It’s All About the Heart

The greeting card companies didn’t start it, Dear Readers. However, by creating a multitude of variously posed love notes etched on card stock, these companies have wrapped their sentimental arms around a most treasured day—Valentine’s Day.

It would be quite out of the ordinary during this popular holiday to send messages of affection and love without including a heart-shaped design. After all, the heart is a symbol of emotion, pleasure, and love…and that is absolutely what is celebrated on February 14th!

Heart-shaped boxed chocolates, foil-wrapped candy kisses, tiny pastel-colored candy hearts with brief messages of “Be Mine” and “I Love You,” have painted a love message for this holiday for generations. Wouldn’t you agree, Dear Readers?

The History of the Symbol

But how did the heart—more interestingly, a red heart–become the symbol of Valentine’s Day?

The following is a playful explanation by Dr. Sheldon Cherry, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University.

He imagined this exchange between an interviewer and a 2000-year-old (yes, I said 2000-year-old) cardiologist.

Interviewer: “Why is the heart colored red?”

Response: “’It is not really red,’ shared Dr. Red Corazon, a prominent cardiologist who happens to be 2000 years old. We were sitting around with my buddy, Michelangelo, at the Vatican one day picking out colors for the ceiling and decided that we liked the color of the Cardinal’s coat. So we picked it for the heart. May have been a mistake in view of the Inquisition. Boy, that was no fun! There was a lot of red blood spilled then.” /

Perhaps, that is the best “explanation” that I have found to account for a love-symbol heart shape that time after time is pictured in the color red.

The Many Colors of Love

Be aware though, the heart shape has been adapted to other colors, too, Dear Readers.

Miss NiNi personally enjoys a heart in the 3-dimensional color of a rich dark chocolate truffle! Mmm!

Oh, yes! It’s no secret that dark chocolate is great for the heart, too! But why is that so?

“Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels.” That sounds like astoundingly great music to the ears of Miss NiNi!

At Miss NiNi’s Desserterie, team baker, Julia, basks in the roll of novice chocolatier. She creates beautifully rich dark chocolates in heart shapes. They have a lovely dark chocolate ganache center often flavored with coconut almond, brandy, rum, or raspberry liqueur and surrounded by a firm dark chocolate cover. Alluringly attractive, they are rich in taste at the same time!

Two delicate heart-shaped macaron choices occupy our dessert case—rich chocolate and raspberry. (Macaroon is coconut based. Macaron is meringue based.) Although not red in color, the reflective flavor of Valentine’s Day in chocolatey brown and rosy pink hues abounds! What a marvelous heart-shaped treat created with nongluten-containing ingredients!  

One thing is quite clear in Miss NiNi’s eyes. A heart is the unparalleled symbol of love no matter what the color or flavor!

Miss NiNi