February is the month of romance, or at least the greeting card, candy companies, and florists around the world would like us to believe this. So with Valentine’s Day upon us, and as we remember our significant other, and hopefully we did not wait until February 14th to remember them, I thought I would offer up some insights on this romantic time.
What is Valentine’s Day and why is this “the” time to remember a loved one? The truth about the Valentines legend is unclear, though the stories, which have been passed down since before the Middle Ages, fashion Valentine as a romantic figure. Valentine was to have sent the first Valentine’s greeting from his prison cell to a loved one when he signed his greeting, “From your Valentine.” The holiday, we have come to know as Valentine’s Day, became popular in England around the mid 17th Century, with handwritten notes between loved ones. Printed cards started to appear as the advancement in printing technology evolved, and then commercialization took over. It is reported that 85% of Valentine’s Day cards are procured by women, which leaves the candy, flowers, dinner reservations, and tickets to the sporting events with the men; ok we can swap the tickets to the sporting event for Opera or Ballet tickets. My feeling is that this designated day for romance should not just be the 14th of February, but it can be any day that you wish to express your feeling for a loved one.
So, with this said, I thought I would offer up some luxurious ways to create a romantic evening any time, with the help of Luxury Experience magazine.
First, you need some music to set the mood for that intimate romantic evening, and what could be better than the romantic release by Al Somma entitled “Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience.” Al Somma’s sound is reminiscent of the famous crooners of the 30’s and 40’s; this release will definitely put you and your significant other in the right mood. Please read the review of Al Somma’s “Song of Innocence, Songs of Experience” in the Music Scene section.
Next, you need a romantic dinner, and what could be better than, a menu that comes complete with step-by-step recipes on how to create this special dinner? The recipes come by way of West Sweden from two excellent chefs, Anna Sara Johansson and Niclas Krafft (Please read the article on Taste of Sweden in Chefs’ Recipes section). You have a selection of Whitefish Roe from the Väner Lake with Jerusalem Artichoke Pannacotta, or Marinated Haddock with Seasonal Vegetable Ragout and Truffle Vierge for your entrée, with warm brown bread, and for dessert, you can share the Warm Chocolate Mousse with Cloudberry Jam and Vanilla Ice Cream.
For the wine pairing, I would recommend a nice pinot noir without heavy oak from California or France, which fish purists call a like-with-like of taste and texture, or a chardonnay from Chile or France, again without heavy oak. Either of the wines will complement the food and will allow the flavors to blend nicely.
Therefore, you have a “recipe” for an intimate evening that you can use anytime. I would love to hear your music and dinner combinations, so send me an email and let me know your music selection, and the menu for your special dinner. Please send your comments to
, and Happy Valentine’s Day to all of the readers of Luxury Experience magazine.
© February 2006. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.