Words: Shamin de Brún
Chocolate makes people want to f*ck. It always has. Chocolate is made from cacao, used for centuries to “open hearts”. Ceremonial cacao contains an abundance of theobromine, a chemical that stimulates the cardiovascular system and can give you warm and uplifting feelings. High doses can generate a euphoric body-state not dissimilar to the elation people feel from more illicit sources.
The myth of chocolate being an aphrodisiac comes from history. Cortez brought cacao beans back to the Spanish court, where chocolate was seen as all exotic and new. And if there is one thing that modern life has taught us, it’s that new is often conflated with sexy.
Chocolate, from a chemical standpoint, doesn’t have any aphrodisiac qualities. But it is sensual. First, its colour is rich, dark, and alluring. It’s also a food that melts precisely at the same temperature as your body. It’s a melt in your mouth treat that we as a society covet and share. That’s the romantic part of it; eating it together, discovering the sensuality of it by watching your lover devour it or try not to. That’s what chocolate is all about. Or at least that’s what valentines chocolate is about.
But not all chocolate is equally sexy. Nothing is alluring about a Yorkie, and a Moro is a bit too monstrous to be considered sexy. So what is the go-to sexy chocolate? What one will get you in the mood on the most romantic of Mondays? It’s not roses or celebrations. They are Christmas family time wholesome chocolates.
In fact, Milk tray is the chocolates that make everyone hot and bothered. Milk Tray is as sexy as that flake add. I know you know the one. If you’re under 21, this is the flake added I’m talking about. Flake is both sexy and wholesome. They are somehow straddling the line between 99 and 69 exceptionally well. But where the sexiness in the flake add is from obvious insinuation or allusion to sexual acts, the sex appeal of Milk Tray is something else entirely.
Flake is both sexy and wholesome. They are somehow straddling the line between 99 and 69 exceptionally well.
Milk Tray is the chocolates of the female gaze. It goes way back to the chocolate advertising of the 70s. Advertising aimed at women. Enter the Milk Tray Man.
The Milk Tray Man is considered a heartthrob by women, which is why Milk Tray is enduringly sexy. Even if you have not seen this man, the inherited legacy is that Milk Tray are sexy for women. The man is based on Jane Austin’s Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He does whatever is necessary while all tight-lipped and floppy-haired to ensure his lady gets what she needs. And what does she need? Milk. Fucking. Tray. Nothing else. It’s all polite knocks on doors with flirtatious staring contests over the safe, warm comfort of a cup of coffee. The man leaves the chocolates for her to enjoy, and he leaves her alone. Sexy.
This man embodied elements of courtly love from a long lost age, went from being an ironic figure of fun to an iconic action hero in just one generation. In the series of TV ads that ran on our TV from 1968 to 2000, he battled sharks, raging torrents, avalanches and beyond to bring his lady a box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray. “And all because the lady loves Milk Tray”. That was his line, it was the only thing he would say in the whole ad. That sentence still makes knees buckle, toes clench, and hearts race. It’s fucking sexy.
If you’re a last minute-Larry and you still want to get laid this Valentine’s Day you’re not fucked. High tail it to Spar pick up a box of Milk Tray.
They tried to reboot the milk tray man in 2015, but it had lost its je ne sais quoi. Of all the modern chocolate advertising -and there has been a lot – nothing has come close to emulating the enduring sexiness of the Milk Tray Man. There are no other chocolates that inspire that fluttery feeling in your tummy. Lindt has tried. God knows it makes bomb AF chocolates. But it’s a bit too efficiently Swiss to pop anyone’s Champagne.
So if you’re a last-minute-Larry and you still want to get laid this Valentine’s Day you’re not fucked. High tail it to Spar pick up a box of Milk Tray. Bonus points if you can put on a black turtle neck. Panties will hit the floor, guaranteed.