By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert
LOVE IS IN THE AIR!
St. Valentine was a priest who in 270 AD defied Roman Emperor Claudius II‘s ban on marriage during wartime and married young lovers in secret. For this, he was jailed and executed on February 14th. While in jail he had written a love letter to the jailer’s daughter and signed it Valentine with an x, the sign of a kiss in medieval times. In 1537 English King Henry VIII declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day and it came to America in 1629 when the Puritans arrived from England. Today, romance still abounds and Cupid, the Roman God of Love and the son of Venus the Goddess of Love, obliges.
No celebration is complete without hearts and chocolate, the sweetest aphrodisiac of all. The love affair with chocolate began with “xocoatl”, a drink cultivated from the seeds of the cocoa tree by the Aztecs and Mayans over 2000 years ago. This creamy concoction provided strength and vigor to Cortes and Casanova and soon European noblemen and ladies enjoyed sipping the intoxicating luscious potion. Chocolate truly does contain phenylaline, the chemical that is produced in our brains when falling in love. It remains the number one candy choice worldwide. French chocolatiers were the first to create the bon-bon (good-good), a creamy centered piece of confection elegantly encased in chocolate. And in the late 1800’s, Englishman Richard Cadbury produced the initial heart shaped box containing chocolates as a romantic gift for the day. Embrace and enjoy this exquisite delight no matter what the shape.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
On Valentine’s Day, chocolate is the number one choice for a romantically divine dessert. But there’s more to this fantastic finale than just chocolate that will make loved ones’ hearts sing and their taste buds swoon. Check out the enticing sensational surprises created by Executive Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey!
As an inspirational chef, you can sink your heart into creating your own delectable Valentine Day’s Dessert when you use Matfer’s Chocolate Heart Molds.