The main type of food used for eros was apples. An example of this is Hesiod’s account of the foot race between Atalanta and Hippomenes. Atalanta, who swore to marry only the person who beat her in a foot race, was challenged by Hippomenes who hoped to win her hand. He had obtained three golden apples from Aphrodite in which, during the race, he dropped them, one by one to slow Atalanta down, which resulted in him winning. The term used to refer to apples was mela, which also refers to most seeded fruit. Apples have been seen as tokens of love and romance and it has been seen that mela hold roles in engagements and wedding gifts. Apples have also been used in both marriage rites and seduction, as it was believed to produce sexual desire in women. One example includes the Earth goddess causing apple trees to grow during Hera and Zeus’ wedding as her gift to them, and in another version, the couple exchanged apples as gifts. Apples (and other seeded fruit) played a big part in wedding ceremonies. Also, as another example, during the wedding of Menelaus and Helen, while in their chariot, Cydonian apples (quinces) were thrown at the couple and it is believed that the ritual in literature actually reflected what happened in antiquity. In addition to apples being used for celebration of a wedding or engagement, they were also used before the wedding night to encourage sexual intimacy between couples. According to Solon, a bride should eat a quince and then stay in the bridal chamber with the groom and afterwards, the groom will be able to visit her in that way three times a month. This would allow them to stay together despite their differences.
There were also different ways in which the apple could be presented to the woman and how she could receive it. The male could recite a charm and give the woman an apple, give the woman just the seed, throw the apple at her, or recite a charm and throw the apple at her. The woman could then respond by sucking the apple's juices, eating it willingly or taste it unwillingly, accept it willingly, take it and eat it, or place it in her bosom, or kiss it and place it in her bosom. Oftentimes, in relation to weddings, the apple would be thrown at or near the bride which would signify erotic purposes (in Athenian custom). Apples could also be used in love potions and incantations. An example would be this spell from Faraone which states, “(Say it) Three times: I shall strike with apples… I shall give this pharmakon--always timely <and?> edible--to mortal men and immortal gods. To whichever woman I give or at whichever woman I throw the apple or hit with it, setting everything aside, may she be mad for my love-- whether she takes it in her hand and eats it… or sets it in her bosom-- and may she not stop loving me. O Lady Cyprogeneia, bring to perfection this perfect incantation” (Faraone 74). The man is asking Aphrodite to fulfill the spell.
Pomegranates were also used for eros magic, however, not as prominently as apples. One example is the myth of Persephone in which Hades tricks Persephone into becoming his wife by giving her a pomegranate seed to eat, which she does. Hades also uses pomegranate seeds as binding magic when he agrees to let Persephone visit her mother, Demeter. He gives the seed to Persephone, which she eats, and this makes it so that she is not able to stay with her mother for an extended period of time.