From the depths of despair experienced on Tisha B’Av, we are elevated by the pursuit of love on Tu B’Av (July 22 this year). According to the Talmud (Ta’anit 30b), on the fifteenth day of Av, “the daughters of Jerusalem would go dance in the vineyards,” and “whoever did not have a wife would go there,” to find a bride. Those maidens would wear white dresses, and dance under a full moon. If you were searching for your bashert, how could you ignite the passions of the person you desire? Maybe you could prepare a Biblical “love potion.”
Since ancient times, almonds have been used as an aphrodisiac. Samson courted Delilah with fragrant almond blossoms. It is believed that their perfume arouses women’s passions. The omega-3 fatty acids in almonds boost the production of testosterone in men, enhancing their virility. Perhaps as a result of this, candy-coated almonds are traditional in many Jewish weddings. To entice your love interest, cook up a batch of glazed almonds.
Recipe after the jump.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup rose or orange blossom water
- 1/4 cup water
- Place the water, sugar, and rose/orange blossom water in a pan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Boil for about 15 minutes, to make the liquid into a syrup.
- Heat a heavy skillet.
- Roast the almonds, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the syrup and mix it in to coat the almonds.
- Place the glazed almonds on a piece of parchment paper and allow them to cool.
- Break apart the almonds that are stuck together.
The old-fashioned way of presenting these roasted almonds is to place them in a small paper bag. If your love interest likes his or her snacks crunchy and sweet, with a hint of floral essence, this “love potion” may cast a spell on them.