How Chocolates Became a Valentine Staple

How Chocolates Became a Valentine Staple February 10, 2022

Hearts aflutter, earnest confessions, drunk with passion - romance in the air. Valentine's Day marks the day where you can profess your love, throw in corny lines, and be extra cheesy to your significant other, and no one would bat an eye.

While this year’s Season of Love may be different, there are still a few things that will remain the same. Romantic dinner dates, succulent bouquets, and most definitely, a box of decadent chocolates. However, have you ever wondered how chocolates became associated with all things romantic? We take a deep dive into how it came to be.

Valentine’s Day: The Origins

Valentine’s Day derived its name from two different Roman saints, both called Valentine and, surprisingly, aren’t connected to romantic love. This link was only established when Geoffrey Chaucer, an English poet, had referenced the two in the 1382 poem, “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer described the nature of love when “every bird cometh to choose his mate” on “seynt Voantynes day.”

Familiar iconography emerged when courtly love bloomed during the medieval period. Knights would give roses to express their love to their maidens, all whilst celebrating their beauty in songs and poems alike. However, since sugar was still a precious commodity, exchanging candy gifts was still not a thing.

The First Valentine’s Day Box of Chocolates

Valentine’s Day took a new turn during the Victorian era, wherein the holiday had become commercialised. It was truly the Cupid’s golden age: Victorians celebrated love by showering each other with elaborately decorated cards, beautiful gifts, and small tokens of affection.

The budding concept of Valentine’s Day chocolates came to be in 1866, when a new chocolate-making technique was introduced into the market. This technique allowed chocolatiers to extract pure cocoa butter from the bean, resulting in a smoother, more velvety drinking chocolate. However, this also meant that chocolatiers had more unused cocoa butter than they knew what to do with.

Instead of disposing of it, they decided to use it to produce “eating chocolates”. By 1868, these chocolates were marketed and sold in beautiful heart-shaped boxes that were ornately decorated with Cupids, hearts, roses, and romantic imagery, making them the best gift for Valentine’s Day. They were such a huge success that people would still hold on to these boxes, preferring to use them to store heartfelt momentos, from locks of hair to love notes. The popularity dwindled with the outbreak of World War II, when sugar was rationed. Over the next few years, Valentine’s Day chocolates underwent multiple revamps. From chocolates with a hint of caramel to chocolate boxes covered in satin and lace, the extensive range of Valentine’s Day chocolates we have today is a testament to the unbridled joy the act of giving and sharing a box of sweet treats can foster.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Laurent Bernard

Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with Laurent Bernard! As an artisan chocolatier in Singapore with a mission to create only the best, we take pride in having an extensive collection of luscious, velvety chocolates that would tickle your loved one pink. Indulge your significant other with our Valentine Chocolate Box and accompany these delectable sweet treats with a Pink Parade bouquet from yours truly. Better yet, opt for our Fresh Flowers and Chocolate for a grand, romantic gesture and sweep your partner off their feet.

Take your loved one’s breath away with a surprise delivery! Leverage our islandwide delivery services and have our Valentine’s Day gift delivered to your partner’s doorstep. Do note that there will be an additional charge of $20, and orders should be placed at least one day in advance.