Romance and declarations of love on St Valentine’s Day all very well, but as George Bernard Shaw once put it: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food."

Food and romance are intertwined and if an aphrodisiac is what you’re after this February 14, look no further than the Essex coastline.

The county’s shores are famous for their oysters – famously said to be the most romance-inducing of all the luxury foods.

Native Colchester oysters, Maldon oysters and the Rock Oyster are farmed here and like all of such molluscs, raw oysters are hailed as a classic aphrodisiac because they are high in zinc, which raises testosterone production and increases libido.

Like fish, oysters also contain omega-3 fatty acids, considered to increase one's overall well-being and even fight depression.

They are also a source of the “pleasure chemical” dopamine.

It’s no wonder then that 18th century’s most infamous lover, Casanova, was said to eat 50 raw oysters for breakfast every morning!

If oysters don’t float your boat you could try presenting your partner with a bumper helping of pomegranate this weekend.

Bursting with ruby red seeds when sliced open, pomegranates have long been associated with reproduction and fertility.

In fact, according to Greek mythology, the first pomegranate tree was planted by Aphrodite, the goddess of love while studies have shown that the pomegranate’s antioxidants do increase blood flow and testosterone levels.

Chocolate of course is another passion- procurer and again it’s all down to science.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulating alkaloid similar to caffeine which helps the brain produce feel-good serotonin.