I know, I know, the spring hit the Northern Hemisphere hard, and we are all dieting, starving and having nervous attacks because those “love handles” look more like bus handles now, and cellulite seems to be the integral part of the landscape these days. Most of you are probably thinking: “Well, duuuh, and you are writing about chocolate!”, but bear with me. We will take a different standpoint with this one (don’t we always?)…
Needless to say, a vast majority of us love chocolate, and I don’t mean that white, mixed, or light, or whatever. (this is NOT a racist slur) I’m talking about good old rich black chocolate, the one that tastes awesome on its own, but it tastes even better when you add some nuts or raisins. See, that kind of chocolate has some special powers. And no, I don’t mean the power to make you spill over your favorite jeans, I mean some really special powers…psssst, sexual powers.
Chocolate is an aphrodisiac and we are not surprised
All (bad) jokes aside, the fact that chocolate is a mighty aphrodisiac was a common knowledge back in the Aztec times. Not in the modern sense of course, since the chocolate as we know it didn’t exist back then, but the link between the cocoa bean and the enhanced sexual desire was well documented. Some sources say that the emperor Montezuma used to consume cocoa in copious amounts to boost his romantic trysts. Cocoa was quite valuable back then. For ten beans of cocoa you could buy a rabbit, or a prostitute. Not that you would want one, I’m just saying… Regardless of all that, people had no idea why cocoa made them horny, but we know better nowadays. Scientist discovered that cocoa contains two important chemicals, tryptophan and phenylethylamine. Tryptophan is one of the building blocks of serotonin, which most of you are probably familiar with. Serotonin is considered to be one of the happiness hormones and it is very involved in sexual desire. The other chemical, phenylethylamine is actually a stimulant that is released in the brain when we fall in love. So basically, cocoa is where it’s at. (*wink, wink) On the other hand, most researchers believe that the amount of both of these substances in chocolate is too small to matter and that the aphrodisiac powers of chocolate most likely come from our psyche, then as a result of any physiological process. Whatever the case may be, I feel better just by writing about chocolate, let alone eating one.
Leonidas shoots for the stars – and scores
Keeping its exciting history in mind, as well as its benefits, it is no wonder that the high quality chocolate is still a big deal to this day. When one says “luxurious chocolate” most people think – Belgium. Both European and Hollywood movies taught us that, and we blindly stand by it. When it comes to chocolate, Belgium is crème de la crème. You know how Compton is the “Hub City” and Coachella is “city of Eternal Sunshine”? Well Brussels is the “Chocolate Capital of the World”, and for a good reason. This charming city is home to one of the most prominent chocolate makers in the whole world – Leonidas. The history of this delicious company begun like a proper chocolate history should begin, with a damn medal. Leonidas Kestekides, Cappadocian Greek American, presented his chocolate at the Brussels World Fair of 1910 and won a bronze medal. Three years later Leonidas opened his first tea room in Ghent, and in 1920, he finally founded the world-famous brand after he married a lovely young lady from Brussels. From there, the business and the reputation just kept growing all the way to Luxemburg, Holland, Germany, London, Athens and New York. To this day, Leonidas is still a family owned business which speaks a lot about nurturing some true values and traditions, as cliché as that may sound. See? This brief story has it all, a hot Greek dude (all Greeks are hot, that’s the rule), a medal, love and chocolate. I mean, what more do you want?! C’mon Rob Reiner, I want my movie!
It’s like Harry Styles always says – treat people with kindness
However, what got me interested in Leonidas are some current “developments” in the company. Like most of my stories, this one also starts with a TV reality show. I’m like Wendy Williams of bloggers, give me a remote and I’ll find a reality show. There’s this really awesome one called “Patron Incognito”, and one of the people who agreed to be on the show was Phillippe de Selliers, the CEO of Leonidas. So, I was watching, expecting to see this arrogant Wall Street type, but I was sooo mistaken. De Selliers had a task to mingle with his workers at the factory and see how they are doing their jobs, so I expected some drama, and some people getting fired, and all of the usual corporate moves. What I got instead was this meticulous guy who really listened and talked to lot of people, realized some things and changed them in order to improve the well-being of his workers. I mean, wut?! Who does that today?! That is rarer than an albino tiger! But apparently, that is how they do their business at Leonidas. No wonder it has more than 1300 shops all over the planet. People are loyal to noble and caring brands. On the same note, everyone from makeup companies to Google could learn a thing or two from Leonidas. Sometimes staying faithful to true values and respecting the “little people” will get you far.
In the end, here’s an authentic recording of me working at the Leonidas factory: