Why is chocolate associated with Valentine’s Day?
Sometimes the concept of “sweets to the sweet” on Valentine’s Day seems more like a corporate ploy to get us to buy more chocolate than a tradition rooted in history. But with slight health benefits when consumed in moderation and some lovely significance behind the sweet treat, chocolate is still the go-to gift for that special someone.
In addition to being an aphrodisiac, chocolate also contains an endorphin with the unsexy name of phenyethylamine, but one which has been linked to the feeling of falling in love; sensations of of excitement, attraction, and pleasure.
The Aztec Indians used cocoa beans as currency and believed the beans to be a source of spiritual wisdom, energy, and increased sexual prowess. Chocolate was served to guests at wedding ceremonies. Christopher Columbus so enjoyed the taste of chocolate that he brought it back as a tribute to Queen Isabella of Spain. Its legend as an aphrodisiac quickly made its way across the aristocracy of Europe. In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the first-ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day. Thus began the common link between chocolate and Valentine’s Day.