men or women.

It’s almost a taboo amongst Africans to talk about sex and libidos; even more so when one tries to converse about “shining the congo,” aka the very act of intercourse.

There’s this belief that bedroom issues or talk, must remain in the bedroom and between married couples.

But all is fair in love and food so…on this post, I’ll be touching lightly on some staples in the typical African pantry that can help stimulate sexual excitement.

Ose i.e chili pepper: Most Africans love all things chili. But who would have thought that eating chili could kick off things between the sheets, on the kitchen floor or by the erm…you get the idea.

Chili peppers (or Ose Nsukka) are known to stimulate endorphins (a feel-good chemical) which causes one to sweat; therefore giving that feeling of sexual arousal; the type which Nelly described with the line “it’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.”


Tomatoes: Though tomatoes have not been proven to be “aphrodisiacs,” they are refereed to as the “apple of love.” They contain some acids, which enhance blood flow. They are also a natural source of Lycopene; an antioxidant that helps in keeping the prostate – a man’s engine house healthy. Ask the Italians about this…or just eat some tomatoes ehn…

Red bell peppers A.k.a Tatase: This which every Nigerian uses almost everyday are very rich in vitamin c; which is also known to be a great sex stimulator. They help to lower stress levels and increase the level of oxytocin i.e the feel good hormones.

Snails: Not only is the slime from snails great for anti-aging facials, snails and their eggs (white caviar or “pearls of the Aphrodite…huffpost) are high in protein and known to have an aphrodisiac quality. No wonder the French people are known to love snails. After all they speak the language of love…

Now if you combine these three ingredients, in say, a peppered snail salad containing peppers…tell me how bedroom time wont be “lit!”

Now, for the sake of argument – what if these ingredients listed and some used in the recipe below aren’t aphrodisiacs?

Well, food, to me, and in general is an aphrodisiac, especially when served by someone whom I share a love of eating and cooking with. If you know anything sexier than your man knocking on your door bearing gifts of peppered snails and a bottle of sweet red wine…let me know! Few things are sweeter than food and sex…because where there is food, there will be the shining of congo…Ah! Okay… let’s keep it PG!

You know, I never knew what “the shining of congo” phrase meant. Perhaps it has something to do with the snail looking like a certain body part. Pardon? And whoever named the snail congo meat though? Forgive me…back to that PG rating!

Let’s just keep it safe and get to the recipe… I’ll leave you all to decide what next you want to get up to after some peppered snails 😉

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Valentine Special...Aphrodisiacs and Peppered Snails
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
for snails
  • 1 dozen medium to large snails
  • lemon, lime or alum(for cleaning)
  • one small onion cut into wedges
  • salt
for sauce
  • 1 large onion(sliced and divided)
  • 3 habanero peppers(Ose)
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 medium sized bell peppers(red or a mix of red and green)(slice)
  • 1-2 tbsps. cooking oil
  • bouillon(optional)
  • salt to taste
for snails
  1. Clean snails with lemons or lime. You may also use alum
  2. season with salt, add some onion and cook until soft; then drain from the stock
for the sauce
  1. roughly crush the garlic and ose. I used a mortar and pestle to achieve this
  2. Heat up the oil. add some of the sliced onion(about half). Add the cooked snails and stir fry with the onion until the onion is translucent. Add the crushed pepper and garlic; and stir until it has combined well with the snails and onion.
  3. Add the remaining onion and the peppers. stir, season, reduce heat; then cover with a tight lid. Let this cook for about 15 minutes, but make sure to stir occasionally until the pepper softens and is cooked, but just with a little crunch. Check for seasonings; then serve with any side.





  1. Kese Antia says:

    Thank you for this, who will ever thought that chili pepper and bell pepper which I eat in extreme meant more than just condiment.
    For a fact, we learn every day, thanks for sharing this.
    I will have to come back to learn more about the Congo shining class.
    Kudos Nma, Best food blog.

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