So why DID chocolate get so attached to Valentine's? We remember eating waxy chocolate hearts and sticky bon-bons in grade school Valentine's parties. We're so glad there are better options now, but frankly we wouldn't pass up a big box of See's chocolates for Valentine's (we're traditionalists like that).
We were curious why chocolate has been so connected to romance and Valentine's. So we asked our contact at the Chocolate Manufacturers Association to see what the official story is. We knew that chocolate has long been considered an aphrodisiac, and they confirmed this... There is not a definitive answer because the connection between chocolate, romance and Valentine's Day evolved over many centuries. Chocolate first became associated with romance - The Aztec King Montezuma consumed chocolate because he thought it made him virile for his harem. Aztec and Mayans alike used chocolate as a key element in both betrothal and wedding ceremonies.
Casanova was another legendary lover who preferred chocolate to champagne when it came to seduction. It's believed that during the 17th century lovers began exchanging mementos on Valentine's Day - sweet treats were one of them.
In 1868 the first Valentine's Day box of chocolates was introduced, but the practice of giving chocolate as a romantic token on Valentine's Day or any other day was firmly established by then.
(Image: Exotic Truffle Heart Box from Vosges Chocolate)