Nigerian Food and Recipes

Chocolates & Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2013

Giving chocolates on Valentine's day is a tradition that many keep to year after year on the 14th of February. As much as I love chocolates, I have always wondered who or what must have started the tradition.

It is said that chocolates have aphrodisiac tendencies and as such might explain the reason why it one of the most exchanged gifts in the season of love.

A brief search and I found an interesting article.

According to the writer, our infatuation with chocolate first began 2,000 years ago when it was discovered in Latin America. The Maya and Aztec elites infused cocoa beans with water to form frothy chocolate drinks for special occasions and as sacrifices to the gods. The Aztec ruler Montezuma believed that chocolate was an aphrodisiac and routinely drank it before entering his harem, thus increasing chocolate’s popularity and its association with love and romance. As it turns out, he was ahead of his time. Modern-day scientists have linked the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate to feelings of excitement, attraction and even pleasure.

The rest of Aztec society used cocoa beans as money and were unable to afford to drink it. Christopher Columbus saw how the Aztecs revered cocoa when he entered the picture in the sixteenth century and immediately took the luxury product back to Queen Isabella of Spain. Chocoholics sprouted up all over Europe, sharing the legend of their new obsession’s alleged mythical powers. At one point in time, chocolate was believed to be so potent that nuns were forbidden from eating it and French doctors used it to treat “broken hearts.”

By the 1800s, the Cadbury Brothers set up shop in England and began packaging candies to sell to a mainstream audience. In 1861, in a genius marketing move, Richard Cadbury created the first ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day, spurring the commercialization of the product for the holiday.

Well that is interesting and all but I just think that it is just an excuse for us chocolate lovers to indulge in the delicious and decadent treat without feeling guilty. I mean you should never throw away a gift right? That's just wasteful! ;)

Whether or not it has aphrodisiac properties is for you all to decide. If it does, then isn't that a big plus for those of us who can't get enough of the stuff? Maybe I'll use this val's day to experiment that theory.

Anyway, do you guys think it has any aphrodisiac qualities? If you think so, do you give people chocolates on vals day because of that? Let me know what your thoughts are?

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