Is there any country more romantic than Spain to spend Valentine's Day? From sailing the Mediterranean in perfect sunshine, to a spiritual retreat with your loved one on the Camino de Santiago, a Michelin Star meal in San Sebastián, or a non-stop weekend of art, culture and perhaps even a football match in Madrid, there are countless places to celebrate Valentine's Day in Spain.
But despite being one of the most perfect places in the world to spend time with your beloved, the Spanish... don't traditionally celebrate Valentine's Day. Many people consider it an invented holiday, promoted by the country's main department store, El Corte Inglés, to increase sales.
Nevertheless, each year more and more couples celebrate this day in the same way as many other lovers around the world. Most couples enjoy a special dinner, and occasionally there may be a gift or flowers, though it's not expected. Chocolates and cakes are especially popular gifts, and bakeries generally feature something special in their windows in the weeks leading up to February 14th.
Fun Fact: Spain has another, more traditional, day for couples in the region of Catalonia. Here the locals celebrate La Diada de Sant Jordi, Saint George's Day on April 23. The holiday is also known as The Day of the Rose or The Day of the Book (both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes are said to have died on April 23, 1616). Traditions include surprising your loved one with a rose and also with a book.
If you can't spend this Valentine's Day somewhere in Spain, why not try the next best thing? A Spanish themed Valentine's Day meal followed by one of these delicious Spanish desserts is sure to capture (and keep!) your loved one's heart.
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This elegant (and easy) Spanish cake combines two of Spain's best food groups: wine and chocolate! Many forget that it was the Spanish who first brought the chocolate making tradition to Europe, where for many years it was only served in beverage form. This rich chocolate cake mixes butter, cocoa powder, and baking chocolate with red wine, resulting in a deep, rich chocolate flavor. After a romantic Valentine's Day meal, it would be the perfect dessert.
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Spain's simple and traditional tarta de Santiago cake is elevated with a vibrant strawberry salsa. This recipe calls for little more than ground almonds, eggs and powdered sugar, but the non-traditional crust and tart strawberries add vibrancy to this delicious dessert.
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There's nothing more decadent than a well-made, creamy Spanish flan. This recipe results in a dense and rich custard, which is perfect with its own caramel sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.
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Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
Does your loved one like Nutella (or in Spain, Nocilla)? If so, read on! This delicious chocolate-hazelnut mousse is one of the most delicious mousse recipe's in Spain. In less than an hour, you'll have a light and fluffy mousse, with an intense chocolate flavor.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Wild Blueberry Cheesecake
If you're looking for a dessert that will make it seem like you spent hours in the kitchen, this is the one! Ready in only 45 minutes (plus time to cool in the fridge) this rich blueberry cheesecake is always a safe bet.
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Another popular chocolate hazelnut combination, this decadent pie is a wonderful Valentine's Day dessert, especially for a chocolate lover. You'll need to make this ahead of time, as it needs to chill for eight hours. Despite the wait, this no-bake recipe is easy and full of rich, chocolatey flavor.