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Should "Love" Be Considered an Ingredient?

I’ve always been taught that the best recipes are made with love. Nestled between layers of flavor, both savory and sweet, love is the special ingredient only the most dedicated chefs imbue their dishes with. Not to be overly romantic, but I’ve been told: Cook with love, and its taste will shine through even the thickest and heartiest of sauces.

Well, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, love has got no place in the foods we eat. On Tuesday, the government organization issued a letter to the owners of Nashoba Brooks Bakery in West Concord, Massachusetts. The bakery in question came under fire for citing “love” as one of the ingredients in their house-made granola. While the gesture was meant to be more fun than factual, it seems the FDA begged to differ.

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“Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient ‘Love,’” reads the letter. “‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient.” (No, FDA, love is most certainly not a usual ingredient name, but that’s what makes it so special, right?) Though the FDA cited additional issues with the bakery, such as not-too-sanitary conditions, the crackdown comes off a little stilted and a tad Orwellian.

It’s the marriage of intense bureaucratic lexicon with off-the-cuff cuteness that makes this case feel particularly funny. Obviously, it’s the sentiment that counts. Love is not measured by the teaspoon but felt in the give of a particularly gooey cake or the lush creaminess of a well-simmered risotto. So, go ahead, try some of our site’s best granola recipes, and don’t forget to add in that special, FDA-disapproved ingredient.

So, should love be considered an ingredient? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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