The heart symbol is an ideograph used to express the idea of the “heart” in a metaphorical or symbolic sense. It is an anatomically inaccurate shape as we all know & represents emotion, affection and love, especially romantic love. Depictions of this symbol were found in South Asia in the Indus Valley Civilization (3300 BCE to 1300 BCE) and a heart shaped pendant from the area is on exhibit in the Delphi Museum. The shape is thought to represent the heart shaped peepal fruit of the plant silphium. Ironically the plant was used as an herbal contraceptive. Silver coins from Cyrene of the 5-6th Century BC bear a similar design, sometimes accompanied by a silphium plant but the heart shape with its use as a heart metaphor was not developed until the end of the Middle Ages (1200 AD – 1300 AD). The first known depiction of a heart as a symbol of romantic love dates to the 1250s in a miniature decorating a capital ‘S’ in a manuscript of the French Roman de la poire.
Our familiar symbol of the heart representing love developed in the 15th century and became popular in Europe during the 16th century. The modern indented red heart has been used on playing cards since the late 15th century.
The growth of Valentine’s Day, established in 496 to honor the martyred saint who aided lovers and performed secret marriages, helped promote the heart-shape even further. Valentine’s Day gained popularity in the seventeenth century, when it involved simple love notes, often adorned with hearts. Since the 19th century the symbol has often been used on Valentine’s Day cards, candy boxes, and similar popular culture artifacts as a symbol of romantic love. In 1977 the heart-shape became a verb on the now-ubiquitous t-shirt proclaiming “I ♥ NY.”
Since the 1990s the heart symbol has also been used as an ideogram indicating health in its use by restaurants to indicate heart healthy nutrient content (low in cholesterol) and a copyrighted heart-check symbol to indicate heart healthy food was introduced by the American Heart Association in 1995.
Here’s a toast to whatever is in your heart in 2023!!!!
Wed – 2/15 – left-over Valentine candies & left-over cocktails paired with the following single pours: Kvint – Moldova XO brandy aged in French oak barrel – smokey full flavor; Clear Creek Blue Plum- Viewed as the gold standard for slivovitz in the world. This lively kosher spirit shimmers and has an aroma and taste of its small yellow Mirabelle plum and unripe peach; Bols Ginger- Ginger and floral with a hint of brandy – a smooth sensation with floral notes and a strong after taste of ginger.
Thurs – 2/16 – Let’s continue with Valentine love – we may still have some left over chocolate and our Belated but nonetheless fantastic Valentine special cocktails: Stupid Cupid – Pineapple Brandy, Cointreau, Sour mix, Pineapple juice, Lemon juice; I ♥ U – Courvoisier, crème de cocoa, heavy cream; Be Nice – Martel, Cointreau, sour mix; True Love- cherry brandy, rum, lime juice; First Kiss – (French 75) with Champagne topper to celebrate with bubbles – Courvoisier, lemon juice, simple syrup (This was the French at-end-of-day during WWII named after a French artillery gun.); Fruit/infused flight ½ price