Beware! Gifting chocolates to a girl can make her fall in love with you!

Want to win a woman and melt her heart? Present her with a box of chocolates or candy. This traditional romantic gift is a sure-fire winner in pleasing a woman. Women adore and crave chocolates at all times, all seasons, all occasions and for all excuses. “Forget love, I’d rather be in chocolate” must have been said by a woman.

Chocolates gives people a high of a different sort altogether and when your girl is eating chocolates you've gifted her, she's also thinking of you. So you get associated with the high she experiences and the rich taste of chocolate. Quite a nice association, don't you think?

With their brown colour, chocolates look gorgeous and smell heavenly. Their flavour is greatly mood elevating and improves the taste of any ordinary dessert, drink or snack. A chocolate melts in your mouth as it has an apt melting point. It comes in variety of tastes like milk, dark and white. Women adore these wonderful flavours. As someone quipped tongue-in-cheek, "I think women like chocolate, coffee and men; though not necessarily in that order, but they’ve all got to be rich.”

Chocolate consists of a number of raw and processed foods that originate from the bean of the tropical cacao tree. It is a common ingredient in a variety of foods like biscuits, sweets, candy, ice-creams, cakes, pies etc. It was discovered by the early Meso-American civilization and cultivated by the Aztecs and the Mayans. The words 'choclat'  is derived from the Aztec language, from 'chocolatl', the name of a drink made from roasted cocoa beans, chile and honey and considered an aphrodisiac. The cocoa tree is named 'theobrama cocoa' in which theobroma is Greek for ‘ food of the Gods.’

And today, it is the favourite food of the fairer sex, as surveys reveal. A survey by Candy USA, exploring women’s special relationship with chocolates, America’s favourite flavour for desserts and sweets, found that most women not only enjoy chocolate regularly, they also do not feel guilty about consuming their favourite food. A majority of women preferred milk chocolate to dark chocolate. Sixty nine percent of women never felt guilty gorging on chocolates and sixty five percent enjoy chocolate candy or desserts regularly every week, while 15 percent enjoyed it daily. Eighty six percent felt that eaten in moderation, chocolates fit a healthy lifestyle and 52 % said that chocolates, consumption made them happy. Forty percent eat them as a pick-me-up and a majority of women have received chocolates as gifts on various occasions.

Some of the most popular candy bar brands in the U.S.A. are Snickers, Reese’s peanut buttercups, Kit Kat, Butter Finger, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Baby Ruth, M&M’s, O. Henry and Hershey bars.

There are three varieties of cacao beans used in chocolates: Criollo, Forastero and   Trinitario. Criollo, the variety common to Central America, the Caribbean and northern South American states, is the rarest and most expensive. Forastero is found in the Amazon basin has a classic chocolate flavour. Trinitario is a hybrid of the other two and originated in Trinidad and has a wide range of flavours.

The three main flavours of chocolates are plain dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. The ingredients are sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, milk, and vanilla and are found in varying proportions. The finest dark chocolate contains 70% cocoa, while milk chocolate contains 50% and white chocolates contain only 33%.

Chocolates contain various elements, which are attributed different properties useful and harmful to humans and animals. They contain Theobromine, which is a weak stimulant for the human body but toxic for animals like cats and dogs. Theobromine is useful for cough relief. It also contains flavonoids believed to possess cardio-protective properties.

Chocolates contain Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is a precursor to Serotonin, an important regulator of good mood in humans. But most of all, it contains what is called  ‘Love chemical’ or’ Phenyl ethylamine.” It is the same chemical that is released when you fall in love, leading to a pounding of the heart, the feeling of a sudden gush of excitement. It is believed that it releases the chemical Dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain. It is also responsible for the beguiling smell of the chocolate.

That is why chocolates are identified as aphrodisiacs by romantic lore. Chocolates also have other medicinal properties. 1) To treat emaciated patients to gain weight, 2) to stimulate the nervous systems of feeble patients, 3) to improve digestion and elimination of waste.

Chocolate, as we know it, dates back to the inspired addition of triglyceride cocoa butter by Swiss confectioner Rodolphe Lindt in 1879. The advantage of cocoa butter is that its addition to chocolate sets a bar, so that it will snap and then melt on the tongue. Cocoa butter tends to soften at around 75 degrees F and melts around 97 degrees F.

Giving chocolates as gifts on Valentine’s Day has become a universal and popular phenomenon. Women all over the world are wooed with red roses and luscious chocolates. But in Japan, curiously enough, the role is reversed. It is the women who express their romantic interest in a man by gifting chocolates. So on Valentine's Day in Japan, neighbourhood streets are transformed into colourful chocolate markets. To counter this day, a White Day is celebrated on 14th March, when men reciprocate their Valentine’s Day chocolates with soft, fluffy marshmallows.

Not surprisingly, chocolates and candy remain the number one food item that will melt a woman’s heart and soul anywhere around the world.