You’re heading down the candy aisle to cure your oh-so-powerful sweet tooth. You look at all the options in front of you to make a decision on what to eat. Suddenly your eyes light up, you’ve come across your favorite Valentine’s Day candy. There’s just something about those heart-shaped sweets that makes them more desirable. Maybe it’s because you’re in the Valentine’s day spirit or maybe you've been struck by Cupid, making them irresistible. Maybe it’s neither of these things. It’s quite possible that you simply prefer the taste of the heart-shaped candy.

Many would argue that the last of the three possibilities is the least likely—even behind the cupid one. They would argue that taste is reliant on the content of the candy and the shape has no effect, but they would be wrong. It's been proven that the shape of a food can change the way it tastes. Among these foods is a Valentine's Day favorite—chocolate. 

truffle, cake, milk, cream, goody, sweet, candy, chocolate
David Legget

According to BBC News, after extensive research Nestle found that the shape of chocolate can affect that way that a flavor is perceived. There was conclusive evidence that the taste of a chocolate can vary as a result of its shape. 

It has been found that round chocolate tends to be sweeter than its angular counter-parts. The trick to all of this is in the time it takes for chocolate to melt. As the chocolate melts, molecules reach your taste buds, but exactly how and when they get there depends on how the candy is shaped. A piece of chocolate can take longer or shorter time to melt in your mouth depending on the shape, controlling just how many molecules will reach your tastebuds. 

milk, chocolate
Alma Wang

Taste isn't the only sense at work when you're enjoying your Valentine's treat. Sight also plays a major role in your perception of flavor. The sense of sight and taste works collaboratively in determining the flavor of food. According to Science Daily, Dr. Terry Acree claims "...people actually can see the flavor of foods, and the eyes have such a powerful role that they can trump the tongue and the nose."

An experiment was conducted in which participants were given three salads that were identical in content— the only variation was each salad's appearance. Prior to tasting the salad, participants were asked to rank them based on presentation. Sure enough, the salad that was thought to be the most visually pleasing was also thought to the the tastiest.

Evidence like this makes it highly probable that a chocolate or any other candy being presented as a heart can alter the way in which its consumers perceive the flavor. The sweet and heavenly ideas of love could easily be reflected in this symbolic Valentine's day shape. 

So next time you're picking out that heart-shaped chocolate for that special someone, you can thank science for such a sweet treat.