All posts by aaas119x668

The Influence of Advertising on the Changing Roles of Chocolate in our lives

“Chocolate is universal. Everyone loves chocolate.” According to my chocolate loving sister, who is in her mid 20s, it is unfathomable to think that someone could ever hate chocolate. Since her first taste of chocolate as a child to even now as an adult, her love for the sweetness of chocolate hasn’t changed. However, the importance of chocolate and the role that chocolate plays in her life are now very different. After an interview with my sister Cathy, I learned about her evolving relationship with chocolate and wanted to understand why the significance of chocolate in her life has changed. As a child, chocolate was simply a food item to satisfy her craving for something sweet. As an adult, she now consumes chocolate to indulge, to share with others, to relieve stress, to gain quick energy and so much more. I believe that the increased complexity of chocolate in our lives has been influenced by established customs and social norms shaped by the history of chocolate advertising. Advertisements are successful in changing the role of chocolate in our lives because they manipulate our desire to be liked in society, which is driven by our fear of being an outsider by going against a culturally accepted belief that everyone loves chocolate.

Cathy’s motivation to eat chocolate as a child was influenced by her innate preference for sugar and recalls that she did not differentiate brands of chocolate based on quality. “When I was younger, I didn’t care what kind of chocolate I was eating. I just ate it because it tasted good” says Cathy.  Cathy and other children might have similar attitudes towards chocolate at this young age because they are still growing and developing their own judgements about what is acceptable in society. However, chocolate advertisements have engrained in children at a young age that it is culturally acceptable to love chocolate. Especially when children are very young and have not developed reading skills, advertisements targeted at children focus on the theme of chocolate “tasting good.” In addition, chocolate advertisers rely on visually stimulating advertising devoid of dialogue or a lot of words for this young audience. As we can see in this commercial for Hershey’s kisses,

Hershey wants to convey a sense of fantasy surrounding the chocolate making process by having Hershey’s kisses come to life. From the beginning, we see a machine that essentially breathes life into a chocolate kiss as it now begins to take us on a journey. By watching this, children are placed in the perspective of a Hershey’s kiss. During the span of 30 seconds, they are flung across the room and go on an exciting rollercoaster ride, to land on a red carpet where hundreds of other Hershey kisses are cheering. The music theme of the commercial is also “Off to work we go” which is the tune of a children’s fantasy tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A majority of children growing up in America grew up reading and watching the Disney movie about this tale. When they hear this tune, they can recognize this familiar song as one of their favorites, and connect the joy of eating chocolate to one of their favorite Disney movies. The end of the commercial focuses on a young boy giving a Hershey’s kiss to his mom and the mom lovingly looking back at the boy for the gift. As a young child, receiving love from one’s parent is a desire that children experience. Even at a young age, children can internalize this commercial by connecting chocolate with love. This Hershey’s kiss advertisement is one of the few examples of how advertising from a young age reinforces a universal belief that everyone should love chocolate. For children, this universal belief can stem from the desire of a child to be loved by their parents. Advertisers can thus capitalize on this fear in children by suggesting that not having the experience of sharing chocolate with their parents could make them less loved in society.

Furthermore, advertisements teach children that chocolate can be used as a social activity with friends and family because of the perceived notion that everyone loves chocolate. Through my interview with Cathy, she recalls that one of the advertisements that really caught her attention at a young age was this commercial of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup.

Here we hear the catchy tune of “Stir it up” and the laughs of children drinking this chocolate milk made with chocolate syrup. By showing us the different environments in which to drink this chocolate milk, whether it be with friends, outside on a picnic, or with your mom in the kitchen, children can make the connection at a young age that drinking or eating chocolate is an acceptable social activity. It leaves this message that if all of these kids are enjoying the fun of drinking chocolate milk, then you should too! When talking with Cathy, she recalls that this advertisement made her feel that she was missing out. After watching the commercial, she remembers immediately asking her mom to go to the grocery store to buy Hershey’s chocolate syrup so she can join the fun of making milk chocolate. Even at a young age, advertising has influenced children to establish cultural norms that eating chocolate is acceptable and that one would be missing out if one didn’t accept this belief.

Once this fundamental belief is established as a child that chocolate is universally accepted by everyone, advertisements can create more reasons for consuming chocolate by taking advantage of this inherent desire in adults to be accepted for liking chocolate. Reasons for consuming chocolate have in fact drastically changed in Cathy’s life. “When I was little, I liked eating chocolate because it tasted good. Now I only eat chocolate for special occasions. Sometimes I eat chocolate as a dessert to enjoy, for an afternoon snack, or when I need energy or a pick me up. I sometimes use chocolate as a stress reliever, but I try to eat a little bit at a time because I know I shouldn’t indulge in chocolate too much.” All of these reasons for eating chocolate that Cathy listed can be traced to the history in which chocolate was advertised to an adult. In the late 1800s to the 1900s, the Industrial Revolution brought about new innovations that led to the development of a mechanized process of manufacturing large amounts of chocolate. Thus, new corporations such as Hershey and Mars Company made chocolate affordable and accessible to all classes but still had a huge responsibility to educate consumers on why they need chocolate (Coe & Coe 234). Early advertisements actually focused on using chocolate as a means for nutritional energy.

Hershey’s milk chocolate is a meal in itself. Chocolate advertisement circulated around 1910 to 1920.

This ad that circulated around 1910 to 1920 has the title, “Hershey’s Milk Chocolate” with the caption at the bottom, “A meal in itself”. In the early 20th century, nutritionists recommended chocolate and cocoa as part of a balanced nutritional diet because historically chocolate had been praised as a wonder food after the conquest of the Aztecs by the Spanish Conquistadors in the early 1500s (Coe & Coe 136). In the center is an upper class woman buying chocolate in the store with children around her all smiling. During this time period, women are perceived in society as caretakers of children in society, with the pressures to have social class. This ad elevates the status of this woman for buying chocolate as a meal for her children and herself by promoting the belief that chocolate was nutritious for the family.

While that ad introduces the acceptability for women to eat chocolate as a meal, this Cadbury ad promotes chocolate as a source of energy and manliness. Here we see a firefighter from the early 20th century who is taking his time to drink hot chocolate amidst his busy workday to extinguish fires. The ad is titled, “Cadbury’s cocoa – Makes strong men stronger”. The subtitle writes, “The most refreshing, nutritious, and sustaining of all cocoas.”

Early 20th century poster claiming that Cadbury’s cocoa makes men stronger.

This ad exemplifies an ideal man, who is busy at work and conveys a sense of power because of his legitimate uniform. By educating consumers that this is “nutritious” and that it “makes strong men stronger,” these messages confirm the hypothesis that ad have historically created the social norm that chocolate should be eaten as food. When Hershey’s was first introduced in the United States, many people did not like the taste. However, the advertising messages such as these two above changed consumers’ preferences for this taste because big companies wanted to change the social perception of chocolate as food.

Ironically, only a small percent of cocoa beans are actually in these chocolate bars advertised by Hershey’s or Cadbury and these small amounts cannot provide significant health benefits. However, the power of advertising over the past decade is described in detail in Samira Kawash’s book, “Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure”. The author describes the social changes that have allowed America to become such a candy eating nation. For example, athletes would swear on the performance boosting powers of candy and scientists insisted that even chocolate has health benefits. We can see how the influence of these early advertisements established these social norms that candy or chocolate is food. “The story of candy in America is a story of how the processed, the artificial, and the fake came to be embraced as real food. And it’s also the story of how it happened that so much of what we call real food today is really candy” (Kawash 26).  In fact, the most popular chocolate products on the market are able to mass produce so effectively across the world because these manufacturers try to minimize the most expensive content of the raw material of chocolate in order to gain massive profits (Cidell 2006).

Cathy similar to most women in her mid 20s also use chocolate as a luxury to indulge. During our interview, she repeatedly mentioned this idea that she needs to control the amount of chocolate she eats. “When I was younger, I didn’t have the choice to buy chocolate because my parents would never buy it for us. But now as I am older, I see chocolate more as a luxury. Even if it’s accessible at the drug store, I see it as an indulgence and want to save it for a special occasion or when I really need it.” Cathy seems to hold onto this view that even as an independent adult who has the financial means to buy chocolate, she feels the need to control her desire to give into her indulgence. She is not the only one who has these thoughts because advertisers have created a pervasive culture that chocolate is an indulgence, and thus wanting us to crave it more. Here is an example of a modern advertisement that highlights this message.

Advertisement by company, Filthy – obsessed by pleasure. “Indulge your obsession for chocolate.”

This company is encouraging a message to consumers to finally give into their obsession for chocolate and to indulge themselves. This advertisement takes advantage of this idea that chocolate is bad but encouraging consumers to be proud of giving into the sin of chocolate. According to an article written about the changing roles of chocolate, the author Robertson writes how chocolate is marketed to adult woman by associating chocolate with this ideal of beauty as seen in this slender women being wrapped by a chocolate dress. “The chocolates thus gain in value through association both with a dynamic adventure/romance narrative and with an imagined ideal of feminine beauty” (Robertson Ch.2). This advertisement is an example highlighting the pervasive culture that everyone is obsessed with chocolate. Even though children were obsessed with chocolate for its sweet taste, a new culture exists for adults that are obsessed with chocolate for its perception of luxury and feminine beauty.

By comparing the advertisements that target children versus adults, we see the influence of the media that shape the role of chocolate in our lives. Advertisements teach children at an early age that eating chocolate is socially acceptable. We unconsciously believe that if we don’t experience the joy of chocolate, we will be missing out on love and life. As we get older, the media capitalizes on this fear by introducing other roles of chocolate in our lives. For example, the fear of not being manly, or feminine, or experiencing a luxury, are insecure thoughts that advertisers capitalize on by introducing the role of chocolate as a way to combat those fears. At the end of the interview, I asked Cathy why she liked dark chocolate now. She replied that she got used to the taste. But I concluded the interview with a thought question, “Do you like dark chocolate for fear of missing out on a universally accepted trend?”

References:

Cidell, Julie L., and Heike C. Alberts. “Constructing quality: the multinational histories of chocolate.” Geoforum 37.6 (2006): 999-1007.

Coe, Sophie D., Michael D. Coe, and Ryan J. Huxtable. The true history of chocolate. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

Kawash, Samira. Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure. Macmillan, 2013.

Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural Histo  ry. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009.

The “Sob” Story: Discovering the Truth about Chocolate Advertising

The advertising of chocolate has historically influenced the way in which chocolate was consumed as a part of everyday life. Advertising messages in this category of the food industry through mass media in newspapers, magazines, television advertisements, or even youtube videos, has the power to educate consumers about why their product has a competitive advantage. Although mass media can bring greater awareness about chocolate to all parts of the world, there is a danger in false advertising. The knowledge about where or how chocolate is produced is unknown to most consumers. Therefore, chocolate companies take advantage of this mysterious process by releasing ads that exaggerate claims relating to the sourcing or making of chocolate. Why does the chocolate industry feel the need to portray false narratives about the chocolate making process? Close analysis of two chocolate advertisements suggest that chocolate ads include false depictions about chocolate making not necessarily to hide the truth about their practices, but as a result of the pressure by consumers who idealize chocolate as a luxury.

Cadbury’s Bournville commercial is one example in which Cadbury falsely advertised the way in which cocoa beans are harvested in order to portray an ideal of authenticity.  The first scene in the Cadbury’s Bournville Chocolate establishes the setting of the narrative to be in rural Ghana, the second largest producer of cocoa globally. Viewers are transported to the land of Ghana where we see cocoa farmers busy working outside a small shack on dusty mud roads. On the right of the frame are cocoa farmers stuffing bags of cocoa, and there is a farmer on the left delivering a bag of cocoa into a small house. From the first couple of seconds of this video, viewers are introduced to an agricultural, less developed setting of what many perceive to be as Africa. Associating the setting as Ghana already establishes a comforting feeling that your piece of chocolate originated from cocoa beans in an organically grown area.

In the next scene, viewers enter the house and see a white, British man, in a nice, clean, gray suit on one side of the table. He is examining a single cocoa bean with a magnifying glass, characterizing the size, aroma, and thus qualifying the bean as the “perfect Ghana cocoa”. This is ironic because on the other side of the table are tired looking Ghanaian farmers, in dirty clothes, waiting on each inspection. He places a single cocoa bean on the table in a pile among eight other beans to the left. The next cocoa bean that he judges, he qualifies it as “nothing” or not good enough according to his standards. The ‘nothing’ bean then starts to cry, which is a humorous and fantasy element that instantly distracts viewers from the power relationship between the British man who is judging the work of the cocoa farmers. The man then is driven off from the village in a Range Rover as the commercial concludes with the saying, “Only the best cocoa from Ghana goes into making a Bournville.” There are many elements from this advertisement that are concerning but the main disappointing element is the false portrayal of how companies collect cocoa beans.

Picture1

In order to combat this false portrayal, this following advertisement was created to criticize this exaggeration. The British man in the suit was the focus of this ad because of the contrast of this man in a clean expensive suit, even though his background reveals a cramped shack with worn down walls and dirty cabinets. “Made from the best cocoa inspected by one British dude in a suit” was written at the bottom to criticize this idea that a chocolate is of high quality because an executive has examined every single cocoa bean. No executive has the time to drive all the way to Ghana to inspect one cocoa bean at a time to ensure quality. Although cocoa is grown and harvested by Ghanian farmers, the cocoa is marketed to Western buyers by Ghana’s national cocoa marketing board. (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/jfrankel/cocoa_in_ghana.pdf)

The situation in this entire commercial would never happen in real life, especially the idea of one cocoa bean crying. However, the focus of the commercial on this British man, in an expensive suit, with a bodyguard driving him in an escalade, elevates Cadbury’s chocolate to a luxury. Portraying the cocoa beans as hand selected by a chocolate specialist connotes this idea of rare uniqueness. Consumers are not necessarily concerned about Ghanaian farmers living on a low minimum wage who cannot afford a clean house, but demand authenticity and exclusivity in their chocolate, a demand that is fueling the chocolate industry.

This similar idea of exclusivity is also seen in the Divine Chocolate advertisements such as this one.

pic2

This ad represents images of Ghana’s agricultural economy. In the background is a cocoa drying table, mud buildings, dusty roads. This suggests an authentic feel about chocolate being locally grown. Then you see a young woman, crisp, clear and shiny, posing in a beautiful dress, which is an expression of her ‘global fashion savvy’. By connecting the background to this beautiful woman, you associate the authenticity of a Ghanian cocoa farm to the cosmopolitan look of this woman holding up the final product of chocolate. This chocolate represents the special food that was made from the fruit that they grew and harvested. Although it is false that women cocoa farmers look this clean and crisp all the time, the message of this ad is to associate Ghana as the source for developing the highest quality chocolate. This relationship was also seen in Cadbury’s ad by relating the high-powered, clean-suit wearing British man, to the high quality of chocolate in Ghana.

Although we have the power to criticize advertisements for not revealing the truthful picture about where or how chocolate is sourced, consumers should also be responsible for having an interest in learning about these practices. Instead of associating the ideals of chocolate as a luxury and thus buying chocolate sourced from Ghana because it is advertised as the best quality, consumers should take a step back to learn and challenge the conditions of quality in which one’s chocolate bar originated.

References

Leissle, Kristy. “Cosmopolitan cocoa farmers: refashioning Africa in Divine Chocolate advertisements.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 24.2 (2012): 121-139.

Frankel, Jeffrey. “Cocoa in Ghana: The Cocoa Farmers, the cocoa marketing board, and the elasticity of supply.” http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/jfrankel/cocoa_in_ghana.pdf

Chocolate for the masses: Are consumers compromising quality?

By walking through the candy aisle of any average supermarket in America today, most shoppers will notice the overwhelming variety of chocolates layered on the shelves. The accessibility to different types of chocolate is a convenience that we often take for granted. In fact, it was only until after the Industrial Revolution that chocolate became a product available for all classes. Not only did technological innovations in the Industrial Revolution make the process of producing chocolate more efficient, but it also influenced chocolate consumption. The lack of transparency in the new chocolate making process after the Industrial Revolution shifted consumer preferences towards choosing chocolate based on advertising and not solely on the taste of quality.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, chocolate was prized as a luxury because people valued the quality and the origins of how chocolate was being made. During the 18th century in Europe, chocolate was strictly for the upper and middle class. In Spain, chocolate was consumed alongside every day meals but was perceived as a luxury because drinking chocolate at social gatherings became a popular custom. The upper class would often attend social gatherings called tertulias or refrescos where guests would gather for conversations and be served cups of chocolate (Coe 209).

A drawing by Manuel Tramulles of the 1760s in Spain. Guests are drinking chocolate in this popular Spanish custom. http://www.oronoz.com/album/show-midres.php?referencia=129594.jpg

In this drawing from the 1760s, the server and the three sitting guests are each seen holding a mancerina cup filled with chocolate. We can assume that these people are in the upper class because of their extravagant wigs and formal attire. The chocolate that is being served was most likely produced by skilled millers of the chocolate trade. In 1772, there were only 150 chocolate grinders in Madrid. These skilled chocolate grinders would have to go through six years of apprenticeship training. Once they’re qualified, they would travel from house to house to serve customers at their homes. Since making chocolate is a time-intensive and detailed craft, drinking chocolate out of a mancerina cup is not very accessible. This drawing further highlights how consumers at this time would choose to drink chocolate because they could afford this luxury. By having chocolate grinders personally come to your own home, this would make the experience more unique. Therefore a larger emphasis would be placed on the source and quality of the cacao beans. Coe and Coe writes that the best chocolate in Spain originated from the “Mojos or Moxos region in the Amazonian drainage of Bolivia, valued for its fragrance and lack of bitterness” (207). By having the chocolate grinders process the chocolate in homes, there is a greater transparency to the chocolate making process, influencing consumers to choose chocolate based on quality and its origins.

The Industrial Revolution brought forth new technology that allowed mass production of chocolate but thereby affected consumers’ preferences for chocolate. In 1828, a Dutch chemist named Johannes Van Houten discovered a very efficient hydraulic process that could produce cocoa, which allowed large-scaled production of cheap chocolate for the masses (234). In 1879, Rudolphe Lindt invented the “conching process” using a machine that could smooth chocolate liquor from its originally gritty texture (247). Inventions such as these during the Industrial Revolution replaced the process of making chocolate by a skilled chocolate grinder to machines that could mass produce chocolate more efficiently. More innovations in the late 1800s into the 1900s eventually led to the development of a mechanized process of manufacturing large amounts of chocolate in a true assembly line operation. Thus, a new trend of mass producing chocolate led to the development of large corporations such as Hershey and the Mars Company that made chocolate affordable and accessible to all classes and not just the elite.

However, mechanizing the process of chocolate in a large factory made the process of producing chocolate more unfamiliar and unknown, compared to eating chocolate that was ground right in your own home. This lack of transparency therefore made consumers more reliant on believing advertisements in order to make a choice on whether to buy chocolate. Hershey’s for example became the best-selling chocolate in America when it was first founded, not because of its quality but for the way they marketed the product.

Hershey’s Advertisement http://explorepahistory.com/kora/files/1/2/1-2-12AD-25-ExplorePAHistory-a0k9g2-a_349.jpg

In this early Hershey’s advertisement, the brand is making claims about this chocolate being “first in favor and flavor” to exaggerate its popularity for its flavor. The ad also makes claim to say “made with RICH FRESH MILK” to make consumers believe in a sense of local origins. Lastly, to write that the Hershey’s bar is “Full of Energy” suggests that there are health benefits to eating chocolate. Although all of these claims could be completely false, Hershey’s is making billions of dollars every year when higher quality chocolate brands with richer cocoa content are not even close to dominating the chocolate industry. Our tastes are being socially influenced by these claims instead of choosing chocolate for its quality. In fact, mass-market chocolate manufacturers like Hershey’s try to minimize the most expensive content of the raw material of chocolate in order to save expenses and gain massive profits (Cidell 2006).

In this recent popular commercial by Hershey, the brand takes advantage of this lack of transparency in the chocolate making process to influence consumers’ preference for Hershey’s. In the beginning of the commercial, viewers are guided through the process of a Hershey’s Kiss being made inside the factory. We see the conveyor belts and the assembly lines, a process that most viewers had already imagined, but towards the end, the commercial glamorizes this mechanized process through the red carpet show, cheering on each Hershey’s Kiss made. Through this commercial, the Hershey’s brand is trying to comfort our uncertainty of where and how this chocolate is made. Regardless of how the Kiss actually tastes, the brand is trying to characterize each piece of chocolate as unique, original and “One-of-a-Kind” even though it is being made in a highly mechanized process.

Although the Industrial Revolution brought about new inventions that made chocolate more accessible to everyone, the lack of knowledge as to how our chocolate or food is made would further suggest that a significant portion of our preferences is socially constructed. Maybe the next time we buy some chocolate, once in a while, we should pretend to be 18th century elite Europeans, who indulged in high quality chocolate and treated the experience as a luxury.

Bibliography:

Cidell, Julie L., and Heike C. Alberts. “Constructing quality: the multinational histories of chocolate.” Geoforum 37.6 (2006): 999-1007.

Coe, Sophie D., Michael D. Coe, and Ryan J. Huxtable. The true history of chocolate. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

Saying “I Do”: Chocolate is love

Every year on Valentine’s Day, it is a tradition in the U.S. and across the world for hundreds of thousands of consumers to buy chocolates for their loved ones or for their hopeful crushes. Although many of us take part in this commercialized frenzy every year, this tradition of buying chocolate for someone we love can actually be traced back to some of the earliest customs and beliefs about chocolate. When cacao, the beans that make up chocolate, was first discovered by the Classic Maya civilization, cacao was regarded as having divine origins (Coe and Coe 1996). Mayans believed that cacao came from the Sovereign Plumed Serpent who gave people cacao, maize, fruits and other desired foods in order to feast (Dillinger et al 2000). Having these divine origins thus transformed cacao to be an essential part many ritual practices and important rites of passages. In fact, there is historical evidence that shows how important cacao was in marriage ceremonies or through ritual practices when a man would ask a woman’s family for approval to get married.  Even though the Classic Maya civilization only flourished from AD 250 until the 9th century, their view of cacao as a symbol of love has stood the test of time to even our present day in which offering chocolate is way to express our love.

If men think that getting chocolate for their girlfriends on Valentine’s Day is hard work, they should appreciate that they didn’t have to live during ancient Mayan civilization. When a man wanted to get married, he had to perform a Maya marriage ritual and serve a woman’s father chocolate. This ritual called tac haa, translated as “to serve chocolate,” is shown in this image below. By serving the woman’s father chocolate, this would initiate the marriage negotiation (Martin slide Lecture 3). Here we have the admirer who offers the woman’s family cacao beans in exchange for marriage.

dating

(Martin slide Lecture 3)

This scene depicts how critical cacao was for the process of getting married. Through historical evidence, we also learn that when a Quiche Maya king was looking for a wife, his messenger was given a vessel of red drink and a vessel of beaten chocolate. During the marriage ceremony, the bridge would give the bridegroom a painted stool and five grains of cacao. Then she would have to say to him, “These I give thee as a sign that I accept thee as my husband.” Then, the husband would give her in return five grains of cacao and some new skirts saying the same thing (Coe and Coe 1996). The process of giving cacao during a marriage ceremony highlights how sacred the cacao beans meant to a couple. In a way, the process of giving cacao is a way to unite two people together. The man and the woman is giving up these sacred cacao beans in exchange for their love.

Here are even more examples of historical evidence of cacao being used in marriage ceremonies. On the 14th century Codex Zouche-Nuttall, we see a woman on the right holding a frothy drink of cacao and offering it with both hands to the man on the left. This scene is from a Mixtec wedding ceremony and shows how this woman, LadyThirteen Serpent offers cacao to Lord Eight Deer in order to unify their marriage.

royal wedding

[http://www.chapala.com/chapala/magnifecentmexico/codexnuttall/codexnuttall.html]

Even though this was an ancient ritual, there are still many present day couples that practice that original Mayan ritual to celebrate the ancient Mayan traditions. In this video clip, we see an intimate traditional marriage ceremony. At around 0:45 seconds, cacao beans are offered to each other as a symbol of abundance in the marriage and as a way to solemnize their marriage.

Cacao beans was a luxury during the Mayan civilization and was discovered through divine origins. Cacao was used as an exchange for love during the “ancient dating” process and at wedding ceremonies because of its sacred meaning. But even though we are now living in world where chocolate is widespread commodity and easily accessible, individuals still want to preserve chocolate as a symbol of love. Even though Valentine’s Day is really not different than any other day, we take that time to buy chocolates for our loved ones as an exchange for our love, just as the ancient Mayans used it to unify their marriage. Maybe it’s not the sweet taste of chocolate that makes Valentine’s day so special but it’s a way to view chocolate as an exchange of feeling cared for and loved.

Bibliography

Dillinger, Teresa L., Patricia Barriga, Sylvia Escárcega, Martha Jimenez, Diana Salazar Lowe, and Louis E. Grivetti. “Food of the gods: cure for humanity? A cultural history of the medicinal and ritual use of chocolate.” The Journal of nutrition 130, no. 8 (2000): 2057S-2072S.

Coe, Sophie D., Michael D. Coe, and Ryan J. Huxtable. The true history of chocolate. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.