WHY IS FEBRUARY THE 14TH THE DAY OF LOVE
You won’t believe this! or maybe you will! Just like Christmas and other Christian celebrations, St.Valentine’s day has a past in the pagan rites. We are going to discuss this and also find the connection with food. What food do Italians eat on these days and what food is directly connected to love (in all its senses) in Italy?
Needless to say, If you want to pick a city in Italy where to impress your better half and spend a proper romantic time, you must go to Venice? and since food and love are life companions, the gift can’t but be a private food and wine tour of Venice with Streaty!
ST VALENTINE BEFORE THE SAINTS
Have you ever heard of the Lupercalia? Lupercalia stands for “the feast of Luperco”. Luperco – from Latin lupus, wolf – was an ancient pagan God worshipped and celebrated in Roman times. During the Lupercalia, romans would basically random match couples as a result of a draw. An innocent child’s hand was in charge of doing the draw? the child as personification of Cupid.
The new lucky couples (hopefully for them!) they have the right to spend their Lupercalia together…party time!
Let’s get serious again. As you can easily understand, this rite would celebrate fertility. It is not a case that many pagan rites and feasts wishing fertility were places right before spring or at its beginning. It’s the time when men have to boost the fertility of their lands waiting for rich harvests.
You can read the same way Easter, the Resurrection, when the fruits of Nature resurrect!
ST VALENTINE SUPERSTAR
In 496 Pope Gelasio I established St.Valentine’s day and doing so he did cancel the former pagan rite and made it Christian.
So who was Mr Valentine? Nowadays he would work as a couple therapist. Back then he was an Italian Bishop based in Terni (Umbria, the green heart of Italy). But he was not any bishop! Valentine made his reputation as the man who would help “unblessed” couples get together. The Emperor could not bear the fact that Valentine would facilitate these encounters and celebrate their union without his official approval. And just like many other saints, Valentine’s destiny was written…imprisoned, tortured…Martyred. So, Another Martyr joined the list of holy men and women who would pace our calendar.
According to the story, Valentine never gave up to Love. During his detention he fell in love with his warden’s daughter. Guess what?Valentine’s last words were spent for love, in a love letter! And this is the origins of the American tradition of sending “valentines” letter to impress their better half! Keep doing it lovers!
ITALIAN FOOD IN SAINT VALENTINE’S DAY
We would disappoint you this time. There is not a specific St Valentine’s dish in Italy. However, since this is the day of love and fertility, let’s take a look at what Italians would eat to empower these emotions…and instincts!
BACI PERUGINA, MARKETING OF LOVE
The Baci Perugina! There is no tradition that welcomes this delicious hazelnut chocolate…it’s just marketing! The Perugina company made such a massive promotion in the past decades that it is nowadays considered the Italian chocolate of love. The bacio perugina is in the market since 1922 and it became the official love treat coz each delicious chocolate topped with an hazelnut goes with a small piece of paper that reads a love dedication!
ZABAIONE, MAMA’S CURE
Zabaione is a delicious cream made with egg, sugar and marsala wine. It’s used to stuff cakes. In Palermo you can find the ice cream version of sabbione, it’s called “zuppa inglese”!
According to Italian mama’s theory Zabaione would grant extra energies to their sons to be spent in more intense love performances! Not kidding! This is not an old tradition! Italian mamas still do it!
Is it only a coincidence that in these days that match with Carnival (another celebration of abundance) Venetians make frittelle with Zabaione??? I would say it is not.
The birth of the frittella – “fritea” in Venetian language – can be dated back to 7 centuries ago! This is not a story, it’s history, the evidence is readable on a document preserved in the Biblioteca Casanatese in Rome. The standard frittella dough contains flour, milk, sugar, yeast, egg. Don’t forget to add in the mixture some raisins! This is now the official Carnival treat in Veneto region. Come to Venice in February and try the frittella with zabbaione cream! Celebrate taste and fertility in Venice.
Do you actually know what tiramisù mean? It means “lift me up!”.
Yes, it’s always about sex in Italy! According to the story, the tiramisu was made by a brothel “maitresse” in Treviso. The brothel’s landlady would help her clients reinvigorate after their daily sin by offering them this delicious and energetic cake. Sinful love, but still love.
And see what you have inside the tiramisù cream? Egg and sugar! Many Italians also enrich the cream with a licor…here it comes again…the zabaione cream!
Guys…you know you don’t have to mess up with food in Italy. Two regions compete for being the fathers of Tiramisù, Friuli and Veneto.
We stand for Veneto and its erotic story. If you wanna try the best tiramisu of Venice, join us on the evening Venice food and wine tour…Your palate will not regret!