The Year of Food and Drink got off to a great start, with so many of our traditional foods celebrated during the dark days and nights of January. Now February is here and there is already a glimmer of more light in the sky, the snowdrops are starting to pop out and it seems like spring might just be around the corner. February also brings with it a celebration of love and romance in the form of Valentine’s Day.

Here at Eat Scottish, in this Year of Food and Drink, we wanted to use February to celebrate not just those foods traditionally associated with love, but also those foods that we love to eat.

 

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to a great meal in – the perfect stepping stone from the tighten-your-belt attitude of January, to properly spending in March. Buy some amazing Scottish ingredients – visit your local market, farm shop, deli, grocer, butcher and fishmonger, to ensure you get the best for your money.

 

Chocolate plays a big part in February’s theme, and last year, the Community Food Fund helped support the creation of a Scottish Chocolatiers network and trail, linking up the more that 65 artisanal chocolatiers we have in Scotland, from Durness to Dumfries. There’s nothing more romantic that getting a box of chocs for or from your loved one. In this Year of Food and Drink, what better reason to ditch the big name brands and go for something entirely more special? Even better – visit your local chocolatier in person, find out more about what they are doing, and maybe even sneak in a sample or two!

 

You can download a copy of The Chocolate Larder here.

 

Oysters are one of those ingredients supposed to make those romantic nights even more special. Indeed many of Scotland’s native shellfish are in season now, so whether you like langoustine, mussels, razor clams or oysters, it’s a great time to serve up a fruits de mer platter to your loved one.

 

Finally to the sweeter side of life, with Scottish honey. This is a product with real ‘terroir’, and huge variations in colour, taste and aroma. Real honey enthusiasts will no doubt have their favourite supply of this liquid gold, but have you ever considered running your own hives? Innovative Scottish company, Plan Bee offer a fully managed beehive service, operating hives for everyone from Glengoyne distillery to Royal Troon Golf Club, as well as producing a range of honey and honey-related products themselves.

 

And, of course, February is a great time just to celebrate and remember the foods you love to eat, and there’s lots of other amazing produce in season right now. A Scotch Beef PGI fillet steak, with chunky chips and some buttery kale sounds like a meal fit for any purpose.

 

Follow @Eat_Scottish and @ThinkLocalScot for more on the monthly themes running throughout 2015, Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink