Happy Valentine’s

‘To eat out or dine in?’, that’s the question posed every year on Valentine’s Day. Opinions are divided. Call me an un-romantic old cynic, but I’ve done it a couple of times but never again. I’m much happier dining in the comfort of my own home, although with a seven-year-old daughter on school half-term, the romance is pretty limited…

And in this current climate of austerity, budget’s also got a big part to play. All the big supermarkets have jumped in with their popular ‘dine-in for two’ promos. So popular in fact that M&S caught the brunt of a Twitterstorm today when stores started running out of their promo items by lunchtime.

In Japan, there’s an unusual local twist to the imported Valentine’s tradition which revolves around chocolate. On Valentine’s Day, it’s only the women who give gifts of chocolate to men as an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation. This takes the form of giri choco (courtesy chocolate) or honmei choco (chocolate of love). Then, in order to balance things out, the Japanese invented White Day, a month later on 14 March when men have the chance to return the favour in kind.

I first came across this the last time I was working in Tokyo with all the department store food halls awash with chocolate of one form or another for the entire three weeks I was there.

Oyasumi nasai!   おやすみなさい。

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