We’re giving you something to shout about this winter with our favourable food in February calendar.

Despite being winter’s hump month – far enough away from Christmas to forget about it but not quite close enough to spring to get excited – February is short, tedious, and dull in the northern hemisphere.

To help the long winter evenings just fly by, we’ve thrown together a list of favourable food in February to help boast pre-spring morale.

Let’s take a look at the Favourable Food Calendar for February.

1st February, 2022 – Chinese New Year. #chinesenewyear

How can a billion people be wrong? Chinese food is rich, diverse, aromatic, colourful, and has proved to be highly influential throughout Asia and the world of dining.

Food plays a huge part in Chinese culture and there is no better excuse to sample authentic Chinese cuisine than a New Year’s celebration.

The Chinese New Year starts on February 1st and the celebrations continue for 16 days. The Chinese zodiac gives 2022 to Esso’s favourite cat, the tiger, and here are 15 traditional dishes for you to maul and get your teeth stuck into this Chinese New Year:

https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-food/eight-chinese-dishes.htm

2nd February, 2022 #FrozenYoghurtDay

Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, is International Frozen Yoghurt Day.

Still yet to catch on in this country but memberships are increasing and consumers are now making it their mission to make this event bigger and brighter than ever before.

Frozen yoghurt always looks very appealing on the dessert menu, it’s a healthier, low-fat alternative to ice cream, and the opportunity to sample different flavours is tempting.

Although the Americans are marketing the event with continued enthusiasm, this particular celebration is mainly celebrated in tropical countries such as El Salvador, Malaysia, Oman, and India, where cold foods can be appreciated this time of year.

If you’ve not had your fill of Chinese food in February you can always try a new frozen yoghurt recipe as a dessert option. There are plenty to choose from…

https://www.asweetpeachef.com/how-to-make-frozen-yogurt/

Cupid’s Favourable Food in February – Tuesday, 14th, 2022 #valentinesday2022 #valentinesday

Food and celebration go hand in hand and, despite February being virtually a non-starter for wedding celebrations and outdoor events, it’s all about the planning and the engagements that emerge from the romantic meals for two.

Of course, February wouldn’t be February without mentioning Valentine’s Day.

More than an excuse to plunge a celebration between Christmas and Easter, Valentine’s Day has real meaning, and nothing appeals to the public’s wallet more than an occasion with execution and death at its core.

St. Valentine was guilty of marrying Christian couples as well as helping persecuted Christians escape from Rome.

During his time as a prisoner, it seemed to be going quite well for St. Valentine. He gained the favour of the emperor, Marcus Aurelius Claudius Gothicus, and his release seemed imminent until St. Valentine tried to wash the emperor with Christianity.

Of course, as you’d expect from 3rd Century Rome, a succession of brutal beatings took place to punish poor St. Valentine and, when that failed to finish him off, they chopped his head off.

Not quite as graphic as Guido Fawkes and Christ, but he was still made accountable for his ‘crimes’ with the typical, barbarous creativity you’d expect from Roman executioners.

Eating is a great way to socialise, propose to a loved one, and put any thoughts of beheadings to the back of your mind.

Eating is a repetitive pleasure that revives emotions, brings joy, and lifts our spirits. Who doesn’t enjoy good food with good people?

5th, February 2022 – #WorldNutellaDay

There are several foods with a reputation for lifting spirits – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mood-food – and two from the list are chocolate and nuts, and nothing brings joy to a crust of freshly baked bread like Nutella.

70% hazelnut paste and 30% chocolate is now honoured, annually, on 5th February. Nutella has captured our hearts and is now one of the most popular spreads in the world.

Thanks to a lack of cocoa in 19th Century Italy, where hazelnuts were produced in abundance, a cheeky chocolatier from Turin, Michele Prochet, added hazelnuts to chocolate to prolong the stock.

Except for diabetes and nut allergies, nothing can stop our affection for nut-based chocolate spread and the rest, as they say, is history. From that moment of momentous mixing madness, hazelnut-cocoa paste became a thing as well as a substitute.

If you want to let the majesty and magic of Nutella go beyond bread and celery sticks, check out these recipes for an excuse to go all 9 1/2 Weeks on Valentine’s Day:

https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/collection/best-nutella-recipes/

From Yorkshire to Rome in a week. 06/02/22 #yorkshirepudding

Just eight days before the rush for tables for two, National Yorkshire Pudding Day hits our Sunday lunches like a clumsy dancer at Aunt Bessie’s birthday party.

And, yes, there is a day for that.

The humble Yorkshire Pudding was originally given as a starter, filled with gravy, just to take the edge off starvation. Now it exists in its original format but is surrounded by enough carbohydrates to prepare for a marathon.

There are always debates within the family about who is/was most revered for their Yorkshire puddings – “She was a cold-hearted, mean old woman, but she sure did know how to bake a Yorkshire pud. How did she manage to get ’em to rise like that?”

And if you are looking to rival Aunt Bessie, here is – according to the BBC – the best recipe:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/best-yorkshire-puddings

Get a pizza of February 9th – #nationalpizzaday

And just when you didn’t think you could carb-load anymore, along comes Pizza Day.

Virtually non-existent outside of Italy until after WWII, pizza is a fast, favourable food in February, anywhere in the world.

The world pizza market currently stands over £130billion annually and there is no sign of abating, with apps and online ordering facilitating the ease of bringing food to the door.

Crazy prediction alert: By 2042, Amazon will be delivering pizza by drone.

Flatbreads and foods similar to pizza have been around since Neolithic times with cheese, dates and herbs being the first reported toppings.

The Egyptians, ancient Greeks, and Romans all put their spin on the idea, with early flatbreads having the appearance of something we now top with garlic, smother with olive oil, and use with a dip as an appetiser, often accompanied by pizza.

The pizza as we know it came to culinary fruition in the thriving waterfront regions of Campania, Southwest Italy.

A trend in the late 1700s was to consume enough food as cheaply as possible. Hungry Neapolitans created something quite unique that gave them quick, inexpensive food. They eventually adapted flatbreads to suit every meal, using cheese, tomatoes, herbs, olives and anchovies.

Until Queen Margherita of Italy visited Naples in 1889 and gave her royal approval to a flatbread topped with soft, white cheese, covered with herbs and tomatoes, the upper classes regarded pizza as ‘disgusting’.

The colours of the pizza matched the colours of the Italian flag, and Margherita seemed like an ideal name for it.

It’s quite coincidental how a day dedicated to a top comfort food falls just days before Valentine’s Day, especially as 4% of American females say that they would rather eat pizza than have a boyfriend.

And with so many days dedicated to favourable food in February, most females will have undertaken such a feeding frenzy that they may have mistakenly eaten their boyfriend by March.

Nuts to Brazil, it’s National Almond Day. #NationalAlmondDay

16th February 2022 is National Almond Day in the US. America has a bit of a monopoly on Almonds: 80% of them are grown in California.

Having a day for an almond begs the question, “What day will they think of next?”

If an almond can have a day, then there can be a national day for anything and everything: leaves, berries, variations of grass, coffee beans, and perhaps jellyfish and viruses.

What makes the almond so special is its versatility. In these days of vegan sustainability, the almond can be milk, bread, butter, oil, pasta, paste, part of a dessert, a main course or breakfast.

Alone, almonds provide a snack that is a source of vitamin E, magnesium and fibre.

Just by being itself, the almond is one of the most heart-healthy foods you can buy and, like apples, it can help suppress the appetite to assist with weight management. This is why this nutty pearl in a shell is to be honoured as a fabulous food in February.

Scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds a day reduces the risk of heart disease. However, if I can just point out, this is from scientists in the country where the majority of almonds are grown.

We’re not saying it’s just a marketing statistic but I would like to see hard evidence before we begin to throw an almond party in the UK. Let’s just hear what the other nuts have to say about it first.

To find out more about what is going on with the Californian almond, click here:

https://www.almonds.co.uk/

“Give them bread and circus.” #RealBreadWeek

From 19th- 27th February, we are talking – yep, you’ve guessed it – more carbs.

It’s International Real Bread Week, and it’s been celebrated since 2010.

The good people at Sustain, the real people behind Real Bread Week, openly back British farmers and advocate food and agricultural policies to enhance the health and the welfare of people and animals.

According to their website – https://www.sustainweb.org/ – they are working to improve the environment and promote equity. All of this from our daily bread – impressive!

Bread needs no introduction; it’s been part of our lives for about 30,000 years. We often see bread as a mundane necessity, the reason to eat more on the side, something to mop up the sauce, and not as a favourable food in February.

However, despite the environmental challenges facing Sustain, the key focus behind Real Bread Week is to encourage people to buy local and, when possible, bake their bread at home.

When there are welfare and environmental factors in play, it has to be encouraged. Get baking with this easy recipe:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easy-white-bread

24th February is legend. #NationalChilliDay

A favourable food in February that has been described as legendary and a people-pleaser is none other than the Mexican/Texan dish, Chilli Con Carne.

Currently celebrated in the US, Chilli Day is one of the few American habits I’d like to encourage the UK to adopt. In fact, it should be a national holiday.

Chilli is the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas where Chilli is taken very seriously. There have been casualties with regards to the debate around the bean issue, the toppings, the accompaniments and the ferocity.

Secret recipes have been hidden away from family members for generations, only to make a reappearance upon the reading of a family will.

Recipe opinions vary from one extreme to the other. It appears as if Mexico favoured the baked bean until Texas created a version with the bitter kidney bean. Some hard-core aficionados even denounce the consistency if the chilli is thicker than a soup, emphasising that there should be no sign of beans or pieces of meat.

Regardless of how it’s made, chilli is nearly always a winner. It’s rare for someone to reject the offer of a night in with friends, family, and the spicy aroma of chilli on a plate.

Almost everyone has their own recipe, and Chilli Con Carne with friends warms the cold month of February and makes the day seem brighter.

Like pizza, chilli has an emotional edge. More than 25% of Americans regard chilli as comfort food, and people from all over the world reminisce about their favourite recipe.

National Chilli day in February is for the Americans but here’s a traditional Mexican recipe just to keep the debate running across the border. “Adios amigos”

Who has National Strawberry Day in February? #StrawberryDay

Only the UK could celebrate a food at a time of year when it is imported and, consequently, at its blandest.

Admittedly, we do share this day with the US, where strawberries are largely grown all year round but, if I had to speculate when strawberries would be celebrated in a particular month, I’d have gone for June.

What appears to have happened is that Valentine’s Day has swayed the decision to place it in February.

It appears more of a commercial opportunity to use the strawberries sweet, sensual, and romantic association to place its special day in February, even though the strawberries that arrive on supermarket shelves during winter taste like water.

To sweeten up your day, here are some wines to compliment your bland strawberries:

https://www.matchingfoodandwine.com/news/pairings/my-top-pairings-with-strawberries/

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the scales.

From starting the month with a fortnight of Chinese food, a romantic meal for two halfway through the month, a variation of frozen yoghurts in the freezer, a pizza banquet, chilli, and all that bread you’ve baked with the kids, you’ve probably just about left room for a week’s worth of Cornish pasties.

27th February, 2022. #CornishPastyWeek

Starting on February 27th, the favourable food in February flows well into memorable munchies in March with the tradition of the delicious pasty being celebrated for a whole week, until March 5th.

The Cornish Pasty, with its prestigious PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), was originally made for Cornish miners in the 19th century.

Traditionally, a pastry case was filled with beef skirt, potato, swede and onion as a substantial, hand-held meal.

Sailors, in Cornish harbours, took advantage of the pasty’s versatility and it wasn’t long before the humble hand-held meal became an export.

Although shapes, sizes, and fillings vary, the crust was designed to be thick to keep the contents warmer for longer and enable the transition from savoury to sweet. Delicious jams and other ingredients can be added to change the flavour but keep the concept.

Over 120 million pasties are baked each year and pasty variations can be found from Vladivostok to Sydney.

Considering its popularity and history, it’s surprising to hear that Cornish Pasty Week is only in its fourth year!

Push any Cornish pasty problems to the front of your kitchen with this genuine recipe:

https://cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/about-the-pasty/make-your-own-genuine-cornish-pasty/

Do you have a day to celebrate?

If you are looking to celebrate your own special day in the near future, contact us with your ideas and we’ll help to make it a memorable, lasting occasion.

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