The ‘Real’ St. Valentine was No Patron of Love

Relics of St. Valentine of Terni at the basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin. Dnalor 01 (Own work) By Dr. Lisa Bitel / 01.16.2018 Professor of History and Religion Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California On Feb. 14, sweethearts of all ages will exchange cards, flowers, candy, and more lavish gifts in the[…]

A 19th-Century Love Story Told in Pictures

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 1854, Roger Fenton (British, 1819-1869). Hand-colored albumen silver print. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, subjects of an exhibition at the Getty Center, were madly in love with each other…and with the camera. By Alexandria Sivak / 02.14.2014 Senior Communications Specialist J.[…]

When Chocolate was Medicine: Colmenero, Wadsworth, and Dufour

Poseidon taking chocolate from Mexico to Europe, a detail from the frontispiece to Chocolata Inda by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, 1644 — National Institute of Health Chocolate has not always been the common confectionary we experience today. When it first arrived from the Americas into Europe in the 17th century it was a rare and mysterious substance, thought[…]

Chocolate, The Food of the Gods

The magical substance: Cacao Fruit and Leaf, November 27, 1783, Jan Brandes. Graphite and wash on paper, 19.5 × 15.5 mm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam The association between chocolate and love stretches back centuries. This Valentine’s Day, indulge in a decadent aphrodisiac recipe you can make at home. By Maite Gomez-Rejón / 02.12.2015 Chocolate. The ultimate aphrodisiac. Once available only[…]

The Ancient Wisdom of Aphrodisiacs

By Maite Gomez-Rejón / 02.13.2014 Food and sex are the most basic human drives. It’s no wonder that aphrodisiacs—food and drink with a reputation for making sex more attainable or pleasurable—are named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. (She was known as Venus to the Romans—Latin for love or sexual desire.) The femme fatale[…]