There it is. Always on the calendar, mocking you. Same day every year: February 14th. Like death, taxes, and Law & Order marathons, itâ€™s inescapable. Yet still you put it off. And then you buy her a heart-shaped box of cheap chocolate.
Right idea: Give her chocolate. Wrong idea: Give her bad chocolate.
In fact, in a recent Menâ€™s Health survey, women listed chocolate as among the sexiest gifts they have ever received from a guy. But why does this dark, sinful concoction light our hearts afire and stir our feelings of desire? Chocolate not only contains compounds that make you feel good, but research has shown that eating chocolate also causes the brain to release chemicals that enhance mood and increase pleasure. Is chocolate the gift that keeps on giving?
Only if you put some thought into it, we say. So we took on the burdensome task of surveying the world of fine chocolates to find the top chocolate gifts she wants you to give her this Valentineâ€™s Day. Want more ways to make her Valentine's Day the best ever? Click here for the Men's Health Valentine's Day Survival Guide
Gnosis Aphrodisia Bar
Dotted with tart raspberries and sweet figs, we loved the bar's soft texture and fruity flavor. But the chocolate also contains purported aphrodisiacs that include horny goat weed, maca, dong quai, damiana, shilajit, and fo ti. Research on maca shows it may increase sexual desire in men, while a preliminary animal study on horny goat weed found it may help erections. Just save those details and mention instead that some of the profits from the handmade, vegan-friendly chocolate bars go toward planting fruit trees around the world. So thoughtful, you are.
Jacques Torres Wicked Hot Chocolateâ€¨
Nothing says "you're just not worth the effort" quite like ripping open a packet of Swiss Miss. Come on, guys, you might as well warm up some Yoo-hoo. Heat things up instead with Jacques Torres Wicked Hot Chocolate, made with allspice, cinnamon, ancho chiles and smoky chipotle chiles. Or if youâ€™re willing to drop some extra dough, go even fancier with a Vosgesâ€™ Couture Cocoas Gift Box, featuring the Chicago company's three hot chocolates, which include a white hot chocolate with lavender flower and lemon myrtle (a product of a native Australian plant). The collection is $57, but she'll flip over the adorable packaging alone. What fine tastes you have!
Aux Anysetiers du Roy Fondueâ€¨
Even the simplest chocolate fondue recipes involve carefully heating and whisking chocolate over the stovetop. Potential screw-ups abound. Not to worry, Aux Anysetiers du Roy created ingenious chocolate fondues sold in stoneware crocks. Just heat the microwaveable pots for 2 to 3 minutes and serve straight from the pot, which keeps the chocolate melty for 45 minutes. The company offers more than 30 different flavors, but some of our favorites were the Milk & Caramel, the Dark & Orange, and the Dark with Fleur de Sel. Offer her a variety of fruits for dipping, and when you run out of fruit, you might find something else you want to drizzle it on. My, my, my, how sexy you are ...
For more amazing recipes for all times of the year click here for Men's Health's food blog Guy Gourmet
-- Jerilyn Covert, Jennifer Messimer, Christa Sgobba
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