Celebrate the magic of love this Valentine’s Day in two unusual locations with an eclectic concoction of spells, delectable morsels from history’s kitchen and an improvised dance-theatre performance.

Heritage Malta’s ‘Taste History’ and Teatru Malta’s ‘Etikett’ combine their curatorial and creative talents to bring you an evening inspired by the aphrodisiacal efforts of eager partners, unrequited lovers, neglected spouses,  and unscrupulous charlatans wishing to incite or sell passion.

Present yourselves at the Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu at 19:00hrs on the 14th of February, where various curators and food historians will be introducing you to people summoned for love magic from the archives of the Inquisition. Prepare to be amazed by the choice of food and other dubious ingredients used in love philtres and potions. Marvel at the lengths to which those seeking a ray of hope in their love lives would go to attract the object of their desire. 

When all else failed, magic and popular remedies provided a solution to everyday problems, from curing aches and pains to finding luck, cursing someone or solving love matters. Faced with uncertainties and adversities, people found in love magic spells a recourse to seek love, mitigate marriage problems, tame unruly behaviour, or rekindle relationships. Food was central in most love philtres, and numerous are the instances when people were tricked into eating or drinking ‘magic items’. Foods such as dough, salt, flour, pepper, eggs, pears, nuts, broccoli soup, beans, pigeon broth, broccoli or chickpeas and couscous soups, chocolate, marmalade, and melon were at times consumed along with all sorts of unconventional ingredients. For example, in April 1745, Anna Debono mixed in eyelashes, finger and toenails, ‘woman’s milk’ and a green liquid to regain her husband’s attention. Compared to other spells, this can still be considered decorous.

Once the scene has been set for less salacious offerings, make your way to the Malta Maritime Museum close by for an exclusive, historically researched dinner, where we promise to tempt you with the more palatable ingredients in these debatable potions. As you satiate your senses, Etikett will entertain you with a performance inspired by the love magic stories you have just listened to.

Book your place at https://heritagemalta.mt/store/e1147/ or at any Heritage Malta museum and site. Champagne and premium wines are included in the price.

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