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The day we all dread but secretly love comes around once a year, marked in our calendars as the day we must show our slightly more affectionate side – Valentine’s Day isn’t just a corporate holiday it actually goes back decades, fortunately for us chocolate and the day of love go hand in hand. But have you ever wondered how giving chocolate as a sign of love came about?
Chocolate and love dates all the way back to the Mayans
The first recorded link between chocolate and romance dates all the way back to the Aztecs. Emperor Montezuma was rumoured to eat cocoa beans to fuel his romances. It was said that cocoa was the food of the gods.
Chocolate is set to be an aphrodisiac food.
Chocolate releases serotonin and another feel-good hormone called dopamine. This gets released when eating chocolate, which gives the same feeling of when someone is in love.
Royalty gave chocolate as a present to show love
European royalty would give their loved ones chocolate with amber to romance them, which then trickled down to the regular public as they took away the amber and started to gift chocolate on its own.
Women who eat chocolate have desire.
Studies have shown women who eat chocolate are said to show more desire for romance, compared to women who don’t.
Traditionally Rowntree’s would create confectionery chocolate boxes which were seen as a luxury romantic gesture.
Rowntree’s was the first confectionery company to pioneer the early chocolate selection boxes, these were seen as a luxury gift which people would save up months and months for. In our exhibition you can see some of the early chocolate selection boxes that were made.