From an intimate dinner of oysters and champagne to a bowl of strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, such culinary pleasures have helped set the mood for romance for many a steamy evening in.
However, could it be that you and your better half should actually be tucking into a nice, juicy beaver when the time comes to fan the flames of passion?
Now, the sight of this large, semi-aquatic rodent doesn’t exactly scream throes of ecstasy to me, but maybe I’m missing out on a loin burning treat here…
Polish agriculture minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski has raised a few eyebrows after hailing beaver flesh to be an aphrodisiac during a statement at an agricultural conference.
Ardanowski reportedly made these remarks in parliament while calling for beavers to be added to a ‘list of edible animals’ alongside European bison.
As reported by the BBC, these comments sparked puzzlement amongst conference attendees, as there is no such ‘list of edible animals’. Furthermore, in Poland it is the environment minister, not the agriculture minister, who decides which species receive legal protection.
Beavers are partially protected under the under the 1979 Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, and are regarded to be a vulnerable species. Since this protection was implemented, numbers have risen to 55,000.
Beavers in Poland have partial protection, and can be killed between the months of October and March under certain circumstances. However, the hunter is currently not permitted to eat the beaver’s body.
Ardanowski believes being allowed to chow down on some beaver meat will help tackle what he describes as a ‘beaver problem’. He has stressed how these animals need regulating to stop them from damaging agricultural land.
During footage aired by Polish TV network TVN24, Ardanowski can be heard to make the following bold statement:
Currently it is not clear what to do with a beaver, even if it has already been hunted.
If people were to recall that the tail of beavers – allegedly – has traits of an aphrodisiac, it may turn out that the beaver problem will disappear.
This reference to the beaver’s aphrodisiac qualities was apparently a tongue in cheek nod to old folklore beliefs, which don’t have any real scientific basis.
Ardanowski’s suggestion has caused outrage among his fellow politicians. This includes Civic Coalition MP Stanisław Gawłowski, who has clarified beaver meat is not actually an aphrodisiac, to the shock of absolutely no one.
Gawłowski, a former deputy environment minister, told TVN24:
The minister has become a shaman, a witch doctor, He speaks about aphrodisiacs and he’s serious.
Beaver is a protected animal. Even if some areas of Poland are overpopulated by beavers and if they sometimes cause some damage to the anti-flooding infrastructure, these matters can be dealt with in another ways.
I think I’ll just stick with lighting a few scented candles, thanks Jan…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.