Many cultures take credit for kickstarting American traditions: “the Romans started civilization!” “The world owes it all to Greece!” “Thank the Dutch for civilization, etc.” America is a hodgepodge of traditions and culture it has borrowed over time, from all over the place. Valentine’s Day is rooted in the ancient Roman tradition of Lupercalia, a spring fertility ritual, but many people associate it with greeting cards, chocolate, candy, and flowers. It’s a national day very much on the sweet, as opposed to the savory, side.
Lupercalia, Valentine’s Day, and Hallmark
Valentine’s Day has changed quite a bit in America in recent years. The pandemic certainly put a dent in human interaction and romance, which we are still recovering from. It is socially acceptable for boys to give boys platonic Valentine’s gifts, which was not always the case. But as much as things change they stay the same, and the pandemic hasn’t stopped Valentine’s tradition.
But what is it like to be single on such a national day? For many, especially in light of the pandemic, the celebration of couplehood on a national level can backfire, leaving people feeling inadequate or lonely. Further, Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with the Hallmark Corporation, but greeting cards are only one piece of the tradition.
Chef Becky on the Sweet and Savory
Bex Kitchen has deep experience in making sweet and scrumptious treats for Valentine’s Day or any event. Chef Becky brings her training from the Parsons School of Design to designing cakes, pies, tarts, and Bex Bars, the latter of which are sold at Black River Roasters in Whitehouse Station, NJ. “There’s a surprising amount of just pure math and pure science in baking,” the Chef explains. “Baking and making desserts is forgiving, but only to a point. It’s good to have a strong grasp of basic math and science in order to bake successfully, which surprises some people. Chocolate is very difficult to work with and I admire people who do it well.” The Chef has an excellent eye for shapes, colors, and presentation, and also an excellent palate for high quality ingredients, like the 72% cacao chocolate chips from France she uses as a base for making chocolate dishes. Bex baker Carol says: “I’ve worked with a lot of chocolate, and this one is by far the highest quality.” The Chef adds, “It’s good to know the ‘grandma basics’ of working with chocolate, and it provides great general cooking skills since chocolate is so finicky.”
Whether you are Han Solo or in a romantic relationship for Valentine’s Day, think of Bex for your sweet needs, where it’s all about the bite!