Before Hallmark and DeBeers, what we know as Valentine’s Day may have been a pagan festival about purification and fertility. There are a few potential origins for our modern celebration of chocolate, roses and hearts, including the Roman festival of Lupercalia.
Observed from the 13th-15th of Februarius, special priests called Luperci, or “brothers of the wolf”, donned nothing but goat skins and would sacrifice a couple goats and a dog to two entities: Lupercus and Lupa. Also known as Faunus or Pan, Lupercus was the Roman god of the shepherds, an important figure for ancient Roman farmers. Lupa was a she-wolf who nursed orphaned twins Romulus and Remus (the future founders of Rome). Like all great sacrificial ceremonies, a feast ensued! (source: http://en.wikipedia.org)
Let us honor Lupercalia in a modern fashion by celebrating local ranchers while enjoying the company of our loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Try braising a goat shoulder from Marin Sun Farms or roasting some leg of lamb from Pozzi Ranch, both humane and sustainable operations just north of San Francisco and available at our Deli counter, while supplies last.
In love but in a rush? Pick up one our famous Shepard’s Pies, a delicious combination of house-made beef or lamb stew topped with fluffy garlic mashed potatoes, only $8.99/ea in the deli. It’s a win-win! And remember to give Fido a kiss and some tasty scraps, too. Even dogs know that Lamb = Love!