Tis’ the season of love! February 14th is almost here, the day we shower our loved ones with flowers, cards, and chocolate to show them how much we appreciate them. But why is chocolate such a staple for Valentine’s Day? Well, although heart shaped boxes of chocolate are a fairly new tradition, the connection between love and chocolate goes back thousands of years.
As long as five thousand years ago, chocolate was worshipped among Aztec and Mayan civilisations for many reasons. It was in-fact so treasured it was even used as currency. It’s thought that these ancient cultures often used chocolate in love rituals and marriage ceremonies, as well it being used as a common aphrodisiac. But it seems they were really onto something! Chocolate is full of love boosting nutrients, which release Dopamine, Serotonin and Endorphins in our brain. These neurotransmitters boost libido, heighten senses, and of course aid feelings of joy and euphoria.
In the late 16th Century, Spanish explorers brought chocolate to the west. Although, the West was not accustomed to the bitter taste of the raw cocoa that was popular among America. So, they added sugar and spices, which was more palatable and closer in taste to the chocolate we are familiar with today. Because of its rarity, chocolate was so expensive and only available to the wealthy, and was often used, just like pineapples and other tropical foods, as a symbol of status.
So how did it become the go-to Valentine’s Day gift? Well, Queen Victoria was a big chocolate lover, and helped popularise the giving of chocolate in 1837, encouraging people to shower their loves with cupid adorned cards and heart shaped confectionary. The Victorians loved lavish displays of wealth when courting, and because chocolate was so expensive, it was a sure-fire way to show your affections. From there on, chocolate companies began creating love-themed treats for this special day. Still, before this time, Valentine’s Day had been a long-standing tradition as a day to celebrate love, with origins in ancient pagan culture. For pagans, this was the annual day of love and fertility. They named this festival Lupercalia. Although Valentine’s Day now shares its name with a martyred Christian saint, some historians believe the holiday is actually an offshoot of Lupercalia.
Now, more than 87% of Valentine’s Day participators, say they will be celebrating the festivities with chocolate this year. At 80NoirUltra, we support this! Chocolate is not only delicious, but providing you opt for a Dark Chocolate, it is also great for your mind and body too. Dark Chocolate is full of love boosting goodness which can aid the brains natural chemistry, helping you feel relaxed, happy, confident, and well-balanced. Nothing say’s love and care like a delicious treat that will also make your partner feel amazing! Or, if you are single this year, why not treat yourself to some TLC and give your self some well deserved chocolate instead.