Chocolate has been around for a long time. The first documented appearance was in 1100 BC. Originating in Mexico, Central America and northern South America, now most of the chocolate eaten worldwide is grown in western Africa. Chocolate first expanded to western culture in the 1500s with the Spanish Conquistadors, but the first Swiss chocolate factory didn’t show up until 1819. And milk chocolate didn’t appear until 1875.
Chocolate has been thought of as an aphrodisiac since the Aztecs and the Mayas. Chocolate contains chemical compounds that enhance mood and promote higher serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the hormone that is associated with falling in love. There have been studies that show that melting chocolate on your tongue can cause a similar reaction as passionately kissing, making it a perfect food to express your love.
Although September 13 is International Chocolate Day, February 14th has given it a real run for its money. And here is a chocolate recipe to tempt your own sweetie this Valentine’s Day.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup dark corn syrup, although you can substitute honey
- 9 ounces of good dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks (the higher the percentage on the package, the more intense the flavor)
- Fresh strawberries or your favorite fruit
In a heavy bottom small sauce pan, bring the cream and the corn syrup to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until smooth and glossy. Pour into a warm ceramic bowl and dip to your heart’s content.