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Chocolates reputation as an aphrodisiac seems to have begun with the Aztecs who made a drink fermented from Cocoa Beans which they called Xocolatl. The last Aztec Emperor, Monteczuma certainly thought it was an aphrodisiac, as he is reputed to have drunk it fifty times a day to enhance his sexual prowess. When the Spanish Conquistadors took the chocolate drink back to Spain from the new world they also related tales of its Aphrodisiac qualities so it was not surprising that chocolate continued to be associated with love when it spread through Europe. Even the great Latin lover, Casanova consumed Chocolate before bedding his many conquests.

Modern research has established that Chocolate is a very complex food source containing, among many other constituents, two chemical substances called Phenylethylamine and Seratonin. These substances (put simply), are known mood lifting agents found naturally in the human brain. They are released by the brain into the human nervous system when we are experiencing feelings of physical love, passion or lust, causing a rapid lifting of mood, a rise in blood pressure and increasing heart rate, inducing feelings of well being, bordering on euphoria we usually associate with being in love.

Eating Chocolate also releases Phenylethylamine and Seratonin into the system artificially producing those same euphoric effects, plus it gives a substantial energy boost thus increasing stamina, possibly at a critical moment? so it's probably these effects which gave rise to chocolates reputation as an aphrodisiac.

Recent research suggests that women are more susceptible to the effects of Chocolate (Phenylethylamine and Seratonin?) than men, although Casanova would probably have disagreed as he certainly seems to have consumed chocolate before frolicking with his conquests and there's no mention of him actually sharing it with them as I'm sure he would have done if he'd thought it would have helped his cause.

So there you have it, calling Chocolate an aphrodisiac is possibly stretching it a bit, but eating high cocoa content chocolate does make you feel good and can actually induce or 'mimic' those feelings of being in love so it looks like the Aztecs did get it right . . .

The author

Arthur Vine is half of a wife and husband team Aphrodite Chocolates based in rural Essex, England. They are passionately dedicated to making 'real' chocolates and truffles entirely by hand from only the finest couverture and natural ingredients with no commercial fondants or pralines and little or no added sugar.

This article is from Arthur Vine who, together with his wife Janet, runs Aphrodite Chocolates. Janet is the Chocolatier.

Aphrodite Chocolates was formed about four years ago. Their delicious luxury chocolates are entirely handmade in rural Essex in the heart of the English countryside.

Janet first began making her wonderful chocolates as a hobby about twelve years ago with the objective of getting away from the boring and sickly fillings like flavoured fondant that form the basis of so many manufactured and handmade chocolate selections today.

To find out more or to order some of the chocolates which can be shipped anywhere in the world < click here >

Aphrodite Chocolates

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Fax: +44 (0)1279 731768
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