Giving chocolates for Valentine’s Day is as second-nature to most Americans as giving flowers for Mother’s Day or having a cake with candles on it for birthdays; it’s simply the thing that’s done for the occasion — but why is that? The practice of gifting gourmet chocolates to one’s romantic partners, family, and friends is a longstanding tradition that continues to this day. While the origin of Valentine’s Day chocolates is complex, and each gift-giver’s motivations are different, there are a few common reasons people associate gourmet chocolates with love and Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate: An Alleged Aztec Aphrodisiac
Modern research has shown little connection between chocolate and desire or love; the building blocks of some key chemicals are present in chocolate, but in negligible amounts. However, the confection has a long and storied reputation as an aphrodisiac. Chocolate, much like the sprawling Theobroma cacao, has deep roots that extend throughout the course of human history. Chocolate’s association with romance, love, and desire extends back to before the Spanish conquest. Aztec emperor Moctezuma was said to drink ample amounts of chocolate when spending time with his romantic companions, and some sources mention cacao as a key part of an Aztec soldier’s rations. Cacao, which was prepared as a bitter drink during these times, was said to improve a person’s strength and stamina.
The Tradition of Giving Gourmet Chocolates for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day, as we currently know it, was transformed in part by literature and culture in the royal courts of Europe between the 1300s and 1500s. Society’s obsession with courtly love and romance helped shape the holiday into one that celebrated romantic love. By the late 1700s, the holiday was far more widespread, with gifts and prepared Valentine’s poems commercially available for young people in love. While young gentlemen may have given confections and desserts to ladies to gain their favor, it was the improved chocolate production techniques (and heart-shaped candy boxes) of the mid-1800s that truly cemented chocolate as the go-to gift for Valentine’s Day. English chocolatiers continued peddling their Valentine’s Day chocolates well into the 1900s, by which time chocolate candy was an everyday treat rather than a delicacy for the ultra-rich. Wartime rationing aside, chocolate production has only continued to ramp up over time, with people giving gifts not only to romantic partners but children, friends, and family members as well.
When Giving Gourmet Chocolates, Personal Tastes are Paramount
Tradition and history aside, there is one vital reason that people give chocolates for Valentine’s Day: people like to eat them. What better way is there to show your affection and esteem than by giving your loved ones a sweet treat that you know they’ll enjoy? This year, give the gift of gourmet chocolates from Wockenfuss. Our Valentine’s Day candies come in a wide range of festive packages and flavors, and our decadent gourmet chocolates are sure to show that special someone just how much you care.
A Wide Selection of Delicious Treats from Wockenfuss Candies
Head to WockenfussCandies.com and browse our wide selection of chocolates and candies; we promise you won’t be disappointed! Wockenfuss Candies is one of the oldest candy makers in Baltimore. We opened our doors in 1915 and have proudly served the people of Baltimore ever since. If you have any questions about our wide selection of chocolates, please contact Wockenfuss Candies by calling 1-800-296-4414 or email info@Wockenfusscandies.com. When you’re not savoring our sweets, stay satisfied by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!