Chocolate with red roses flowers in Valentine

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Combining chocolates with red roses is a classic and romantic choice for Valentine's Day. Here's what you can expect in our chocolate with red rose flowers arrangement:

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YOU’VE GOT YOUR Sweethearts, your SweeTarts, and your dozen red roses. But I’m willing to wager that most lovers must arrive bearing chocolate on Feb. 14, or be turned away at the door.

Fair trade, dark, white, kosher or straight up Hershey’s milk, Americans and Europeans consume most of the world’s chocolate. Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. adults say they buy chocolate, and seasonal retail sales of chocolate increase 6.1 percent from 2011-2013 over previous years, according to market researchers over at Mintel. Cacao beans are primarily grown in Africa, and the finished product is spreading to new markets like China (Somehow the concerns of how chocolate is sourced or whether it is really good for us tend to take a backseat around this time of year. But not for too long over here at National Geographic.)

So how did chocolate become the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat?

The origins of the historic combination are far from clear. Chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac since the time of the Aztecs, and was once only available to the wealthy. Spanish conquistadors brought it back to Europe, and according to The Oxford Companion to Food, Italian chefs were shaving blocks over their risottos in the late 17th century. The French made pastilles in the 18th century, a favorite of the marquis de Sade. But it wasn’t until the cocoa butter extracted from the beans was processed into the rough form of a candy bar in England in 1847, according to Cadbury, and later rounded out with milk, that its appeal began to grow. Once candy became cheaper to produce, more people got to taste it. And once they tasted it, well, you know the rest.

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