Giving a box of chocolates to your partner on Valentine’s Day has become a bit of a cliché in recent years, I know. Like a bouquet of red roses, it’s seen as an obvious gift choice that requires little to no thought or prior preparation, and as such is to be avoided at all costs if you want to actually impress your valentine. In reality though, this is not a fair criticism—unless you pick the chocolates up from a gas station at the last minute! However, a thoughtfully chosen and high-quality box of chocolates is a completely different story, and still makes a wonderful gift for your special someone on Valentine’s Day. Here’s why.
Why we give chocolate on Valentine’s Day
Chocolate and love have been linked for centuries, with ancient cultures such as the Aztecs believing it to be an aphrodisiac and the Mayans using it as part of their marriage ceremonies. Valentine’s Day itself has a history stretching back to the Romans, but it wasn’t popularized until around the 17th century. The tradition of giving chocolate to your partner was most likely the result of a very successful advertising campaign in Britain by Richard Cadbury in the 1800s. Cadbury began producing beautifully decorated boxes of chocolates in the shape of hearts, which were intended to be kept even after the chocolates had been eaten to store love letters and other trinkets. The tradition of giving chocolates to your loved one on Valentine’s Day has persisted ever since!
Why chocolates still make a great Valentine’s Day gift
This long history is actually one of the reasons why valentine chocolate boxes remain such a fantastic gift to choose. In the same way that people still get down on one knee to propose, it’s a romantic gesture that can continue to be meaningful—as long as it’s done right! For instance, it’s a great way to show how well you truly know your significant other by handpicking a selection of flavors you know they’ll love. There are options out there for vegans, people who are lactose-or gluten intolerant, those who don’t consume alcohol, and all other sorts of dietary requirements, so you can easily pick the ideal box.
Another reason chocolates still make a wonderful gift is that they’re great at boosting your mood. Chocolate—in particular dark chocolate with a high cocoa content—has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression as well as reduce the risk of developing them in the first place. Eating chocolate produces endorphins in the brain that make us feel happy, also reducing the negative effects of stress.
Finally, chocolate can be good for our physical health as well as our mental health. Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and even protect your skin from the sun! Still need persuading? Studies also suggest that chocolate can improve cognitive functions such as memory, making it a true superfood in many ways. No wonder it’s remained so popular!