Nutmeg and the art of seduction
Nutmeg and the art of seduction

All about nutmeg > A Short History
Nutmeg - The art of seduction… except on Friday nights - Denmark

In 1619, a young man was brought before the Danish court in Naestved on charges of theft, but particularly for having taught an associate the art of seducing a daunting beauty by conjuring, since any demonstration of magic was prohibited at that time.

The trick consisted of swallowing a whole nutmeg and waiting until it came out the other end! The nutmeg was then grated over a glass of wine or beer. When the desired one had drunk this love potion, she would melt like butter into the arms of her seducer, eagerly acquiescing to any request and - what's more - paying cash for his personal services. According to court documents, the student-thief had in this way bilked the woman out of $30, not to mention some rather unedifying carnal pleasures.

However the superstition was not limited to Denmark, for in the early 20th century the same phenomenon was found in Germany… though history doesn't say whether the experience proved any more profitable.

Nutmeg is particularly associated with love and beauty. According to Bresleau's book on magic, one should hold a nutmeg under an armpit when going dancing - an effective way to prevent rebuffs and to avoid being a wallflower for the whole evening. However, for some unknown reason, this trick doesn't work on Friday nights!


Photo: Pauliene Wessel

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