Chocolate Love for Tu B’Av

chocolate hearts

Tu B’Av may ring as French to your ear, but it’s actually in Hebrew: It’s a Jewish mini-holiday similar to Valentine’s Day. In 2018 it will begin in the evening of Thursday, 26 July, to be celebrated for 24 hours.

Get into the Tu B’Av spirit: Shimmy in white & have some chocolate.

Dancing in white dresses

Image: OSU Special Collections & Archives

Tu B’Av was a joyous holiday in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, marking the beginning of the grape harvest. In modern times, it has become a romantic Jewish holiday, often compared to Valentine’s Day, and has been said to be a “great day for weddings, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows, or proposing”. Also, “It is a day for romance, explored through singing, dancing, giving flowers…”

And giving chocolate, too, obviously.

If you are celebrating love this week, or courting a Hebrew speaking lady like myself, consider these gift options:

Perfume: A Classic Choice, With Added Cacao Notes

Leading Brands such as Missoni, Valentino have created perfumes based on cacao aroma notes.

Natural, artisanal perfumiers such as Demeter are using cocoa butter and essence to make some lovely seductive scents.

“The scent of dark chocolate is full, warm and slightly spicy” – Jo Malone.

You can also find scented candles that spread calm and the cacao aroma at home. Let the sweet aroma spread in your room, to inspire a mood for love.


Chocolate Massage

Inside the cacao fruit (pod), there are almond-like nuclei from which chocolate is produced – those cocoa solids you see consisting 70% or more of good quality chocolate. But around the seeds there is a soft white material, from which the cacao butter is produced. Cacao butter has few flavor residues, but mainly has qualities, similar to coconut oil. It is used in natural care products such as body lotion and bath oil. Cacao contains natural nutrients and antioxidants that can infuse the skin with all their beneficial properties. Some therapists add ground cacao nibs to add an element of cleansing body scrub.

With a Chocolate Massage you can indulge yourself with as much as you like, guilt-free. Therapists claim it reinvigorates the body and mind.

You can Do It Yourself, and get a kit for chocolate massage, that includes scented candles or incense sticks, and a cacao body butter. This combination will help you to create a true massage atmosphere for your significant other.

Can you imagine your loved one laying smothered in chocolate-y concoction from neck to foot?

Create a chocolate-y atmosphere

A Sweet Morning Treat

The Aztec emperor Montezuma II would drink enormous quantities of chocolate before visiting one of his many women. The Aztec women would not be given anything containing cacao, ever.

So why not use another ancient ritual – Tu B’Av – to rectify this historical injustice?

After a night of dancing in a vineyard, wearing her white dress, pamper your personal empress by bringing her a nice cup of cocoa to bed.

A chocolate macaroon = “Je t’aime”

A Ticket to Paris

Paris is the perfect place for both Love and Chocolate. Follow Ika’s address book to visit award-winning chocolatiers in Paris – in the Marais, Montmartre and Saint Germain.

Enter the beautiful havens of creativity and luxurious indulgence, then take a stroll along the river Seine, to get some fresh air. Look at the water and the trees and savour the memories of your sensual adventures at the Paris chocolateries. Then, head back again into the bustling streets for some more sumptuous pralines, until the moment you really must go back home.

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