Seeing as the Hudson Valley hosts an annual Chocolate Fest — and an annual Wine & Chocolate Festival — and is home to unique chocolate confections of all kinds, it should come as no surprise that locals love the sweet stuff. But with Valentine’s Day right around the bend, we got to wondering: how did it become the ultimate treat for your sweetheart? As it turns out, chocolate has a long history as a love food. Did you know…
- Chocolate contains small quantities of phenethylamine — the same natural substance produced by the human body when we are in love.
- It was a highly prized luxury item among Mayan, Aztec, and Olmec elites. Cacao beans were as valuable a commodity as gold, and were even used to pay taxes.
- When Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI in 1770, she brought her personal chocolate maker to the Court of Versailles.
- Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates in 1861, meant to serve as storage for love letters and mementos once the chocolates were eaten.
- Hershey launched production of teardrop-shaped “Kisses” in 1907. They were named Kisses because of the smooching noise the chocolate made as it was manufactured.