New Delhi: Why are many youngsters - who may otherwise not step into their kitchens for cooking - suddenly learning to bake hand-rolled truffles, heart-shaped cookies and tiramisu? The answer lies in Valentine`s Day.
The way to a man`s heart is through his stomach - and it`s not very different with a woman. So both girls and guys are honing their culinary skills by join cooking classes, sometimes together. Cakes and chocolates too are among the sweet things they are rustling up for sweethearts.
"We see a sudden rush in demand during Valentine`s Day. People come in pairs to spend more time together and learn different things to impress their partners and make them feel special," Madhu Gupta, who has been running cookery classes here for 11 years, told IANS.
Kandy from Culinary and Cake Decoration School, which she started in 1995, said: "Yes, we have a definite increase in the intake of students during Valentine`s, particularly for the baking and cake decoration series. Mostly women, but some men too who want to bake a cake for their valentine."
The majority of students are in the age group of 17 to 45 years.
Kandy reveals that keeping the demand in mind, their school offers two specially designed courses for Valentine`s. The fee at the Culinary and Cake Decoration School in New Friends Colony starts at Rs.4,000.
"We offers two valentine courses a few days before Feb 14. They are `love filled truffles` and `baking sweets and hearts`," said Kandy.
But what is it that makes couples think out of the box?
"Increasingly people want to do something special for their valentine, something that is homemade as it will reflect some care and effort. Hence hand-rolled truffles, heart- shaped cookies made into a bouquet or even a simple cake decorated at home are becoming top choices for the season," said Kandy.
Madhu Gupta who conducts cooking classes said: "Gifting material things is very common. But the way one expresses love is what makes a difference at the end of the day. Cooking is one of the best ways to express your feelings. The couple get to spend more time and they enjoy watching their partners putting in the effort to make the day special for them."
"In my classes, I do not take more than four to five students because personal attention is needed to make them understand the basics. Couples enrol with the thought to make the other one feel special which is what Valentine`s Day means," Madhu added.
Madhu Gupta said: "Each class runs for four hours, five days a week. It costs anywhere between Rs.800 to Rs.10,000 per month."
Classes on chocolates and liquor based products are also a hit.
"Chocolate based cakes like truffle, tiramisu, liquor chocolates, sugar craft, icing decoration, chocolate roses are a few among the many that couples like to make together for each other," said Nita Mehta, who has been running Nita Mehta Culinary Academy for past 10 years.