Saint Valentine’s Day varies in its celebration across different cultures. Here in Valencia, some similar celebrations even take place on October 9th, where Valencians traditionally exchange marzipan wrapped in a handkerchief. The recipient of the gift must keep the handkerchief in which the marzipan is wrapped as a token of their enduring love and the duration of their relationship.
Across the UK and Spain alike, it is also common for partners to exchange thoughtful gifts on the more traditional date of February 14th. Similarly, in Japan, chocolates of various flavours and shapes are often exchanged on Valentine’s Day. However, it is customary for women specifically to be the gift givers, not only to their partners but also to friends, family, and colleagues. White Day then follows a month later – a tradition known as Okaeshi – where men reciprocate with gifts of greater value, a practice initiated by the National Association of the Confectionery Industry of Japan.
The act of gifting and surprising, historically known as Kokuhaku, is akin to expressing one’s feelings towards another. With these traditions in mind, the Hotaru restaurant aims to surprise patrons with a special menu crafted exclusively for February 14th as a fleeting taste of the premonition of love (Koi No Yokan). Bluefin tuna takes centre stage of the exclusive line-up, reflecting Chef Lucas Baturone’s reverence for high-quality ingredients and his Andalusian heritage, where almadraba bluefin tuna holds gastronomic significance.
Report by Abi Kara-Fernandes
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