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Foodie romance 101

Come on, confess you've ordered a plate of oysters in hopes of solidifying a date's outcome.

No? That's just me? Awkward.

When I learned I'd be talking about food and romance on my weekly radio gig this week, the news spawned all sorts of Internet searches.

Most notably, I learned "foodie romance" is emerging as growing niche within the romance novel world. I Googled "foodie romance novels" and came up with this definition: "a novel in which two main characters' emotional journey toward love is somehow impacted by the sensual experience of food."

The definition generates memories of watching "Like Water for Chocolate" -- er, "Como agua para chocolate" -- in my high school Spanish class. In retrospect, it's not necessarily the most comfortable film to watch in an academic setting.

Sensual cooking lessons aside, it's not too hard to find a handy guide to aphrodisiac foods online. I think the benefits of these entrees are largely psychosomatic, but I won't turn down a plate of oysters.

Assuming hot sauce is available, of course.