The Real Reason Strawberries Are Associated With Valentine's Day

Every mainstream holiday has some candy or treat representing it. Christmas has candy canes, Halloween has candy corn, and Valentine's Day has chocolate-covered strawberries. Perfect when paired alongside a bouquet of roses, or just pretty darn good on their own, it's a great quick last-minute gift, too. Plump and juicy red berries are generally dunked in milk or dark chocolate and then dressed up in everything from white chocolate and toasted nuts to coconut. In fact, the invention of the chocolate-covered strawberry is most commonly credited to a Chicago woman named Lorraine Lorusso, who, in 1964, dipped strawberries into tempered chocolate to display to customers browsing at her store in the hopes of more sales (via 

While it's no big secret that chocolate is a pretty popular gift on Valentine's Day, thanks to its popularity and supposed romantic undertones (via Smithsonian Magazine), how exactly did strawberries become so popular and associated with the holiday? What is it about the strawberry that makes it so intrinsically linked to romance? After all, the apple is a fruit very much associated with love and fertility (via Brooch Paradise), so why do we not give chocolate-covered apples to our loved ones on Valentine's Day? The answer to this question is linked to ancient Roman myths and berries' supposed aphrodisiac abilities. 

Strawberries were a symbol of the goddess Venus

Just as we thank the Romans for their contributions to society, in the form of paved roads and calendars, we also have them to thank for creating the romantic mythos of the strawberry. According to Grasmick Produce, the strawberry has long been seen as a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, due to their enticing crimson color and delicious sweet taste. The seeds of the berries themselves were even seen as symbols of fertility. Strawberries were considered so divine and beautiful, in fact, that even churches began to incorporate them into their designs, carving the fruits into elaborate pillars or altars as a symbol of perfection. Romance was so strongly associated with berries that an old legend claimed that, if two people split one, they would fall in love.

While it may not be a surefire guarantee that eating a strawberry with your crush will make the two of you fall in love, there is some evidence that shows the strawberry may have certain "romantic" properties. According to Fresón de Palos, strawberries have many antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, such as the blood-pumping vitamin C, that may help improve one's "performance," sort to speak. When combined with another popular aphrodisiac, such as chocolate, the strawberry becomes a very popular and very delicious treat for newlyweds, lovers, and partners all across the world.