Saturday, February 14, 2009

If Chocolate Be The Food Of Love

Today is Valentine's Day (and a good friend's big 5-0 birthday). Celebrate it with chocolate and anything else sweet. Luckily in today's depressed market, candy is the one indulgence we can all afford. There's nothing like a caramel enrobed in dark chocolate or a coconut mound dipped in creamy milk chocolate kind

Chocolate has long been considered an aphrodisiac.It was first used by the Aztecs in MesoAmerica 2,000 years ago in religious ceremonies but also as a stimulant. The Europeans first had it as hot cocoa, sweetened with milk added. Louis XIV of France gave the drink to his mistress. Madame du Pompadour to get her all hot and bothered. A century later chocolate was revolutionized as a yummy candy that could be filled with creams, fruits and caramels. Beaus started to give it to their sweeties ornate candy filled boxes as a way of currying favor and showing their affection.

Thanks to Valentine's Day first being a holiday in the 1800's chocolate giving has reached new heights. It's de rigeur to at least give even a small box of bonbons on this day. There are larger boxes, full of luscious truffles and home made cremes and ganaches. Chocoholics can munch on pepper infused ones that celebrate the sweet's exotic Mexican past or ones that have unusual fillings like salt and bacon (go figure). I prefer caramels or any fudgy sorts. The fruit filled ones are also good as are the chocolate coated nuts.

On this day of hearts and love, indulge in the strongest passion of all - chocolate. Sip a rich hot cocoa during a romantic movie or nibble on some truffles after a candlelit dinner. Enjoy the food of the love gods this February 14th.

A birthday shout out to that St. Valentine's Day baby - Debbie Humphris -Meyer! Enjoy this special day and may every day be like Valentine's Day for you!!!!

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