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It’s that time of year to treat your S.O. (Significant Other) to a special day! This month’s recipes are timeless classics that have been served at fine restaurants for years, especially when reservations have been made for two for dinner, on Valentine’s Day. Zojirushi draws inspiration from everyday life, so we’d love to give our fans some inspiration in return—not only everyday, but for your special days!
Everyone loves to eat, and everyone loves to love. Zojirushi wants to help you make that connection with our romantic dishes this month. Don’t forget, home cooking is the fastest way to the heart!
This is a labor of love, but worth it! It will take a minimum of 2 days, but the duck will keep for 2 weeks in your refrigerator, so plan ahead for that special dinner! Use the duck fat to fry crispy potatoes for a nice complementary side dish—then strain and cool the duck fat to reuse.
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Are aphrodisiacs for real? Why not find out with this classic oyster appetizer, first developed in 1899 and named for the richest man of the day because the buttery recipe was so rich. Oysters were the favorite food of the great Italian lover, Casanova, who ate 50 of them daily for breakfast!
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This pull-apart bread was developed for our Zojirushi Breadmakers and should be the perfect finale for a quiet evening at home with someone special. Have it warm and fresh if you can, but if you save it for later we recommend reheating to melt the white chocolate filling in the center.
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Can certain foods be love drugs and lead us to better romance? Whether or not the Food and Drug Administration has ever said that any of it is true, we’ve been talking about natural aphrodisiacs since the beginning of time, so it’s obviously a popular subject. This month we featured oysters in our Valentine’s Day recipes, but there are other possible sources for increasing our energy and libido too.
Oysters: There is some actual scientific evidence backing Casanova’s favorite shellfish. According to a recent research study* conducted by American and Italian scientists, oysters were found to be rich in rare amino acids that trigger levels of sex hormones, which give us that drive of desire. The announcement was made at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, which caused great interest among the scientific community. Oysters have always been valued for their high zinc content, which many claim help to replace the zinc men lose when sexually active. Then again, oyster fans just simply love the taste of raw oysters, so isn’t that enough to be passionate about something?

*Published in the Biochemical Journal

Chili Peppers: It’s fiery red, it’s spicy; what else do we need as evidence of an aphrodisiac, right? Actually, peppers stimulate endorphins, the brain’s natural stimulant that makes us feel good and help us neutralize pain and stress. Chili peppers also speed up our heart rate and make us sweat when we eat them, which reminds us of making love. Maybe that’s why so many people make the connection between hot chili peppers and getting hot, period. No scientific support beyond that, though!
Chocolate: A long time classic aphrodisiac, chocolate contains two chemicals that are related to romance. One is a chemical building block of seratonin, which is involved in sexual arousal; the other is related to the amphetamine that gets released when people fall in love. Most researchers believe that you’d need to eat a ton of chocolate for it to make any difference, but that hasn’t stopped us from linking chocolate to love on Valentine’s Day. The one thing that chocolate does have going for it is that it contains phenylethylamine, a naturally occurring substance that improves your mood. When you’re in a good mood, you’re more likely to fall in love, yes?
Ginseng and Other Herbs: Ginseng is often called the King of Herbs, and has been used by Chinese alternative medicine for centuries to improve the body’s general health. There have been studies done to support the positive effects of ginseng in improving the body’s blood circulation, and as a result better sexual performance. Much of the ginseng root’s reputation could come from its resemblance to the human body, thus enhancing its power in popular folklore. In the end, there is no hard scientific evidence one way or the other, so it may come down to Western vs. Eastern medicinal beliefs. As always, it is probably wise to be cautious with any kind of supplements that have not been approved by the FDA.
Zojirushi is the first to introduce the keep warm feature. Although taken for granted today, it was a revolutionary improvement to when we would have to adjust our dinner schedules to when we expected the rice to be done. Now any of our cookers will keep the rice warm for us until we're ready to eat.   IH (induction heating) replaces the standard heating element as the better way to heat the cooking urn. To better understand the concept, think of IH as being "instant heat". That means instant heat on, instant heat off and instant heat adjustments. Precise heating with no lag time means more evenly cooked rice.   The PRESSURE system is introduced as a further advancement to rice cooking technology. Adding pressure physically alters the starch composition of the rice, resulting in a more gelatinous form that is sweeter, softer, and ultimately easier to digest.   Today the type of grains consumed has expanded with the healthy eating trend. To meet this demand, Zojirushi has added menu settings for cooking quinoa, as well as steel cut oatmeal. These new settings make Zojirushi rice cookers an ideal cooking tool for health conscious consumers.
Zojirushi has been creating rice based recipes for our rice cookers since 2008—our research and development happens in our kitchen, as well as our lab! Try these dishes at home.
The first Home Bakery breadmaker is sold in Japan. This breadmaker could not only bake breads but could also make cakes and jam, proving to be a popular seller in the U.S. as well.   Home Bakery for a 2-lb. loaf is released. Adding a second kneading blade to the mechanism improved performance, and regular sized loaves sold at supermarkets now became easy to bake at home.   A heating element built into the lid is introduced, an innovation that helped bake perfectly browned tops and reduced uneven baking. A gluten free menu option is also added.   Expanded health-conscious courses such as multi-grain, vegan, salt free & sugar free courses are introduced to the line of breadmakers. the first model with auto add dispenser is also introduced, making Zojirushi Breadmakers more versatile than ever.
As more bread functions are added, so too are bread recipes to our repetoire. Don’t forget our breadmakers are capable of making pasta dough and even jams. Take a look!
Zojirushi markets the first electric Air Pot®. Although not vacuum insulated, this first Water Boiler had the ability to boil water and keep it warm inside the dispenser. This was a breakthrough in the keep warm concept that Zojirushi was able to cultivate with their rice cookers.   A natural progression from the pump action electric Air Pot®, this advanced dispenser used an electric pump to deliver its contents. Literally a finger push of a button was all that was required to get a steady stream of hot water and a cup of tea at any time of day or night.   Our "green" entry into the water boiler market, this is the modern hybrid of our original Air Pot® and the Water Boiler. Utilizing vacuum insulation, it reduces the amount of electricity needed to keep the water warm. Zojirushi has always been a leader in developing ecologically friendly products.   Efficient energy use is important. Quick Temp mode is added as an optional setting, where water reaches the selected Keep Warm temperature directly without reaching a boil, reducing steam, time and energy use.
Although a water boiler is a must for any tea drinker, there is more to having hot water at your fingertips anytime you want it. Our drink and dessert recipes will show you how convenient that is!
Next month we’re going to bowl you over with our Donburi dishes! Try these classic recipes over a hot bed of rice in a bowl!