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13 July 2024

Roses too costly for Valentine’s Day? Gift tomatoes instead

A florist prepares roses for Valentine's Day at a flower shop in Tirana. (REUTERS)

By Shuchita Kapur

If you are on a tight budget and red roses seem too pricey to give to your loved one, a basket of tomatoes should be equally acceptable as a gift.
During the Roaring Twenties, some valentines were actually shaped like tomatoes.
During those days, tomatoes only grew in flower gardens and were considered love apples.
The Roaring Twenties is a term for the 1920s in the Western world.
It was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, particularly in major cities such as New York, Montreal, Chicago, Detroit, Paris, Berlin, London, and Los Angeles.
Today, the tomato element has been intertwined with chocolates, making sun-dried tomato chocolates a gift option.
However, these may be costlier that the average tomato and more at par with roses.
Originally, Valentine’s Day was not at all a commercial celebration.
Valentine’s greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, but the written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400.
The oldest known Valentine still in existence today is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, according to www.history.com.
“By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology,” reads the website.
Since then, expensive gifts have become popular with flowers, cards, chocolates and even diamonds becoming the norm.
But, there should be no price tag to love and if you’ve not received any increment in the past few years, go the traditional way - half a kilo of fresh, red, rich tomatoes with a hand written note should be just fine.