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So Why Do We Give Chocolate on Valentine’s Day, Anyway?

Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together in the minds of many Americans like Cupid and arrows. But how did these two things become so inextricably intertwined, and why should you keep up the chocolate-giving tradition this February 14th? Let’s take a closer look.

Valentine's Day

A tower of fudge bites is perfect for sharing.

A Rich History

Chocolate’s affiliation with love and romance dates back thousands of years. The Aztec Indians referred to it as “the food of Gods,” and served it at wedding ceremonies based on their belief that chocolate consumption was linked with increased energy, wisdom and, yes, sexual prowess. Montezuma himself believed it to be an aphrodisiac.

The Mayans, meanwhile, not only shared many of these beliefs but took it a step further by actually worshipping a God of chocolate. Just how revered was this decadent delight? It was reserved exclusively for warriors, priests, rulers and nobles.

These ancient civilizations weren’t so far from the truth, as it turns out. We now know that chocolate contains phenylethylamine, an endorphin also known as “the love drug” thanks to its many mood-boosting benefits.

Since it was first enjoyed 4,000 or so years ago, chocolate has become even more popular with people around the world. Of course, there’s the fact that it’s undeniably delicious. (You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t like chocolate.)

But did you know that those chocolate cravings you’ve been having may be rooted in science? According to Harvard’s summation of research on the subject, the term “chocoholism” may not just be a cute term, but also a real thing due to the addictive components in chocolate.

From Then To Now

But Valentine’s Day as we know it is a relatively modern concept, so how did we get from there to here? According to some historians, the heart-shaped chocolate box that launched a billion heart-shaped chocolate box was first invented in 1861 by Richard Cadbury — the very first traceable link between Valentine’s Day and chocolate.

Since then, chocolate-giving has become a sweet part of the holiday with friends, family, lovers and more exchanging chocolate to show their respect, admiration and love.

Thinking Outside the (Chocolate) Box

While you can run to your local pharmacy or supermarket to pick up a standard issue box of chocolates, why would you when there are other options which truly speak to how you feel? You may not have a gourmet chocolatier in your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fete your favorite people with a truly extraordinary and unforgettable Valentine’s gift in the form of mail order chocolates.

From cakes and brownies to honey caramels and chocolate covered apricots, there are endless ways to say “I love you” with today’s gourmet and artisanal chocolates. And did we mention the Chocolate Cherry Pecan Tamales and the death by Chocolate Biscotti? For adventurous appetites, there’s no end in sight when it comes to opportunities for epicurean exploration.

Of course, you can’t go wrong with good, old-fashioned (and yet anything but ordinary) truffles. In flavors like dark chocolate with French grey sea salt, sesame vanilla, raspberry lychee and cardamom whisky almond, no one can accuse you of playing it safe this year with these bites of bliss.

Valentine's Day

Bite-sized bliss.

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it. One caveat? These gourmet gifts set a high bar so be prepared to deliver from this February 14 forward. FoodyDirect can help you take your chocolate gift giving — not to mention your relationship — to new levels thanks to artisanal chocolates. Shop exquisite food gifts for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion at FoodyDirect.