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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Passion of Chocolate

Romance—and reading Romance novels—is often undertaken in conjunction with the consumption of chocolate.

This is not a new phenomenon brought about by commercialism from multi-national corporations to sell more of their product at Valentine’s Day. Nor it is based on the assumption that women who read romance like chocolate more than women (or men) who read Sci Fi or Political History.
The earliest recorded connection between the consumption of chocolate and romance, is from the Mayans who, more than 2000 years ago, made a beverage from the cocoa bean which was an important part of marriage and betrothal ceremonies.

The Aztecs, from Central America, were the first to discover the aphrodisiacal powers of chocolate, and it is reported that Montezuma, the Aztec Emperor, drank at least fifty goblets of liquid chocolate a day in order to enhance his powers of love-making.

Later, in the 12th Century, the Incas believed that the beverage made from the cocoa bean was a ‘drink of the Gods’, and their Kings consumed it regularly believing also that it had mystical powers, especially over their abilities in the bedroom. Such was the power of the cocoa bean as an aphrodisiac, that in the 16th Century the Spanish took chocolatl to Europe, where nobility couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

Many famous romantic figures consumed copious amounts of chocolate, believing it to be a love potion, which not only gave them staying power, but also helped to stimulate passion in others. The Venetian, Casanova, was one such imbiber of huge quantities of chocolate. So were several renowned mistresses of the French King Louis XV – notably Madame du Barry and Madame de Pompadour, believing it cured frigidity, enhanced desire for sex, and prolonged the act by imparting energy.
Today, more than 3 million tons of cocoa beans are consumed annually, with almost every country in the world having their own chocolate specialties.
One such country to develop a pure form of chocolate with a unique blend of ingredients, is Ireland, where the high cream content in their milk makes for rich, smooth chocolate. Cadbury’s—a name synonymous with chocolate—established a factory in Ireland in 1933, and use exclusively local ingredients. There are many boutique chocolatiers in Ireland, where artisans lovingly create hand-made chocolates using 100% local milk.
For expatriate Irish who miss the unique and delicious chocolate from the Emerald Isle, life can revolve around receiving ‘care packages’ of Irish treats to keep them sane. Here in Australia, a new business has just launched where Irish Australians can indulge in luxury, hand-made Irish chocolate.
Clover Chocolates is a newly established business in Brisbane, Australia, the brainchild of Caroline O’Connor, who has relocated to Brisbane from Cork, Ireland.
Caroline O'Connor at the markets in Brisbane
Clover Chocolates at Brisbane Powerhouse Markets

Clover Chocolates has sourced only the finest award-winning chocolates from boutique chocolatiers in Ireland, and the product range includes Hot Chocolate Swirly Sticks, milk chocolate salted caramels, and dark chocolate mint creams.
To learn or about Clover Chocolates, visit their website at www.cloverchocolates.com.au and to keep up with all the latest places you can meet Caroline, like her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CloverChocolates.

Irish skin after a day at the markets

Caroline is VERY passionate about Clover Chocolates. She wore a heart cut-out blouse to the markets in Brisbane last weekend... and look what happened. Ah, that pale, soft Irish skin is just not up to the heat of a Brisbane summer.

My recommendation for a total indulgence, is to pick up your favourite romance book, a box of salted caramels, and a mug of rich, dark, hot chocolate, and escape from the wear and tear of everyday living. Oh, and at the same time, you can be increasing your libido to share later with your partner of choice.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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