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Cupid’s Greatest Valentine Gift: The Love of Chocolate

Chocolate is a long-standing Valentine’s gift tradition.  Call it kismet, but it turns out that it has a benefit that makes it a true gift of love.

 

Valentine’s Day itself has been celebrated since the 14th century.  However, chocolate became part of Valentine gift giving in the Victorian Era.

 

Richard Cadbury, a possible marketing genius, began creating decorated heart shaped gift boxes filled with the chocolates his family’s business manufactured.

 

I wonder if he had any idea how beneficial chocolate is and why it makes a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day?

 

And Now for the Healthy, “Sciencey” Stuff

 

Chocolate makes us feel the same kind of warm-fuzzies we experience when we feel loved.  This comes from the tryptophan naturally found in cacao.

 

Tryptophan, being the precursor to serotonin, can help improve your mood, increase feelings of happiness, and make you feel alive and energized. These are certainly some things you want your sweetheart to experience.

 

There’s a catch though.  There’s always a catch…

 

To get the best benefit, the chocolate with the most tryptophan is dark chocolate.  70% to 85% dark chocolate to be exact.

 

There is something else that is important to know about chocolate and tryptophan. We need carbohydrates to be able to absorb and use tryptophan more easily.

 

Sounds like chocolate, being a carb laden treat, is the perfect packaging mechanism.  All except for the sugar crash. 

 

Though dark chocolate does have fewer carbs than milk or white chocolate, the carbs in it are still simple ones.

 

Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly used in the body.  Once those carbs are used up, the body has nothing left to work with until complex carbs are broken down.  That is why we feel that “crash”. 

 

Not to worry, I have a way around that for you.  Stay with me.

 

Benefits of Tryptophan Without the Sugar Crash

 

How does your Valentine get the benefit of the tryptophan from your chocolate gift without the crash?

 

Easy, you pair the chocolate with a complex carbohydrate, like, let’s say, fruit.   The natural fiber in the fruit slows down the sugar burn and extends the energy output.

 

You not only have avoided the sugar crash, but you’ve added additional nutrition to the chocolate treat.  Nothing says love like looking after someone’s health.

 

Best Fruits to Pair with Dark Chocolate

 

Dark chocolate tends to have a little bitterness due to the lower sugar content.  Because of that, it pairs well with sweet fruits.  The fruit mellows the bitter and the bitter neutralizes some of the sweet creating a perfect balance for the taste buds.

 

The type of fruit you choose will come down to the tastes of the recipient of your Valentine’s gift.  You will also want to consider any allergies.  Nothing will counteract the feelings of love like a trip to the ER with an allergic reaction.

 

Some delectable fruit pairings include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, pineapples, seedless grapes, and oranges.

 

If you are a DIY kind of person, you can dip and package your own fruit.  Here is the link to a how-to article.  Just click on:  Chocolate Covered Fruit.

 

 The article, by A Gouda Life, has a recipe and information for how long your chocolate covered Valentine’s gift will last.  Assuming your sweetheart doesn’t make fast work of your offering.

 

No Time for Homemade Valentine Gifts?

 

No time for DIY?  Me neither.  I did find time to look up some companies that will make and ship your gift for you.

 

The selection varies in price range and artistry.  Be sure to decide quickly though. You want there to be enough time for your chocolate gift to make it to your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day.

 

 

David Bradley Chocolatier was started by Bob and Marcy Hicks along with Bob’s mom Alma in 1977.  They started out only knowing they wanted to create a business around chocolate. After an extensive search, they found master chocolatier Pat Machisco and got started.

 

Their business, based in Central New Jersey, quickly took off.  As the business grew their children, Christine, David, and Bradley were brought on board. 

 

Bob and Marcy have since retired.  But their legacy, David Bradley Chocolatier, lives on under the leadership of their daughter, Christine. 

 

They continue to create handmade delights including their Fresh Dipped Fruits.  You can order them as single fruits or do an assortment of strawberries, oranges, grapes, apple slices, and pineapples.

 

If you find yourself in Robbinsville, NJ, you can stop by the factory and store.  Enjoy seeing how their candies are made and pick up some treats while you are there. 

 

No need to worry if you aren’t nearby.  They will ship the chocolate gift to your Valentine for you.

 

David Bradley Chocolatier does not list any charities that they support.  They do however accept donation requests, which they consider on a case-by-case basis.

 

 

Edible Arrangements has been around since 1999 when its first store opened in East Haven, Connecticut.  It has since grown into 1200+ franchise-owned locations.

 

Their arrangements vary from the simple, to the fun, and up to luscious bouquets of extravagance.

 

Edible Arrangements offers 15% off your first order if you share your email with them.

 

Just for Valentine’s Day gift-giving, they have codes for specific items that are either 14% or 25% off.  Additionally, they are offering free delivery for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th.

 

If you like companies that give back, Edible Arrangements fits the bill.

 

They support veterans with “Hero’s Welcome”.  This is their program to help veterans become franchise owners.

 

The “Random acts of Community Involvement” is a program for all Edible Arrangement’s franchisees.  It allows them to support local foodbanks with donations of fresh fruit, as well as helping with local school fundraisers.

 

 

Compartés has a distinguished history in the L.A. scene dating back to 1950.  Mr. and Mrs. Compartés began their European-style chocolate making right in their own kitchen.  They quickly became popular and opened a store on the Westside.

 

The current owner became part of this chocolate gifting icon when, at age 15, his parents acquired the business. Since then, Jonathan Grahm has become an artist and chocolatier in his own right. 

 

Mr. Grahm continues to infuse new life into the world of chocolate with hand-crafted confectionary delights.   They are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate.

 

Compartés chocolates are the gift of choice by such high-end companies as Tiffany and Louis Vuitton. They have also made appearances in Oscar Swag Bags. 

 

Their gift selections range from simple to extravagant.  You might choose from their single chocolate bars, like Strawberry champagne, to a gift set of bar selections. 

 

They have a simple Gourmet Chocolate Fruit Gift Box as well as their Valentine’s Berry Bouquet dressed up in the classic heart shaped box. 

 

Want to really give your Valentine the star treatment?  Order the Edible Chocolate Gift Basket – Luxury Dark Chocolate Oval. The entire basket is made of chocolate and filled with assorted morsels of pure bliss.

 

Currently, Compartés is offering free shipping on orders over $99.  They additionally have 10% off your first order when you share your email with them.

 

Time to Celebrate Love

 

Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate love.  You can celebrate your sweetheart by giving a gift that not only says “I love you”, but helps them really feel it too.

 

Whether you go with a simple candy bar, or level up with the extravagant gift basket, dark chocolate and fruit will make a delectable and heart-felt choice.

 

We’d love to hear how your chocolate Valentine gift-giving goes.  Let us know in the comments and enjoy your Valentine’s Day.

 

 

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