How Chocolate Developed Into a Valentine’s Day Must-Have
Is it due to the purported aphrodisiac properties of chocolate, or is it just a way for candy manufacturers to increase their sales of sweets during the slow period between Christmas and Easter?
Many lovers around the world associate Valentine’s Day with conversation hearts, an abundance of truffles, and chocolate boxes in the shape of hearts.
Nevertheless, where did this custom originate? Valentine’s Day originated in Roman times, although presenting chocolates as gifts is a much more recent phenomenon.
Valentine’s Day is actually named after two distinct Roman saints by the same name who had nothing to do with romantic love.
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There is no evidence to support the persistent tradition that the first St. Valentine was a priest who performed illegitimate weddings for Emperor Claudius’ soldiers.
Geoffrey Chaucer first made reference to St. Valentine’s Day as a love occasion in his writings in 1382.
The focus on illegal but chaste courtly love changed during the medieval era, and it is at this point that some of the well-known iconographies start to appear.
Knights would present roses to their maidens and sing songs of praise for their beauty from a distance.
There was no thought of trading sweet gifts because sugar was still a valuable commodity in Europe.
Who Was the First Person to Create a Valentine’s Day Chocolate Box?
The majority of the English-speaking world had adopted the idea of Valentine’s Day as a festival honoring romantic love by the 1840s.
The Victorian era, with its strict social mores, was Cupid’s heyday. People lavished each other with expensive cards and presents and cherished the idea of courtly love.
Richard Cadbury, a British chocolate manufacturer and heir of a prominent family, entered this love-obsessed conflict and was in charge of sales at the time.
In order to obtain pure cocoa butter from whole beans, Cadbury recently updated their chocolate-making process.
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As a result, the drinking chocolate it produced was more delicious than most Britons had ever experienced.
As a result of this procedure, there was extra cocoa butter, which Cadbury used to make a lot more types of what was then referred to as “eating chocolate.” Richard began selling the new chocolates in exquisitely painted boxes that he himself created after recognizing a fantastic marketing opportunity for them.
From there, it was a short step to placing the well-known pictures of Cupids and roses on heart-shaped boxes.
Even though Richard Cadbury didn’t actually patent the heart-shaped box, many people think he was the first to make one
The boxes, according to Cadbury’s marketing, serve two purposes: The box itself was so lovely that it could be used repeatedly to preserve keepsakes, from tresses of hair to tokens of affection, after the chocolates had been consumed.
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Up until the start of World War II, the boxes became more and more complex.
Cadbury boxes from the Victorian era do, however, still exist, and many of them are priceless treasures cherished by collectors or beloved family heirlooms.
Content courtesy of History, Chicamastyle & NFH