A Romantic History of Chocolate

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A Romantic History of Chocolate

With Valentines Day coming up, it’s only natural that our minds turn to the traditional gifts and treats associated with it – why do people give chocolate as a gift to that special someone?

Well…chocolate’s reputation as an aphrodisiac is deeply embedded in the history of civilization. The Mayans used cacao beans to pay for err…you know…ladies of the evening. Apparently, the great Aztec king Montezuma would quaff as many as fifty cups of hot chocolate before heading off to his harem…lucky wives!

The Spanish Conquistadors introduced chocolate to Europe not as a bedroom enhancer but as a rich, hot drink. Yet text from the seventeenth century show that by the Rococo period people had started to believe that “One obtained strength from chocolate for certain tasks.” Oo-er!

But does it actually do anything? Well, tests have proved that there is phenylethylamine in chocolate which releases the same hormone in the brain as do ‘certain tasks’ (ahem). Although people would say the amount is far, far too small to produce significant results, there are hundreds of other chemical compounds too. In fact, chocolate is among the world’s most complex foods.

Chocolate contains antioxidants from the same “family” as those in green tea and red wine. Studies show that the antioxidant activity in one serving of cocoa is higher than that of either tea or wine. The darker the chocolate, the more potent antioxidants it contains – and it’s been proven that eating it produces natural opiates in the brain. So eating chocolate really does make you feel good!

So, perhaps our historical lovers weren’t too far off the mark. Even the most famous lothario Casanova believed dark chocolate’s sweet, complex and sensual pleasure was among the world’s finest aphrodisiacs, second only to Champagne.

You know you can get the best stuff at Deliciously Gorgeous, right?