As Valentine’s Day approaches and we all prepare to woo our loved one with a romantic ‘night in’ and our attempt at home-cooked, restaurant-quality meals (thanks, Covid), we examine why food seems to be the universal language of love.

Whatever you’re planning as your Valentine’s celebration this weekend, we can guarantee that it will involve food.  Whether you buy your beloved their favourite chocolates, make their favourite dinner for two, or surprise them with our fantastic breakfast in bed package, it’s typical for us to celebrate special occasions with food.  Think about it = it’s someone’s birthday? Bake a cake.  It’s Easter time?  Chocolate eggs.  Christmas?  Well, we really do go overboard with our foodie festivities at Christmas…bring on the sprouts!

How did food become more than just fuel?

The use of food during celebrations is a well-used tradition.  The idea of ‘breaking bread together’ goes as far back as the time that the Bible was written and indicates that people were sharing food to denote an occasion, whether it was a celebration, ritual, or tradition.

It’s thought that, unlike spoken language or writings, food has always been a universal necessity, therefore it was an easy way of showing respect to people who didn’t share your methods of communication to provide them with food.

After all, in by-gone centuries where food was not as readily available as it is now, having enough food to share was a sign of abundance that was beyond sustenance.  Sharing food became more than just a sign of respect to your guests.  It also denoted someone’s success and power – look at all this food I have because I am a successful person who can provide for my family.

It can even be argued that the providing of food is due to in-built animal instincts.  Taking your partner to a posh restaurant on a first date isn’t necessarily the same as a caveman hunting and killing a Mammoth to feed a family, but the basic psychology about providing and sustaining basic human needs is the same.  

We don’t think that ordering a Domino’s or cooking up some quick scrambled eggs has quite the same effect today, but it does show the power of food on our social behaviour. 

Love sweet love

It is interesting to note that we turn to sweet things when we choose food for celebrations.  Our jams are a good example of this and are often bought as fillings for birthday cakes or elaborate anniversary puddings.  Perhaps this is an evolution in the use of food – cakes, sweets, and puddings aren’t necessary for the survival of the human race (although a fair few of us have bought an extra tin of Quality Street to get us through Lockdown 3), but they are something special, a nice addition to our array of required sustenance.  Could it be that because these are treats rather than fundamental foodstuff that we choose them as our celebratory options?

We know from the (slightly cheesy but we’re not telling you not to) tradition of buying chocolates that food is used as a romantic tool.  From the dopamine hit we get from eating our favourite food – and the aphrodisiac effects of certain food types – to the time, money, or effort someone has spent on that lovely meal for us, our love of food also helps us demonstrate our love, too.

Whatever lovely dish you’re serving up to your dishy love this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget that we have all the fresh ingredients for a 3-course feast and a nice bottle of fizz available in The Paddock Farm Shop – visit us or call now to get all the ingredients for your romantic night in!

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