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Pure Almond Extract
For thousands of years, gourmands have prized almond extract for its sumptuous, full-bodied flavor. The almond, which is actually a fruit, originated in the Middle East, and ancient humans spread the trees along the shores of the Mediterranean. In fact, the Egyptian pharaohs flavored their breads with almond oils and Cleopatra is said to have been so enamored with it that she regularly bathed in its milk.

Almonds spread to Italy where, since the 1500s, they've been used in cookies, jams, cakes and liquors, such as amaretto. Spanish conquistadors brought the seed to California, planting orchards in which the heavily perfumed, flowering trees still flourish.

Today, almond has become a widely-used necessity in the baking of cookies, cakes, pastries and more. Our Pure Almond Extract, which can easily be measured and added to recipes, is made with the essential oils of bitter almonds to deliver the gold standard of flavor and quality.

Pure Chocolate Extract
Like vanilla, chocolate originates in Mexico and Central America where it was cultivated by the native Indians for hundreds of years before they were conquered by the Aztecs. The name chocolate is derived from the Aztec word xocolatl, meaning "bitter water".

And bitter it was in those early days when it was consumed as a drink that also included ground corn, honey and vanilla. Nonetheless, when Montezuma served the drink to Cortez, the Spanish conquistador was so astounded he demanded to be told the ingredients (and then shortly after executed the Aztecan Emperor). Through Cortez, the cocoa beans were brought to Spain and Europe, where it continued to be enjoyed solely as a hot chocolate drink for centuries by the upper classes. It wasn't until 1847 that chocolate was consumed in its solid form when British chocolatier J.S. Fry and Sons developed the first ever method for molding the cocoa butter into chocolate bars.

The chocolate bar, more plantations and the machinery of the industrial age made chocolate a worldwide favorite. Nowadays, confectionists, bakers and other culinary professionals use our Pure Chocolate Extract on its own or combined with courveture (a high quality chocolate with a higher concentration of cocoa butter) to intensify the chocolate flavor through layering. This extract also mixes well with other flavors, such as fruits and vanilla.

Pure Coffee Extract
While coffee's energizing qualities were first discovered in Ethiopia, it was in Yemen that coffee beans were first roasted and brewed. Legend has it (and we really mean "legend") that a goat herder noticed his flock becoming invigorated after nibbling on some bright red berries. He tried the fruit, felt a renewal of energy and brought the berries to a Muslim holy man. The holy man disapproved and threw them into the fire... from which an enticing aroma billowed. The roasted beans were raked from the embers, ground up and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world's first cup of coffee. From the Muslim world, coffee drinking spread to the Italian elite by Venetian merchants and then to the rest of Europe.

Along the way, chefs began adding coffee as an ingredient in foods: cookies, candies, meat rubs, moles, ice creams, tomato sauces, tiramisus and more. Our Pure Coffee Extract has all the flavor of a cup of espresso without the need for brewing or storing beans.

Pure Lemon Extract
Lemons originated in Southeast Asia and spread through the Middle East, traveling from Persia to Iraq to Egypt. Though lemon trees were first brought to Europe during Roman rule around the first century, wide cultivation didn't occur there until the 1400s. Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to the Americas and later Spanish conquistadors and settlers cemented the tart fruit's abundance in the New World.

Of course, there's no denying the delicious effect lemon has had on the cuisines of each culture to which it spread. And, today, we enjoy such delicious results as meat marinades, lemon cookies, lemon meringue pie and marmalade, jams and jellies (to name just a few). Our Pure Lemon Extract is made by extracting the natural essence of the highest quality lemons and can easily be measured out and added to dishes—no zesting or juicing needed.

Pure Orange Extract
A cross between a pomelo and a mandarin, the orange was originally cultivated by ancient Southeast Asians and is therefore known in a number of languages as the "Chinese Apple". Unlike what you might expect, the name "orange" doesn't actually refer to the color but instead comes from the Sanskrit word for "fragrant". After thousands of years with Asians as the sole beneficiaries, the fruit trees spread to North Africa in the first century A.D. Later the Moors, in conquering Spain, brought them north into Europe.

Orange seeds made the trip across the Atlantic with Columbus. And, thanks to him and later Spanish conquistadors, the fruit quickly spread throughout the warmer regions of North America, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

Our Pure Orange Extract is made from the finest-quality oranges and complements a range of foods from savory dishes, such as chicken, rice and fish, to sweet treats, such as fruit pies, marmalades and jams, cookies and sherbets.

Orange Blossom Water
As explained in the Pure Orange Extract history, the orange tree originated in China and spread from Africa through the Middle East to Europe and then eventually the New World with Christopher Columbus and later conquistadors and settlers.

Beyond the popular fruit, orange trees also sprout pure white flowers with five petals and an intoxicating fragrance. Ever since oranges made their appearance in the Middle East, the people there have been distilling the petals to produce flavorful and fragrant orange blossom water, which they used in the preparation of their food. At the end of the 17th century, Anne Marie Orsini, Duchess of Bracciano and Princess of Nerola, Italy, used the essence of the bitter orange tree blossoms to perfume her baths. The fragrance gained popularity to the point that even today it's still called Neroli oil.

In contemporary times, the sweet water is used in madeleines in France, little wedding cakes in Mexico, and scones and cocktails, such as the Ramos Gin Fizz, in the U.S. Our own Orange Blossom Water, which follows the Essential Oil Of Neroli tradition, is produced by water distillation of the blossoms of the bitter orange tree (Citrus Aurantium).

Pure Peppermint Extract
Indigenous to Europe, peppermint was originally consumed for medicinal purposes with archaeological evidence dating its use back almost ten thousand years. The ancient Greeks are thought to be the first to cultivate the plant and even gave the herb its own legend in classic Greek mythology.

Eventually peppermint began to be used as an ingredient in food and is now prevalent in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian meals as well as European and American desserts, such as peppermint ice cream (which was loved by Napoleon's wife, Marie), candy canes and mint chocolates. Our Pure Peppermint Extract enables you to prepare these dishes in your own kitchen.

Rose Water
Since ancient times, cooks have been flavoring food with rose water, valuing the ingredient for its fragrant quality and distinctive flavor. Rose water shows up in many old Middle Eastern recipes, and it has long been used by religious Muslims, who won't partake of alcohol, as a substitute for wine in recipes.

Throughout its history, rose water has carried a reputation as a luxury ingredient. Roman emperors once swam in pools of pure rose water. For centuries, European bakers used it to flavor madeleines and cakes. And, in the 17th century, rose water was rare enough and valuable enough that it could be used as legal tender.

Today, food lovers enjoy our Rose Water, which is a steam distillate of the purest rose petals, as a luxurious addition to jams, drinks, pastries and even savory dishes.

 

 

 

 

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