Is Chocolate an Aphrodisiac?

Well not if you’re a hardworking Chocolatier burning the midnight oil and failing to get it on with your other half! For the rest of us however chocolate might just tickle the parts that oysters fail to reach! Need more convincing?….read on….

The ancient Mayans drank it for fertility, and the Aztecs were convinced that chocolate was a potent aphrodisiac. King Montezuma had rather a large harem which, as all harem keepers know, requires considerable dedication to satisfy. Fifty cups of chocolate a day later and Monte was a happy man. It’s difficult to know of course which part of the heady mix worked. A known active ingredient is the stimulant theobromine, but there may have been other stimulants added to that heady mix. This chocolate drink flavoured with spices such as vanilla and chilli peppers was even exchanged as a part of the Mayan marriage ceremony.

More recently studies of popular aphrodisiacs including chocolate have shown that phenylethylamine is present, a relative of amphetamines that peaks when you fall in love, and surges into the brain during orgasm! The testosterone levels of ladies have been shown to increase after eating chocolate. Chocolate also contains Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of pleasure in a similar way to sunlight, and has been shown to be elevated for the first year of falling in love.

Even without these ingredients chocolate is of course a sensual experience involving sight, touch, sound, smell and taste. The dark shiny colour, the smooth touch, the snap as you break it, the subtle aromas and that unctuous melt in the mouth experience all contribute to the feel good factor.

It has been said that in the 17th century ladies living in San Cristobal de la Casas, Mexico, fortified themselves with a cup of hot chocolate whilst attending high mass. Outraged at such consumption in the house of God, the Bishop subsequently banned the drink. The ladies left the church and the Bishop met an untimely end by drinking chocolate laced with poison! The Bishop should have known – Never separate a lady from her chocolate!

The famous Venetian womaniser Giacomo Casanova called chocolate the “elixir of love” and drank a mug of drinking cocoa before embarking on a lovemaking conquest. Not surprisingly he was more successful than his modern day counterpart, who drinks four pints of lager before staggering across the dance floor!

So should chocolate be considered an Aphrodisiac?

Perhaps the best suggestion, purely in the pursuit of scientific endeavour, is to carry out an independent experiment. Give your lover a box of fine handmade chocolates, settle down in a candle lit room with the music on low, a glass of wine, and see where the mood takes you!

As for us, time to put the Oompah Loompahs to bed ready for tomorrows chocolate making.