How Do I Love Thee? Eros, Agape, Socrates, and Valentine Treats at AllSpice


Let me count the ways.  There are so many different types of love. The high-minded Greek philosophers broke love down into four categories:

  • eros
  • agape
  • phileo
  • storge

which are romantic love, unconditional ethereal love, fondness/friendship, and family loyalty, respectively, for those keeping score at home.

Think of the people you care about – family, longtime friends, coworkers, romantic partners – and they’ll likely fall into one of those four categories. (And sometimes, if you’re lucky, those dear people qualify for more than one of those categories 🙂 ). The four kinds of love cover the whole “depth and breadth and height/ [your] soul can reach.”*

Raphael (the Renaissance painter, not the Ninja Turtle) depicted the ancient Greek philosophers in his painting "School of Athens"
Raphael (the Renaissance painter, not the Ninja Turtle) depicted the ancient Greek philosophers in his painting “School of Athens”

At any rate, every year, we notice the flurry of pre-Valentine’s Day articles tend to focus on only two main areas: cute crafts and sweet treats for children’s celebrations, and gifts of a more, shall we say, romantic nature.

But we’re thinking, what better time than Valentine’s Day to celebrate all the people in your circle of caring? Not just the family and romantic partner in your innermost orbit, but everybody whose feelings and well-being mean a lot to you?

If you’re casting a wider Valentine net this year, as we are, we’ve got some gift ideas we think you’ll like.

Valentines2016-gift-ideasFirst, we have a limited number of adorable Valentine gift bags ($12). We’ve paired a small bottle of Balsamic Vinegar with a compatibly flavored Olive Oil, and tucked them into a cute Scottie-dog bag with a decadent Ethereal Confections Meltaway chocolate bar (made with the same oils and balsamics we sell at AllSpice).

Next, for your sweet friend with an even sweeter taste for chocolate, stop in and pick up our double-chocolate gift bag (pictured in photo, on top of the gift boxes, $12). The pack includes a jar of our Cafe Blend Hot Chocolate, an Ethereal Confections Meltaway chocolate bar, and some gourmet marshmallows.

Is your dear one sweet-but-sassy? Sharing its name with the fantastic 1975 song by Rufus with Chaka Khan, the Sweet Things gift set (pictured, above, $19) has four premium ingredients for your most decadent [and easy] treat-making: Caramel Sugar, Cinnamon Sugar, Nonpareils Sugar, and Vanilla Sugar.

Got a friend who’s pretty hot stuff? Let them know you think they’re ¡Caliente!  The whole range of the Scoville Scale takes up residence in our Caliente! [Some Like It Hot] ($25) gift box. From hot, to hotter, to “I’m going to stiill be feeling this in the morning” HOT, HOTTEST! In this box, there is something caliente for everyone. (Picky eaters, scaredy-cats, and children under age three not included). Add a touch – or a bunch – of heat to your favorite recipes.

Another couple of practical nifty-gifty ideas:

OliveYouApronKnock-knock. Who’s there? Olive. Olive who? An OLIVE YOU apron ($25). This apron makes a lovely – and loving – gift. Tell someone you really care for them: surprise them with a knee-length cotton apron that says, “OliveYou,” and hope they “OliveYou,” too.  Another kitchen-positive apron is our “Nothing Beats a Good Rub ($25).”

Still undecided? Go super-old-school, and choose a thoughtful gift of traditional herbs and spices thought to symbolize and inspire remembrance (Rosemary), friendship (Thyme), or get some Oregano (for joy and happiness).

Whatever you do, and however (and whomever) you celebrate, have a very happy Valentine’s Day this weekend!

*Elizabeth Barret Browning, Sonnets From the Portugese, No. 43, aka the poem with the famous opening line “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”