Remember when you went on your first date? Maybe you took along a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates – or perhaps even both. It’s this special relationship between love and chocolate that makes chocolate suppliers so happy when Valentine’s Day comes around every February and sales skyrocket. It’s also so why so many advertisements for chocolates have a romantic flavour. |
Chocolate and Romance: The Ultimate Combination
For millennia, chocolate and romance have been intertwined. One of the first known uses of chocolate in its pure form was by the Aztecs circa 1200 AD. The Aztecs used fermented chocolate drinks as aphrodisiacs, which supposedly gave the drinker great strength and masculinity.
So precious a commodity was chocolate to the Aztecs (they didn’t grow it but rather traded for it – perhaps the very first chocolate suppliers originated then) that its use was reserved for the rich and the nobility. In fact, it was so highly-valued and expensive, that it was drunk from golden goblets which were then thrown away rather than reused for something less noble.
The Aztec King Montezuma was said to drink 50 cups a day and an extra cup when he embarked on a “romantic tryst”. Its aphrodisiac effects were considered to be so strong that Aztec women were forbidden to drink it for fear of possible promiscuity.
Science to the Front
Well, chocolate isn’t a real aphrodisiac, but scientific research shows that consuming chocolate does increase the brain’s levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical transmitter released by the brain that affects our moods, appetite and sleep. High serotonin levels are thought to have a positive effect on our mood and may promote romantic feelings and even sexual desire. Low serotonin levels are thought to be associated with depression and anxiety.
Another side effect of chocolate consumption is increased levels of dopamine, another neuro-transmitter thought to increase our appetite for pleasure, love and other extreme emotions.
Romance is in the Air – or in a Bar of Chocolate
Recent studies, which made many chocolate suppliers very happy, indicate that chocolate may put the mind into a state that is more susceptible to romance. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships suggests that regular, single consumers of chocolate are more likely to enter into a romantic relationship. So if you’re looking for romance – eat lots of chocolate!
Romance as a Marketing Tool Chocolate suppliers are well aware of the connection between their wares and romance, and devote many resources to promoting the connection between chocolate and love. Go to almost any chocolate supplier’s website and you’re sure to find a whole section devoted to romantic chocolates.
Whether it’s a heart-shaped box of bon-bons on Valentine’s Day, a tray of chocolate-covered strawberries for the night he intends to propose, or even a luxurious massage in warm, liquid chocolate (decadent but oh-so sensual), chocolate is a real heart-warmer.
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established chocolate suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.
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