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Spotlight On Spices! Issue February 2012 - Spice Up Your Love Life With Chocolate
February 09, 2012

February is the month to spice up your love life with Chocolate and other aphrodisiacs!

With Valentine’s Day smack in the middle, February is the month for love of chocolate and all foods considered aphrodisiacs. First, let’s pick up where we left off last month talking a little bit more about this month's ...

THE SPICE OF LIFE - Cacao-Cocoa-Chocolate "Food of the Gods"

A quick review:

Cacao is the term for the plant or beans before processing.

Chocolate is the term for anything made from cacao.

Cocoa is the term for chocolate in a powdered form; also, it’s used sometimes to mean cacao.

Like for coffee, roasting brings out the full flavor and rich color of cacao.

University of Pennsylvania anthropologists noted the discovery of cacao residue on excavated Honduran pottery that they believe to be dated circa 1400 B.C.E.

In the late 1700s, the invention of the steam engine made mass production of chocolate a possible.

Dutch Cocoa, invented 1828, is processed so that about 50% of the cacao butter is removed from the liquor. The remaining product is pulverized and treated with alkaline salts to cut its bitter taste. This results in a mellower tasting cocoa.

In 1847, Joseph Fry made the first chocolate candy bar/moldable chocolate.

In the 1870s Henri Nestle pioneered milk chocolate using sugar, non-fat milk and spices.

Did You Know? …

Chocolate manufacturers guard safely, and hold dearly, their secret recipes for combining and blending up to ten varieties of cacao beans/nibs. These are the recipes used to make their unique chocolate flavors.

High-quality chocolate bars have a silky sheen and a crisp snap when broken.

High-quality White Chocolate is more expensive because it is primarily the more-expensive cocoa butter (which technically is not chocolate) from the cacao. Lower quality inferior products are made from cooking oils.

Godiva Chocolates was owned for forty years by Campbell Soup. It was sold in 2007 to Yildiz Holdings, the largest producer of consumer goods in Turkey.

Herb and Spice Aphrodisiacs for Your Love Life:

Ancient lists of aphrodisiacs most often include: Chocolate, Anise Seed, Basil, Asafoetida, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic, Hot Chili Peppers, Licorice, Oysters, Sage, and Vanilla Bean.

Some foods, herbs and spices (e.g., chocolate, basil, vanilla) can have a direct impact on your love life by affecting hormones, brain chemistry, and/or energy and stress levels. Others like Garlic and Hot Chilies can help increase blood flow to genitalia; while others are psychologically suggestive (e.g., Avocado, Almond, Banana, Fig) and just plain old good for your overall health and well-being.

So, spice up your life and have a loving, lovely Valentine’s Day!


February is the Month for:

National Sweet Potato Month

Valentine's Day

And, some of our favorite food days in the month include:

February 3 National Carrot Cake Day

February 4 National Homemade Soup Day

February 7 National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

February 9 National Bagels and Lox Day

February 10 National Cream Cheese Brownie Day

February 11 National Peppermint Patty Day

February 14 National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day

February 16 National Almond Day

February 20 National Cherry Pie Day

February 21 National Sticky Bun Day

February 23 National Banana Bread Day

February 25 National Clam Chowder Day

February 26 National Chili Day

February 26 National Pistachio Day

February 27 National Chocolate Cake Day

February 27 National Strawberry Day


Check here for the latest news on any spice recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts:

Food ALERT! Widget


Websites for Spice Retailers:

Atlantic Spice Company -

Durkee® -

McCormick® -

Milford Spice Company -

Penzeys Spices -

Savory Spice Shop -

Spice Islands® -

The Spice House -

Spice Accessories Websites:

Bottles, Containers & Jars:

Bottle Store - -

SKS Bottle & Packaging, Inc. -


Online Labels -

Spice Racks:

Tubular Spices -

Spice Rack Source -

Check out our website that's All About Sweet Potatoes

How to Grow Potatoes

growing tomatoes


Tell us what you would love to see in our monthly eZine. We want to keep this publication fresh and relevant. We want to put a spotlight on the herbs and spices that are of the most interest to you.

Use our Contact Form to give us constructive feedback or ask questions. Thank you!

Ellen White

Eat Well. Live Well. Cook everyday with spices and herbs!

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