With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching many of our thoughts will turn to the one you love. The phrase “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” springs to mind, so what is the food of love?
In the 1600s the food of love was the same as today; oysters, various different types of seafood and little lozenges or pastries with romantic verses upon them. Today, it’s seafood and of course chocolate!
Seafood and particularly oysters were associated with Aphrodite and are often seen as an aphrodisiac. As for chocolate, well it wasn’t available in Scotland until well in to the 1600s, but we all love it now don’t we?!
We are very lucky that Scotland’s larder provides us with an excellent selection of seafood. Here are some wonderful recipes adapted from 16th and 17th century cookbooks for you to try today or serve on Valentine’s Day.
Pan Fried Scottish Salmon
2 x Salmon Fillets
½ glass White Wine
¼ pint Double Cream
Salt & Pepper to season
1. Pan fry the Salmon fillets in butter
2. Set them aside once cooked
2. In the pan cook the finely chopped onion without colouring
3. Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce by half
4. Add the double cream to the white wine mixture
5. Pour the white wine sauce over the salmon
6. Serve with sautéed potatoes and green beans
Chocolate and Ginger Tart
1 pack Shortcrust Pastry (approx. 12 Oz)
240g Dark Chocolate
½ pint Double Cream
60g Crystallised Ginger – more or less if you like or dislike ginger - it’ll warm your heart!
1. Roll out the pastry to line an 8 inch dish
2. Bake blind for approximately 10 minutes at 180 degrees
3. Whilst the pastry is baking melt the chocolate and cream together in a pan, stirring until thick and smooth
4. Sprinkle the chopped ginger onto the cooked pastry case
5. Pour the chocolate and cream mix into the pastry case and refrigerate
6. Serve with ice cream - or even more ice cream!
Whatever your choice of food on Valentine’s Day, be it romantic candle lit dinner, burger and fries or a bag a popcorn at the movies, make sure you share it with the one you love!
Stirling Castle Steward