It seems that for decades we associate chocolate, especially dark chocolate, with Valentine’s day, love, sexual desire, and relationships. Now, is dark chocolate healthy for love and relationships? Not by coincidence, Valentine’s day is one of the moments during the year where chocolate sales skyrocket. Where does this relationship come from?
The first chocolate consumers were the Mesoamerica inhabitants, native Mayas and Aztecs drank chocolate, only the elites. Cacao and chocolate were considered a luxury, currency, as valuable as gold. Legend has it that the highest hierarchy of these civilizations thought of cacao and chocolate as an energy fount, the source of stamina, and linked with some love rituals. So it seems that from ancient times dark chocolate health effects were real. This was translated to Europe, after the “discovery” of America, where the aristocracy - courts, royal families - started drinking chocolate, and used it similarly. Then, the Europeans found a way to have solid chocolate, the first dark chocolate!; and lastly, milk was added, the first milk chocolate. Eating chocolate became more affordable and more daily consumption.
The actual link between Valentine’s day and dark chocolate seems more of a successful marketing strategy that initiated in the early 1900s. Many new chocolate makers in Europe and North America, with new products, started to promote them as the best thing to reveal your love for someone else. Heart shape chocolate, chocolate “kisses,” and satin wrapped bonbons filled the stores.
One actual scientific and a research-based link between dark chocolate and love could come from the fact that cacao, the source of all chocolate, has significant levels of phenylethylamine, which is known to increase serotonin and endorphins levels which in turn increases pleasure sensation, well-being, and might boost libido. This tip might offer an answer to the question “is dark chocolate healthy for love and relationship?.”
As the images of this post, we at Club ChoKolate think of dark chocolate as precious jewels. We treat them as such, we give them on special occasions like today, Valentine’s day, and to us, it means that we are showing our love with the best craft food humans have created.
Which dark chocolate are you giving your significant other today?