Chocolates and Poems for Saint Valentine's

I've never been much of a true romantic, maybe hopeless and in turn cynical. I don't highly value commercial holidays, I think heart shaped boxes are a rip-off, and I once gagged upon receiving a necklace in the form of a heart. So I suppose that makes me a hipster, a brat, una pija, and a bah humbug. This Valentine's Day was one of the few that I've been with a "special someone", although with my boyfriend off to Kazakhstan, there isn't much love happening around here. In that case, I decided to celebrate by writing a poem. Well quite frankly my motivation was to enter it in a VDay contest (I love winning!) at Ancha Castilla. Update from this afternoon: I lost to a native Spanish speaker - go figure- so now I may share my witty, sarcastic love story with you all. 

A heart shaped ceramic found in the streets of Tangier, Morocco

San Valentín. Febrero. ¿Me quieres? Ya veremos.

Te adoro, te amo, te espero como los granjeros esperan la cultivación del campo. 

Dame un beso. ¿un pico? ¿un picual? Vale, pásame el aceite. 

Marzo. Abril. La lluvia aún no ha llegado. Necesito regar esta tierra, este amor.

Mayo, Semana Santa nos visitó tarde. No era por azar que estuvieramos allí. Oh, flor de azahar, ¿dices?

Junio, julio, agosto. Te fuiste de vacaciones. Me dije, "MAN, hombre, CHE, déjalo, let it GO".

Septiembre. La cosecha. Nuestro amor volvió a florecer. Pero no me correspondiste, pusiste toda tu energía en pisar uvas.

Octubre...ya se acabó, me decía. Noviembre, igual. En diciembre te comiste mis yemas, mi 
mazapán, y te fuiste.

En enero los reyes me fallaron. Les pedí tu presencia, y no llegaste, honey.

Estamos en Castilla, Castilla La Mancha cariño. Ojalá me manches con esos labios, carnosos y dulces.

Me das la espalda? Vale, sigo mirándola, castiza, como #anchacastilla.

Esperar? Lo haré, además un buen amor crece con paciencia y necesita maduración igual que un buen 
queso.

San Francisco, Fran, San Fran, me pasas el azafrán? Un poquito. Voy a hacer una paella... con amor.

Si me oyes, San Valentín, regalame una cesta, para que los tortolitos puedan poner su nidito de amor 
debajo de los molinos de viento.

_________________________________________________________

Saint Valentine. February. Do you love me? We'll see. 

I adore you, I love you, I'll wait for you like farmers wait for the cultivation of the land. 

Give me a kiss. A peck? A picual? Fine, pass me the olive oil. 

March. April. The rain still hasn't come. I need to irrigate this land, this love.

May. Easter was late this year. It wasn't pure chance that we met again. Oh, orange blossoms you say? (In English this makes no sense, in Spanish it's a play on words)

June, July, August. You went on vacation. I told myself, "MAN, dude, CHE, let it GO"  
(another play on words = manchego cheese, and che is similar to saying dude in Argentina)

September. The harvest. Our love was rekindled. But you didn't respond, you put all of your energy into stomping grapes. 

October...it's over, I said. November, the same. But in December you resurfaced, you ate my Christmas treats, and then you left. 

In January, the three Kings failed me. I asked them for your presence, but you didn't come, honey. 

We're in Castilla, Castilla La Mancha, baby. I hope you stain me with your luscious and sweet lips. 
(mancha means stain in Spanish)

You'll turn your back on me? Fine, I'll continue to look at it, wide and so very "Spanish."

Wait for you? I will, besides a strong love grows with patience and needs to mature as does a good cheese. 

San Francisco, Fran, San Fran, will you pass me the saffron? Just a little. I am going to make a paella...with love. 

If you hear me Saint Valentine, please choose me, so that I may nest with my lovebird under the windmills.  


 Lovebirds in the Northern Coast of Morocco. 

 Paris, France. Bridge connecting the Left Bank to the Notre Dame Cathedral, "Padlocks of Love"

If you do choose to celebrate in this locura of a holiday, at least buy your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, mistress, borg or ewok, something that they will enjoy eating. I recommend these artisan chocolate companies who are really taking to heart the practice of bean-to-bar and/or package design, as well as production in limited quantity. Additionally, they watch their environmental footprint, obtaining their products from single bean sources and collaborating with small cocoa farms at fair prices.

Italy: Amedei

France:

Michel Cluizel

Bonnat

Brazil: AMMA Chocolate. Great article on them from Cool Hunting, here.

United States:

Dandelion Chocolate

Dick Tailor Chocolate

Guittard

Olive and Sinclair

Patric Chocolate

Ritual Chocolate

Rogue Chocolatier

Xocolatl de David

Points of sale online or at The Meadow in NYC and Portland (the new chocolate empire?!?)

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