In just under a week, over 50 million pounds of chocolate will be given and received in celebration of Valentine’s Day! Somehow, along with flowers, particularly red roses, chocolate candies in heart-shaped boxes are the #1 gift that most expect on this day that celebrates love…and, actually, it is not only expected, it is wished for! After all, who doesn’t love chocolate?
OK, maybe there are a few of you who prefer other flavors, we won’t deny there are probably some vanilla or butterscotch fans out there 😉 But chocolate is the name of the Valentine’s Day game! Of course, any flavor will taste better with freshly brushed teeth and a clean tongue that will help you savor every morsel!
The Health Benefits
OK, so even though the health benefits might not be the real reason we give chocolate on February 14, they are definitely worth mentioning. Chocolate has been proven to be good for heart health, mental health (cognitive function, not just tasty and satisfying), and it contains healthy nutrients.
Chocolate does contain tryptophan and phenylethylamine, chemicals that affect the pleasure centers of the brain. So, back to the idea of love…dark chocolate is rumored to be an aphrodisiac. Of course, it is just a rumor…but it’s nice to consider!
From Ancient Mexico to Victorian England, Chocolate Ruled!
The documented romantic connection to chocolate goes back 500 years! It is said that the Aztec emperor Montezuma, way back in the 14th and 15th centuries, consumed cocoa beans for their aphrodisiac properties.
Centuries later, gentlemen in Victorian England connected chocolate as the way to a lady’s heart. Elegant boxes were made to contain the treats and the choice of container became a reflection of the elevated taste and style of the giver. But ladies were warned to beware the gift of chocolates – etiquette books actually advised ladies against receiving chocolates from men who weren’t their betrothed…after all, they could, otherwise, be ne’er-do-wells with improper intentions!
Today, we gladly give and receive chocolate as a gift of love on Valentine’s Day. There are tiny boxes, gigantic boxes, velvet or satin boxes and boxes that are handmade keepsakes. There are countless possible combinations of flavors and varieties, as countless as the kisses that accompany them and as the smiles that result from tasting them.
But remember, that love comes from many sources…a single chocolate bonbon from a child is as much a sign of love as a five-pound velvet box of gourmet treats from a partner. And, if you are by yourself this Valentine’s Day…give yourself a chocolate gift of love. You are worth it. And we love you. Happy Valentine’s Day!❤