Valentine's Day - Why do we give chocolate


It’s Valentine’s Day next week – do you love it or loathe it? I think it’s very commercialised, but I still love a bit of romance. Which got me thinking of gift ideas, firstly of what to get my husband but also what I might like! Many of the ideas involved chocolate (I wonder why?), but Valentine’s gifts are traditionally very chocolatey, and I wondered why.


Well, there are a few reasons. The botanical name for a cocoa tree (on which the cocoa pods grow) is “Theobroma Cacao”. Theobroma literally means food of the gods, and theobromine is a natural anti-depressant. So what better to give someone you love than something which is suitable for the gods, and will cheer them up too! There has been research too which suggests that chocolate is also an aphrodisiac, well, say no more! Generally, though, chocolate is seen to symbolise attraction, love, affection and passion.


And if you’d like a hand with some ideas for Valentine’s gifts, then look no further, here’s a few I’ve picked out:

  • “The Sleekster” box of chocolates, from Hotel Chocolat. Contains 27 heart shaped chocolates, filled with caramel, praline or fruit: 
  • A dozen red roses, from Marks and Spencer: 
  • Jewellery – silver or gold; bracelets, necklaces, rings; there’s a huge choice on the high street and online, so have a look and a shop around, you’ll find something you like.


Rather than giving something material, why not enjoy an experience together. Below are a few ideas, some with me for a chocolate experience, others elsewhere:


  • Along with Thirtynine 10 we’re running a wine/port and chocolate pairing event on Friday 15th February in St Albans, (tickets only £10). Or if you’d like to make some chocolates or truffles together then please get in touch, and we can arrange a date.
  • Afternoon tea – there’s plenty of places offering afternoon tea, with a wide price range, so ask around where you live for recommendations.
  • Or why not simply cook a delicious meal for your other half – perhaps a delicious fillet steak (and you could try throwing in a handful of cacao nibs to enhance the flavour), followed by the Chocolate Dream recipe from my book – “Drop in for Chocolate” – just let me know if you’d like a copy.