Why chocolate is the gift of love

Why chocolate is the gift of love

Every year when the Valentine’s Day decorations and gifts go up, we see special chocolate treats adorning the shop shelves. Now, it would be perfectly reasonable to assume that this is due to chocolate being a synonym for “goodness”, amongst chocoholics in any case. However, after a bit of reading, we’ve discovered just why chocolate is such a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate’s history

The Mayans and Aztecs used cocoa beans as a currency, and the white pulp surrounding the cocoa pods to make a chocolate drink. This is a drink they shared with Christopher Columbus when he discovered the Americas in the 1400’s; he was so taken with the treat that he took some back to Queen Isabella of Spain as a tribute. The delightfulness of chocolate was enjoyed by all, so much so that in 1770, when Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI, she made sure her personal chocolatier join them at Versailles. However, it was only in the 1800s that the masses could enjoy a taste of chocolate when John Cadbury opened his Bull Street shop; and in 1861 his son, Richard, made the first heart-shaped chocolate boxes to be given to a sweetheart.

Chocolate’s symbolism

The very essence of chocolate spells out luxury. The smooth, velvety deliciousness is the perfect way to celebrate the warmth and joy of being loved. The Aztecs believed chocolate tasted so good that they referred to it as “food of the gods”, and in other cultures, it was worth more than gold.

Chocolate’s health benefits

In actual fact, chocolate is good for your health. It’s packed full of the feel-good endorphin, phenylethylamine, that makes you feel even better than when you kiss someone – possibly why it’s believed to be an aphrodisiac. Chocolate also contains cardiovascular health benefits, depending how much you eat of course. Thus, chocolate is good for both your literal and figurative heart.

Chocolate’s social benefit

Chocolate brings people together. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the office, at home watching TV with the family or sitting on a bench telling strangers your life’s story while waiting for the bus to take you to Jenny’s house; simply take an assorted chocolate truffle box or break a decadent slab into pieces, pass it around and soon everyone will be friends.

In short, chocolate is the perfect metaphor for love – it comes in all shapes and sizes, and when you have it in your life, you feel happier. So, spoil yourself or someone special all year round by subscribing to My Chocolate Box for only R349 per month.

Information sources: The happy chocolatier, The fact site and Smithsonian

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