Things Not To Eat For Valentine's Day: Spanish Fly
Lytta vesicatoria, better known as Spanish Fly and while pretty, not something you should be eating.
Via: Udo Schmidt/Flickr
We know that around this time people start panicking about V-Day plans. So we'd like to deliver you a PSA: Please, for the love of all that is holy and good, don't try to spice your meal up with the "aphrodisiac" called Spanish Fly.
There are two basic problems with Spanish Fly. The first obvious one is that it's a poison, more on that in a minute. The second problem is that, since it's a poison, none of the sketchy internet shops selling it are likely to include the active ingredient in any sizable amount. Because, as we said, it's a poison.
Spanish Fly is actually the ground up carcass of a beetle called Lytta vesicatoria. The active ingredient of Spanish Fly is cantharidin, which is a toxic chemical that causes blisters. Here's where we remind you that you're supposed to drink or eat this stuff, a toxin that causes anything it touches to blister. The list of symptoms does however shed some light on one of it's many symptoms is priapism a painful erection of either clitoris or penis that doesn't go down on its own. If that sounds awesome you should go back and reread the part about it being "painful" and "not going away." Even better, you can also look forward to: Peeing blood, vomiting blood, kidney failure, seizures and cardiac abnormalities. Nothing says romance like an erection that's turning black and a trip to the ER.
Hilariously, Spanish Fly has a rather long history of being used as a terrible poison, a aphrodisiac and both at the same time. Famed pervert the Marquis de Sade is said to have served it at a party which quickly degenerated into the sort of orgy where people ended up in the hospital or the morgue. It's also been used as a means of carrying out a horrifically painful abortion.
If you seriously want to sexy up your meal, turn toward less threatening foods. Maybe some oysters or chocolate covered diamonds. If you're a traditionalist you can always turn to standbys like the testicles and penises of various animals. Or if you can always try swing by Hey Joe! and see if they have any balut kicking around in the back.
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