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[Opinion] Chocolate

Posted February. 13, 2003 22:58,   


An American writer once said that Venezia is like a box filled with chocolate wine. The Italian city, one of the most favorite destinations for bons vivants worldwide, still sells the food Casanova enjoyed with his lovers some 200 years ago. Fresh oysters and mullet spawns called `Venezia`s Caviar` were among those aphrodisiacs used by the notorious European playboy. Yet, the women of Casanova wanted to serve him with chocolate most. And we wonder why. Alexandria Log, deputy director at New York Technology Institute who wrote the book titled `Psychology of Eating and Drinking` said, ˝No food has ever proved to be a miracle drug for love, except chocolate.˝

▷Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a chemical called `a molecular of love.` Human brain secretes the chemical when the mood for love gets ripe. Since it was first introduced to Europe from Latin America in the early 16th Century, chocolate has been enjoying great popularity. They used to say, “Spanish women were just captured by this black wine.” In the Baroque Age, it was once banned for a reason that it encouraged people to be promiscuous. Besides this love chemical, sugar and fat ingredients in it are bound to appeal to palatal genes in human body. The way it melts away in the mouth is also sensuous. And the history explains why chocolate began to be used as a gift of love.

▷Some say that Velentine`s Day is mere an export from the west and fosters extravagance and vanity. They suggest that couples confess their love on the Chilseok Day on July 7. Valentine`s Day, however, is more than just a holiday for western people. Some 1740 years ago, merciless Roman emperor Claudius II enforced its people not to marry to muster young men for wars. Then a hot-blooded priest named Valentine opposed the royal order risking his life. He delivered a message for young couples - please love, confess and get married. Put into jail, he then fell in love with a daughter of a warder. As he left for the execution room, he sent a message to his loved one. ˝From your Valentine…˝

▷It is not known whether the letter was ever delivered to the woman. But the sad and moving story reached the Pope and priest Valentine was anointed as a saint for lovers. In 498, Pople Gellasius officially set February 14 as Valentine`s Day. Then, what is wrong about young couples confessing their love with chocolate on this day of love? They are not exchanging bribes and cannot be as much immoral, therefore. Let`s give young couples a break. They are just looking for fun and joy in small things.

Kim Sun-deok, Editorial Writer, yuri@donga.com