Whether it's chocolately, nutty, earthy, fruity, or citrusy – most of us will agree that these so-called rich and flavorful chocolates are DELICIOUS! But why do we give chocolates every February for Valentine’s Day? We'll give you a story of love infused with the history on how chocolate became a part of it. Read more to learn about the chocolate tradition for Valentine's Day.
Valentine’s Day – The Beginning
Valentine’s Day was not only named after a Christian Martyr Lupercalia, but it also came from origins in the Roman fertility festival. There were three Saint Valentins as recognized by the Christian church. One of the saints was imprisoned for marrying couples without people knowing during the Roman times, when marriage was banned. To honor the compassionate saint and also a way to Christianized the Lupercalia festival, Pope Gelasius proclaimed February 14th – St Valentine’s Day. During the 14th Century in Europe, it was believed that February 14th was the beginning of a mating season for birds. That adds up to the indication that the mid of February is a day of romance. In the 18th century, exchanging love notes came to be a tradition during Valentine’s Day in England, which eventually made its way to America.
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History of the Chocolate Box
The love for chocolates originated during the Mesoamerican civilization. Did you know that Cacao beans were actually considered gold among the Mayans and Aztecs? Also, drinking chocolate was sacred as it was known to be “food of the gods.” Chocolate houses were in full swing in Europe during the 1600s, and chocolate was advertised as a cure for all kinds of diseases. But Valentine’s Day, really started to gain impression when victorians poured their loved ones with gifts and love notes, along with flowers and chocolates.
In the late 1800s, a British chocolate manufacturer named Richard Cadbury, popularized something we commonly give now for Valentine's Day. Do you have a guess? He was the first to introduce the box of chocolates.
So why do we give chocolates on Valentine’s Day?
The commercialization of chocolates and Valentine’s day gained popularity in America in the early 1900s. In 1907, a caramel maker named Milton Hersey launched these bit-sized “kisses” where he started covering his caramels with chocolates. Another guy, Russell Stover, had also began selling his heart-shaped chocolate boxes in the department stores during the 1920s.
Death by Chocolate – is a myth
Chocolates are delightful to eat, but have you ever wondered why finger food tastes so delicious? It can be a freeing experience, but eating chocolate also has many health benefits. Raw cacao is considered a superfood that contains 20 times more antioxidants than acai berries and blueberries. The scent of the chocolate itself can trigger relaxation as it increases the theta brain waves.
It may seem like a cliché to give a box chocolates, but if you really want it to be truly romantic on Valentine’s Day, pack all different flavors of chocolates to bring out the mood for the night. Oh and don’t forget the wine!
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