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Will You Be My Valentine? My Heart’s on Fire (Truly)

Flaming heart milagros from Mexico symbolize the sacred heart--but personally I like to think of them as lovers' hearts on fire.

Flaming heart milagros from Mexico symbolize the sacred heart–but personally I like to think of them as lovers’ hearts on fire.

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day.

Gold, silver, diamonds: Tiffany has got you covered. For chocolate, take your pick: Vosges (spicy), Hersey’s (all-American). For slyly erotic chocolate, may I suggest a Valentine’s viste to Patrick Roger in Paris.

But around here, Valentines rule our world—today, and every day.

I seem to collect hearts, like these tin milagros from a tiny shop on a crowded alley in Jalapa, capital city of Vera Cruz. I especially love the tiny heart-shaped mirror: I’m sure it means “You hold my heart in your hand.” The flaming hearts symbolize the sacred heart—but I imagine them as lovers’ hearts, spontaneously combusting.

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Sometimes hearts are tucked away, hidden in a drawer, pulled out only on the most romantic of days. These corazones, from the mercado in Papantla, are woven of supple Mexican vanilla beans. Their fragrance is still sweet and sultry, even after all these years. (The vanilla artisans also make evil-looking scorpions, but never mind about that….)

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Sometimes I wear my heart, not on my sleeve, but around my waist…

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And sometimes a heart appears where I least expect it. Here it’s peeking out of a rosetta swirled in my latte foam at Thinking Cup in Boston…

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Of course today I can’t resist bringing a little something sweet into the house, like these treats from Gugelhupf Patisserie

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And did I mention the saucy cherubs watching over us?
Happy Valentine’s Day!

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