Since the days of the Aztecs chocolate has been used as a gift. Today a box of luxurious quality chocolate says a thousand
"thank you's", "good luck", or "I love you". Chocolate can be given as a way of saying "congratulations", "I am sorry" or "get well soon". On Valentine's Day chocolate clearly says "I LOVE YOU!" Chocolate is more than food, it not only fills your belly but
also makes you feel soooo good. Elaine Sherman wrote "Chocolate is heavenly, mellow, sensual, deep, dark, sumptuous, gratifying, potent, dense, creamy, seductive, suggestive, rich, excessive, silky, smooth, luxurious, celestial. Chocolate is downfall, happiness,
pleasure, love, ecstasy, fantasy ... chocolate makes us wicked, guilty, sinful, healthy, chic, happy." What more could you want to say to your lover on Valentines Day? Even the scientific name for the tree from which chocolate is derived, Theobroma cacao,
translated from Greek, means "food of the gods".
Why does chocolate evoke so many feelings and emotions for us? Chocolate has long been associated with passion, romance
and love. This association may go all the way back to the Aztecs. They believed chocolate was a source of spiritual wisdom, incredible energy and elevated sexual power. Chocolate was widely used as a nuptial aid and was widely served at wedding ceremonies.
The Aztecs did not know chocolate as we do today; they consumed the cocoa as a drink. Reports indicate that the Emperor Montezuma consumed large quantities of the drink every day and always fortified himself with a cup before entertaining his harem. The explorer
Cortes reported to Carlos I of Spain that chocolate is "... the divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink enables a man to walk for a whole day without food." From the earliest times, chocolate was considered
asubstance of power and a source of vitality.