Chocolate, Roses & Champagne: Happy V-Day to You

We’re hoping for a forecast of 100% chance of love, with showers of happiness. Millions of people will give – and receive – gifts from that special someone today. Here are some fun facts of three of the most common Valentine’s Day gifts and treats.

Chocolate: Chocolate comes from cacao, a type of tree. Cacao trees have pods as large as pineapples, and each pod contains 30-50 seeds. It takes 4 seeds to make just 1 ounce of milk chocolate!  Unfortnately, cacao trees are endangered by diseases, pests and drought (Source: California Academy of Sciences).

And the cacao used to make the chocolate you’ll be enjoying today likely had a long way to travel: More than half of the global supply of cacao is harvested in Africa.

Credit: jhritz via Flickr

Credit: jhritz via Flickr

Roses: California produces about 60% of roses purchased in the U.S., but the ones you pick up this Valentine’s Day are likely to be imported to meet demand. After all, demand is huge: more than 100 million roses will be sold and delivered within the three-day Valentine’s Day time period. (Source: SheKnows.com).

There are more than 100 varieties of roses, and roses can thrive in a variety of climates. However, persistent drought and pests spell trouble for even the hardiest of roses.

According to the U.S. Census bureau, there are more than 17,000 florists across the country. So you’ll have little excuse for not picking up a dozen for that special someone.

Credit: **RCB** via Flickr

Credit: **RCB** via Flickr

Champagne: Grown in the Champagne wine region in northeast France, this V-Day staple comes from grapes grown at higher altitude, a cooler climate and a mean annual temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This may sound like harsh conditions for grapes to thrive, but the region receives steady rainfall, and seasonal temperatures without significant variation. However, winter frost can devastate the harvest (Source: www.champagne.fr).

Have a big budget? A bottle of “Shipwrecked” 1907 Heidseick  – believed to have survived years at the bottom of the sea – fetches a price of over 250,000 dollars!

Credit: dpotera via Flickr

Credit: dpotera via Flickr

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Happy Valentine’s Day from the WeatherBug Team!

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