Keep the tradition of “chocolate giving” alive and spread the love this Valentine’s Day!
All you need is LOVE. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt ~ Charles.M.Schultz
Nearly 2 billion or more is spent on Chocolates alone on Valentine’s Day. Holy Cacao! That’s a lot of chocolate, right ?
Have you ever wondered how chocolate came to be associated with this romantic holiday ? A bit of history on how it came to be….
Chocolate has been referred to as a “food of the gods” since the time of the Aztec Indians. Rooted in Mesoamerican history, chocolate, in liquid form, and cacao beans were both highly-prized luxury items among the Mayan and Aztec upper class elites. Cacao beans were considered as valuable a commodity as gold, and were even used to pay taxes levied by Aztec rulers.
By nature, chocolate is luxurious and indulgent, and has been used for centuries as a token of appreciation.
It wasn’t until the Spanish conquest of the Aztec civilization in the early 1500s that the cacao bean made its way to Europe. Chocolate immediately won the hearts of the Spanish court and quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe. By the early 1600s, chocolate was seen as a great way to show appreciation towards others, and “chocolate houses” became popular spots for social gatherings.
Over the years, as chocolate grew more accessible, it came to be associated less with opulence and more with romantic gestures.
How did the connection happen? Chocolates & Valentine’s Day?
The origin of Valentine’s Day is linked back to two early Roman saints, both named Valentine, but utterly unconnected to romantic love. The first mention of St. Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday appeared in the writings of Chaucer, specifically in the 1382 poem, Parlement of Foules. Chaucer describes the nature of love when “every bird cometh to choose his mate…on seynt Voantynes day.”
Centuries later, people celebrated with songs, poetry and roses, but Valentine’s Day chocolate and candy weren’t yet intertwined, as sugar was still a precious commodity in Europe.
Around 1837, when Queen Victoria reigned, Valentine’s Day turned into a commercial bonanza where Victorians would shower their significant others with Cupid-themed gifts and cards. Later in the 1800s, some well-known chocolatiers came up with a process of extracting pure cacao butter from whole cacao beans to create a more desirable form of “drinking chocolate.” This process resulted in an excess of cacao butter, which was used to produce more varieties of what was then called “eating chocolate.”
In a stroke of marketing genius, these chocolates were packaged in heart-shaped boxes decorated with Cupids and rosebuds. From that point on, giving chocolate for Valentine’s Day became the go-to gift idea for love birds everywhere.
Keep the tradition alive & spread the love, this Valentine’s Day!
Benefits of eating (dark) chocolate
Don’t let anybody tell you, indulging in chocolates is “guilty pleasure”.It is not! Enlighten them about the many ways, chocolates (dark) is good for your head & heart
- Chocolates release endorphins, the feel good hormone which instantly boosts our mood & makes us happy
- Dark chocolate is derived from cacao beans, which is high in flavanols, a plant nutrient that helps repair damage from environmental toxins.Hence dark chocolate is good for the heart.
- Flavanols, improve blood flow to your heart & brain, thus lowering blood pressure & the risk of clot formation
- The stearic acid found in dark chocolate is saturated fat, which has shown to improve our blood cholesterol levels
- Flavanols in dark chocolate help increase blood flow to our skin, thus providing skin protection against sun damage & dehydration
- Dark chocolate is nutrient rich, with high amounts of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc etc.
What’s stopping you now from eating more chocolates?
Spread the love, this Valentine’s !