Monday, January 31, 2011

Spice Up Your Life

The original spice girl?  Looks like it worked....
When we use the expression 'spicing things up', we are not referring to seasoning our vittles (at least not literally). The Spice Girls certainly weren't singing about sprinkling cinnamon and turmeric  to enhance the flavor of tonight's dinner. Rather, they were speaking idiomatically, alluding to the ways you might make your love life more exciting.

We've already spoken of pepper and ginger in earlier posts, but were surprised to find out just how many other spices have featured prominently in the aphrodisiac folklore.  It may be that chemical properties exist to back up these claims, but we also suspect that the role spices have played in history and folklore may have helped cultivate this--er--salty reputation. Interesting spice factoids -- erotic and otherwise include:

  • In Greece, tarts, jams, and wine are flavored with cardamon in the hopes that it will arouse men and send them in search of true love.
  • Cleopatra scented her palace rooms with cardamon when her lover Marc Antony visited.
  • In ancient times, cumin seeds were so highly valued that they were used to pay church tithes to priests.
  • Nutmeg was prized in 17th Century England as a cure for The Plague. 
  • According to Homer, Zeus rolled around on a bed of saffron to enhance his performance. 

We'll be spending the next week or so on spices.  Please send us your favorite recipes, rubs, or other  spicy suggestions.  (PG Rated only, please.)

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