Our dried Shiitake mushrooms came out just in time for Valentine’s Day. Besides the usual gifts, flowers, and chocolates, why not add a beautiful jar of flavorsome mushrooms? Here is why:
Valentine’s Day came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century. It had its origins in the pagan Roman festival of Lupercalia, celebrating the coming of Spring and included fertility rites. We will draw a veil over what went on there!
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day but it was only during the Middle Ages that the day became associated with romance. And there is a fascinating story attached to that.
The fascinating story...
Regarding the origin of the name St. Valentine, the popular story is that during the third century, the emperor Claudius II ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods.
When Saint Valentine, a practicing Christian, refused, the emperor arrested and sentenced him to death.
While in prison, the jailor brought his blind daughter, Julia, to Valentine so that he could educate her about history, nature and religion. The two fell in love, and on the night before his execution, he wrote her a farewell letter signed ‘From your Valentine.’
These immortal three words have been used throughout the ages. In the 1400’s, it became custom to write love letters as well. This developed into the tradition of Valentine’s Day cards.
Today, Valentine’s Day celebrations extend to include anybody you treasure or appreciate.
Make Valentine’s Day even more special this year by preparing a romantic meal. What’s more romantic than a candle-lit dinner at home with your loved one? Or simply share the love and include the whole family!
Our Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce recipe is ideal. The steaks are quick and easy to grill or sear in a pan. The aroma of sizzling meat never fails to awaken the senses! And the mushrooms’ warm, fleshy umami flavor will add to the ambience of a romantic evening.
written by Elsa Dixon, Ph.D; TravelswithElsa.com