As many as half of all couples are planning to do something special this Valentine’s Day. Most of them are going out for a romantic dinner (don’t forget to book your table at Topaz, Malis or Khéma now, before they fill up), but almost as many will give their loved one a gift of chocolates as an emblem of whatever emotions underpin their bond, be it fresh young love, or hard-earned affection, companionship, understanding, compassion and tenderness. Chocolate’s relationship with love and ritual goes all the way back to mankind’s first discovery of this delicious bean.
Chocolate comes from cocoa tree which is known as ‘Theobroma cacao’, which is Greek for “food of the gods”. The people of Central America were the first to discover and cultivate cacao beans as long as 3500 years ago. Its ceremonial importance then was profound, and chocolate was given generously at banquets, used in ritual offerings to the gods, and to anoint newborn children on the forehead, face and fingers in a rite resembling baptism.
In Europe, chocolate was first introduced as a medicine at the beginning of the 16th century, its arrival coinciding with the growth of the West Indian sugar trade which no doubt aided its popularity. About 150 years later, it finally arrived on England’s shores, where it was soon popularly mixed with milk. At this point, it was still almost entirely consumed as a beverage, which remained the case until the mid-1800s when the Cadbury brothers worked out a process for transforming cocoa butter into blocks of delicious melt-in-the-mouth chocolates that we have all come to adore.
Chocolate’s association with love and Valentine’s Day might just be the product of good marketing — one of the Cadbury brothers, Richard, was savvy enough to start marketing his new product in heart-shaped boxes and his stroke of marketing genius coincided with the expansion of Valentine’s Day in the Britain and the US. But there is a lot of science behind it too.
Chocolate is popular perceived as ‘comforting’ and also as an aphrodisiac. How much of this is actually true is debatable, but as delicious as it is, it certainly provokes feelings of pleasure, and perhaps awakens the mind to pleasure’s potentials. It also contains phenylethylamine, a naturally occurring chemical in the human brain, responsible for the euphoric feelings associated with being in love. However, experiments to discover whether eating chocolate has a measurable effect on this aspect of body chemistry have proved inconclusive.
But questions of marketing, science or history aside, we all love chocolate, and we especially love an opportunity to make those we love happy with a gift of pure pleasure. We have a beautiful range of delicious, luxurious and beautifully presented hand-made chocolates at Khéma. Made with love, for the one you love.
Malis ❤️Love is your nature
Surprise your Valentine with a romantic dinner under the stars and indulge in a charming 5-course gourmet dinner. Choose between the intimacy of the garden dining or the cosy room dining area.
Khéma ❤️Feel the love
No matter how you say it, Valentine’s Day is the time to let loved ones know just how much they matter. Whether you are a couple madly in love, a family looking for a delicious meal, or a group of friends, we have you covered with an amazing French menu made with love.
Topaz ❤️ Taste the love
We’re bringing all the love to Topaz to celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Taste your love around a romantic dinner planned for you. We have created a divine menu, crafted intricately and filled with delicious dishes that are sure to amplify the love for those closest to your heart.