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Spotlight On Spices! Issue February 2013 - Zealous for Za'atar!
February 01, 2013

Welcome to the shortest month of the year! Thanks for being so patient; the wait is over. Now's the time to get excited about an herb, and spice blend that few people in North America have ever eaten. Let's get zealous for this month's ...

THE SPICE OF LIFE - Zealous for Za'atar!

Za’atar - Zahatar can be confusing to everyone because its name refers to both a blend of spices, as well as various individual herbs indigenous to the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, and popular throughout them.

Herbs called "za’atar" (Arabic for "thyme") include Syrian Marjoram, European Oregano, Syrian Oregano, Winter Savory, Bible Hyssop, and Wild Thyme, just to name a few. All are related to each other as extended members of the thyme family. These plants tend to have pungent, strong aromatic flavors. Many have soft dark green leaves. One, "thymbra spicata" has long dark green leaves and is available as a fresh herb for just a few weeks.

In some countries/regions the herbs are protected species and cannot be harvested or exported.

Regarding the dried herb-spice blend, za’atar usually includes thyme or one of the herbs mentioned above, sesame seeds, and a little salt. However, there are a myriad of combinations for the blend which varies by region, country, and personal taste or tradition. Some blends include: cumin, hyssop, oregano, savory, or sumac.

In Syria, many blends are green with flecks of sesame. Some of Beirut’s blends are more lighter in color because of the inclusion of white thyme flowers. Aleppo blends lean towards the use of ground sesame seeds so their coloring is less green. Most American, and many Jordanian and Lebanese blends are reddish because they include the sumac berry.

For more about Za'atar, its health benefits, and an easy recipe for the blend >>>read more...

Let's not forget it's February --- a month for celebrating Love in our lives ...

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

April May be National Florida Tomato Month, But Learn How to Grow Your Own ...

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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