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Why is Chocolate an Aphrodisiac?

There’s nothing that gets us more in the mood for romance than a chocolate experience. But is there a reason why heart shaped chocolates get our actual hearts pumping?

The science

In the 1980’s scientists in New York discovered a chemical in chocolate called Phenylethylamine (or PEA), which triggers the release of dopamine. This same chemical is released in our brains when we’re in love, and so scientists theorised that chocolate also gives us that heart-pounding, sweaty palmed feeling of true love. Although the amount of PEA in chocolate is incredibly small by the time it gets to our brains, it does make sense that we feel happy when we’re having a chocolate experience – it is chocolate after all. And what’s a better aphrodisiac than feeling happy?

The history

Long before chocolate was served in bar form it was a drink mixed with honey and spices that was greatly enjoyed by Aztec emperor Montezuma. It is said that he would drink it from golden goblets, before throwing them away, never using the same one twice for his beloved ‘chocolatl’ drink. When Montezuma needed something to fuel his long romantic nights he would drink a goblet of chocolatl before entering his harem, claiming it made his tongue dance, and pulse quicken. It’s certainly the same feeling we get when we’re sneaking leftover chocolate after one of our chocolate experience workshops.

The culture

Our go to chocolate related film is of course the creamy delight that is Chocolat. Based on the book by Joanne Harris, Chocolat follows Vianne as she moves to the small french village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and sets up a chocolaterie, upsetting the repressed locals. One person she doesn’t upset, however, is the woman who is gifted some very special chocolate, to spice up her marriage and help her husband fall back in love with her. If Vianne believes it, then we think we do too. And if you’re single, proud, and having a you-en-tines day, why not follow in Bridget Jones’s footsteps and enjoy a relationship with two men simultaneously – “one named Ben, the other Jerry.”

Whilst it may not be scientifically proven that chocolate is an aphrodisiac, it will certainly improve your life and your libido. Chocolate makes you feel good, gives you a handy sugar rush, a kick of caffeine, and the added bonus of knowing that someone loves you enough to buy you some chocolatey goodness. And if that’s not enough, you can treat yourself to a visit to our luxury chocolate making class and really spice up your valentine’s day.