Chocolates For Valentine’s Day
While letters or cards and flowers are already an ancient Valentine’s Day gifts, chocolates have just recently been popular in some countries. However, chocolates were already used as a gift during the Aztecs period. Aztecs believed that wisdom and power will be acquired by eating the fruit of the cocoa tree, from which chocolates are created. They also deemed chocolates had nourishing, fortifying, and aphrodisiac qualities.
In the 17th century, Spanish Princess Maria Theresa gave Louis XIV of France chocolates packed in an elegantly ornate chest as an engagement gift. During these years, there was already a chocolate craze in most areas of France.
Nowadays, chocolate gifts mean love, lust, and pleasure. Many say chocolates are seductive and suggestive because of its gratifying potent, creaminess, and silkiness.
A survey of Debra Waterhouse, who authored Why Women Need Chocolate, showed that 50 percent of the women respondents would choose chocolate over sex and 22 percent of them were more likely to choose chocolate to elevate their moods.
Depending on the taste of the receiver, people give regular, dark, or milk chocolates. A few favorite chocolate gifts in the Internet include chocolate covered strawberries, hand-made chocolates, the tower of sweet surprises and melting hot fondue set.
Sparkled with colorful drizzle, a chocolate-covered strawberry is composed of strawberries hand dipped into white, dark, or milk chocolates. Meanwhile, hand-made chocolates have many variations depending on the taste bud of the baker and the receiver. These chocolates are put in a trendy Valentine’s boxes.
Tower of sweet surprises constitute of white-chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate cherry-flavored caramels, and strawberries and crème buttons.
Japanese tradition gives a different twist in giving chocolates. It is the Japanese women who give chocolates to men. Although, women receives gifts from men during White Day every 14th of March. This is because women are encouraged to express their love by giving chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Women also give chocolates to their male friends, brothers, fathers, and colleagues.
The chocolates women give to acquaintances, colleagues, and superiors are called “giri-choco,” which literally means obligation-chocolate. Women make sure to give giri-choco so that the men will not feel left out. The price of a giri-choco ranges from 200 to 500 yen.
For those men they love, women accompany their chocolate gifts with other items such as clothes, neckties, and cufflinks to name a few. These chocolates are called “honmei-choco,” which literally means prospective winner-chocolate. A honmei-choco is expensive compared to a giri-choco. These can also be home-made.
Japan is a well known country of chocolates. Statistics say that the chocolates sold during Valentine’s Day were mostly sold in Japan. This country has stores selling a variety of domestic and imported chocolates. Famous Japanese chocolate brands are Meiji, Morinaga, and Glico.