There are few foods that incite as much mystery and desire as chocolate. No modern trend, chocolate consumption dates back to early Mesoamerican culture. Aztec King Montezuma is recorded as introducing the beverage to Europeans in year 1519, and although it was first regarded as too bitter, once it was prepared with sugar, wealthy Europeans were hooked.
One of the first links between chocolate and love can also be attributed to Montezuma, as he was known to consume large amounts of the “divine drink”, to increase passion and stamina.
Fast forward to 1861. The tradition of gift-giving to sweethearts, already firmly in place on Valentine’s Day, and marketing genius Richard Cadbury begins to package chocolates in heart-shaped boxes, adorned with Cupids and rosebuds, so that even once the chocolates had been eaten the lovely boxes could be used to store mementos and love letters.
Today, scientific research abounds trying to understand the mysterious link between women, desire and chocolate. Some claim that chocolate affects the brain chemistry of men and women differently, others suggest that is merely cultural and rooted in North American advertising.
Either way, I know what I’m hoping to receive from my Valentine!