Valentine’s Day is many things to different people- a chance to start new relationships, rekindle old ones and chocolate has long been a favourite gift for lovers. Since the days of the Aztecs, chocolate has been used as a gift. A box of luxurious chocolate can say “congratulations”, “I am sorry” or “get well soon”. On Valentine’s Day, it clearly screams “I LOVE YOU!” It fills not only your belly but also makes you feel great…
Elaine Sherman wrote “Chocolate is heavenly, mellow, sensual, deep, dark, sumptuous, gratifying, potent, dense, creamy, seductive, suggestive, rich, excessive, silky, smooth, luxurious, celestial. Chocolate is downfall, happiness, pleasure, love, ecstasy, fantasy – chocolate makes us wicked, guilty, sinful, healthy, chic, happy.” What more could you want to say on Valentines Day? Even the scientific name for the tree from which chocolate is derived, Theobroma cacao, translated from Greek, means “food of the gods”.
Why does chocolate evoke so many feelings and emotions? Long associated with passion, romance and love, the Aztecs believed chocolate was a source of spiritual wisdom, incredible energy and elevated sexual power. Widely used as a nuptial aid and served at wedding ceremonies, reports indicate that the Emperor Montezuma consumed large quantities of chocolate drink and always fortified himself before entertaining his harem. Cortes reported to Carlos I of Spain that chocolate is “- the divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink enables a man to walk for a whole day without food.”
A subject of study since the first shipment from Veracruz arrived in Spain in 1585, modern science has made some interesting findings that may help explain our lust for quality chocolate. Chocolate contains organic substances known as alkaloids, the most important being theobromine, which works as a stimulant to the kidneys. It which also affects the central nervous system, with effects similar to caffeine.
A chocolate bar may contain as much as 200 mg of theobromine but only about 25 mg of caffeine. Another important substance found in chocolate is phenylethylamine, part of a group of chemicals known as endorphins, with an effect similar to amphetamine and found naturally in the human body, when these endorphins are released into the bloodstream, the mood is lifted, and has also been linked to “falling in love”.
One more chemical found in chocolate is serotonin, known for its calming properties. The presence of these chemicals may explain the multitude of feelings chocolate evokes. Debra Waterhouse, author of Why women need chocolate, conducted a survey and found: 97% of women reported cravings, 68% of which are for chocolate; 50% would choose chocolate over sex; and 22% were more likely than men to choose chocolate as a mood elevator. Wow!
Critics would say that the benefits of eating chocolate are small when compared to the sugar and fat contained in it. The best is dark chocolate with high cacao butter content, it has no added fat and correspondingly less sugar. Although chocolate will never be considered a health food based on its nutritional value, it is still good for you! Good for your heart and soul – anything that helps relieve stress and makes you feel so good must be.
Receiving a nicely wrapped box of chocolates causes a sense of anticipation. The pleasure of unwrapping the box, the sensual smell, lifting the soft seductive papers, the look of the smooth dark chocolates. When it finally passes your lips and starts to instantly melt filling your mouth with exquisite pleasure. The taste and smell flood your senses with overwhelming ecstasy. Eating it slowly, taking time to enjoy and savor every bit. What better way to start off an evening of love?
David Eisen is owner of Euphoric Chocolate, come visit us at www.euphoricchocolate.com Our large variety of novelty chocolates, chocolate truffles, and elegant gift boxes are the perfect touch to add to any occasion. We can help you creat the perfict wedding favor, bridal shower favor or baby shower favor for your special event.